I set out in the rain this afternoon in the hope of finding a branch that might offer me some good carving and maybe an interesting spoon or two. After a couple of hours scouring the woods, however, I came home empty handed (except for an old fence post that I found moss-covered in the undergrowth and thought I might be able to use on my summer project - a little summer house).
So, without any new wood to carve, I got my wedges out and set about splitting a chunck of very twisted and gnarly lilac. Having created some very irregular and odd shaped (and very fragrant)sections of lilac, I decided to try something I've really not done for a couple of years - to carve an irregular shaped spoon, the shape of which was dictated by the natural shape and grain of the wood. And this serving spoon is what I ended up with:
|A look at some of the lovely purple grain pattern|
|A very 'organic' profile - despite how it looks, it feels surprisingly good in hand|
|More curly grain...|
|...and still more.|
The spoon is still fairly green, and I've had some disasters with lilac as it dries and splits along the grain of the purple heart wood, so I'll wrap it in paper for a month or so to let it dry slowly and then perhaps I'll add some detail to the handle and maybe a little carved decoration.
And on a different note - I was up in the loft this week looking for some lost paperwork, and found this spoon in a box of old keepsakes. Whilst this is not the first spoon I ever carved (my first was a tiny love spoon a friend helped me carve from a piece of silver for a girlfriend when I was 16) it was the first wooden spoon that I ever attempted. It was done whilst I was a student working on an American summer camp in New York when I was in my early twenties. I made it during my free time over a couple of days with a blunt craft knife (hence the rather ragged bowl) and when finished I had sent it home to my then girlfriend, who is now my wife. It just shows that I have had this fascination with carving spoons for some years now.