Saturday, 23 March 2013

SPOON # 12 - Saturday 23rd March

Last week I struggled with a piece of applewood that my friend Dave had given me. I'd had high hopes and expectations of producing some spectacular and interestingly coloured spoons. I did make some spoons, but it was hard going - the wood was fibrous and difficult to work, with lots of knots, swirls and tear-out. Alex suggested that it might have been because the apple tree that the wood had come from had been heavily pruned, encouraging lots of side growth, which would in turn cause the wood grain to be irregular. He's probably right.

This week, Dave brought me a scruffy, gnarly old bit of lilac, a wood that I hadn't carved before. I didn't hold out much hope, but thought I'd got nothing to loose to give it a go.

A raggedy bit of lilac.
 I took it into the garden to saw it into usable sections - there was a main trunk section that I thought I could possibly do something with, and a piddly bit that I wanted to cut off as it didn't look good for anything. Then, throwing it onto the firewood pile, I noticed it had quite a nice crook in it, so I split it and found some beautiful purple heart wood and thought, I'll have a go at a crooked spoon. Here are the results:
Here you can see how the crank of the spoon follows the natural crook of the wood.
This should make the spoon a little stronger as it follows, rather than breaks, the wood fibres.

I am quite pleased with the results - I wish I hadn't had to carve out so much of the heart wood though, but that's just the shape of the spoon. I thoroughly enjoyed carving the lilac - in fact, I think I'd go as far as to say, it's my favourite wood to carve to date - green, moist, but firm and holds a cut really nicely. I'm looking forward to doing a couple more this week.


  1. Great spoon Rich. I've got a fair bit of lilac in my garden that has to come down.

    1. That sounds like a job for over the easter hols. It really was nice carving.