Saturday, 12 January 2013

SPOON # 2 - 12th Jan

Since this is the beginning of my journey through spoon carving, I thought I would begin with something traditional, utilitarian, every-day and that would be familiar to everyone - a kitchen spoon - what most people would be refering to when they talk about a wooden spoon.

I wanted to make something a little more interesting than your regular Wilkinsons wooden spoon so got onto the net and looked at images of medieval spoons. There are surprisingly many examples of medieval spoon styles - obviously most of those that survive are metal and a little more high-end than your average kitchen spoon, but there are some examples from ship wrecks, where the ocean bed has preserved the wood.

Anyway, the one I chose to make is not so much authentic medieval in design (or at least not to my certain knowledge - I'd love to hear about it if anyone knows otherwise) but it's a design I like. I have seen similar spoons made by other spoon carvers, most recently by the very talented Jon Mac on his blog. His are beautiful and done with more care and experience than mine. It's a design I have come to call 'floating bowl', for obvious reasons and mine is made from another fairly seasoned piece of ash which I reclaimed from my log pile as I feel quite protective about ash now and wouldn't want to simply burn it if I could use it for something more practical. Here it is - please ignore the mess in the background, leftovers from last night's supper party.

Originally I carved the word COOK into the handle but thought it looked wrong
so carved it back off - you can just see the trace of an O beneath the cross

As it was going to be a working spoon I purposely left the tool markes and didn't
sand. I think this adds interesting detail and evidence of the handmade nature of the spoon.

There has been some discussion over the past couple of weeks on Jarrod Stonedhal's blog about actually using the spoons that we make and our families' attitudes to them. Have a look here:

I think I have confessed before to the fact that, despite having been carving spoons for best part of a couple of years now, I haven't personally actually used any of my own spoons, either for cooking or eating. I decided to remedy that this morning by using this spoon to make porridge. It worked very well (as you might expect from a spoon).

I've always liked porridge, though the porridge I eat today is oddly different in texture from that my mum used to make for me. I use my wife's recipe which is quite simply oats, water and milk in a ratio of 1:1:1. I like to add golden syrup when I eat mine - sorry to any Scotish fundamentalists who think it should only be salted - but had none today so used maple syrup instead. And speaking of porridge, whilst I appreciate that it's not technically a spoon, I thought I might have a go at making one of the fiftytwo a spurtle.

So that's spoon number two. I might not make it to spoon number three as my wife has just looked over my shoulder and is horrified that I used photos that include last night's washing up. I thought it gave the pictures an interesting background - she doesn't. Oh well, it was nice knowing you!

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