When I first began carving spoons, often sat around a camp fire, whittling away the evening, I was quite interested in the decorative aspect of what I was carving - patterns, twists, lettering,etc. As I carved more, the actual form of the spoon became more important as well as functionality, whilst decoration took something of a back seat. So for this week's spoon I thought I'd have a go at someting a little more decorative.
Again it's an ash spoon, though carving on this one was not so easy as I'd split it a couple of weeks ago and it had been indoors, where it had dried out a little more than I would have liked. It has what I call a reversed bowl - imagining the bowl as an egg shape, on modern spoons it is conventional for the thick end to be nearest the stem of the handle, with the narrower, pointed end being at the tip. A reversed bowl is just that, where the thick end is at the tip and the pointed end at the handle. I've left on the tool marks and, unusually for me, not crancked the handle at all.
The design on the handle is a very simplified celtic twist. One of my favourite Saturday activities is to sit in front of the Six Nations Rugby and carve a spoon or kuksa on my little portable stump in the sitting room. My wife is very indulgent of my hobbies and allows me to carve in the house as the sitting room floor is wooden and I can sweep my shavings straight into the wood burner. So I thought I'd carve this spoon in comemoration of the opening game between Ireland and Wales which I was watching while I carved it.
It still needs further drying, then oiling, and I am hoping I might get a little colour or darkening in the lower carved sections, and this should show off the relief even further. I have a really nice set of Flexcut palm chisels somewhere, but I suspect they are either in my garage or shed, which are both still in 'winter-mode' - meaning we have simply thrown everything in there over the winter, just to get things out of the way, and they both need a good spring cleaning, which I hope will uncover the chisels. If I'd got them to hand I think I would have done a little more carving on the twist to highlight the shape of the bands. Maybe once the spoon is completely dried out and I've finally found the chisels.