Sunday, 30 June 2013

SPOON # 26 - Sunday 30th June

I've just sat down to write this week's post and have just realised that this is a rather special one, as in, it's number 26 of 52, or half way. If I'd thought about this before I might have done something special, but I didn't so I will go ahead and show what I have done this week end.

As it happens I have two spoons this weekend. The first is a small cedar spoon, using kiln-dried cedar plank. I saw a rather nice little spoon in john Lewis, made of thin perspex and I thought it would look nice, in the same style and made of wood - an icecream spoon perhaps?

The second is based on a beautiful antiques spoon that Jarrod Stonedahl showed on his blog a couple of posts ago and when I saw it I knew I had to try and replicate it. Mine is made of green rowan, the original looked like a burl or root of some kind with lovely grain pattern and a wonderful dark patina. i was pleased with mine and will definately do another when I get some more interesting wood.

 You can't see it very clearly but I decorated the end with what I call invisible decoration - scalops carved onto the top edge, but that does not affect the profile.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

SPOON # 25 - Sunday 23rd June

I guess this week's spoon is not so much a spoon as a scoop-spatula-cum-shovel type affair - but I'm still going to count it as a spoon anyway. I've done a few different types of these before, this particular rowan scoop was inspired by a design done by Sharif Adams, though his are far more carefully finished than mine.

I met Sharif at last year's Spoonfest and found him an incredibly unasuming (considering how good he is at green woodwork), pleasant and helpful young man, and I have since enjoyed following his blog, though due to his 'off the grid' type lifestyle, posts have been few and far between over the past year, though I've really enjoyed them when they've come. Either way, check out his blog and web site, he makes some lovely, professionally finsihed pieces and will sell and commission if required.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

SPOON # 24 - Sunday 16th June

Father's Day, and what could be more pleasurable than sitting in the garden at the end of the day, listening to the birds singing in the trees and doing a bit of spoon carving? Not a lot.

This week is another rowan spoon. One of my favourite carvers, not to mention an amazing woodworker generally and impressive photographer (check out his blog if you haven't come across it before: ) is Peter Follansbee - resident 17th century woodworker and carver at the Plimoth Plantation where he domonstrates the work methods and styles of furniture that came across to America from Europe with the pilgrim fathers. It is one of my greatest wishes to visit the Plimoth Plantation and to take one of Peter's jointed stool workshops at Country Workshops (Drew Langsner's place - another hero of mine).

Anyway, I really admire Peter's work and his style of spoons, so this is my tribute a la Peter Follonsbee.

A little chip carving

A crazy, curvy profile

Sunday, 9 June 2013

SPOON(S) # 23 - Sunday 9th June 2013

Usually, I cut a piece of wood and set about carving a single spoon. Today I thought I'd have a go at carving four spoons the same. Of course, I've made matching spoons before, but never all at the same time, working on one, then moving on to the next and then the next, each time repeating the same part of the spoon (hope that makes sense). My plan today was to see if it's any easier or quicker to make spoons this way, by repeating the same action or cut on each spoon.

I picked up a nice, green branch of what I think is Rowan, that someone had cut and left lying on the path, so I thought I'd put it to good use. I cut a short, straight grained section, halved it, quatered it and set about my project.
First, axe a flat face and stensil on the outline

Next, rough out the outline with the axe

Then, crank the front of the spoons

Then, shape the back of the spoon a bit - again with the axe

Re-draw the outline and then, with a knife, cut to the line

Then a bit of shaping, decoration and, of course, hollow out the bowl

These condiment spoons are far from perfect and will need drying and finishing - maybe sanding - but the point of the exercise was to see if it made any difference carving four spoons at a time. Despite having to stop and start more times than I'd anticipated, I think the experiment was successful. Perhaps next time, a little more care.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

SPOON # 22 - Sunday 2nd June

It was a lovely day yesterday and my family and I went over to visit my brother Julian and while we sat and chatted in the sun in his back garden, he and I did a little spoon carving together - something we haven't managed to do for about 6 months.

I chose to use a fairly basic design, one I have carved many times before but that I think is quite nice to look at, but used a wood I have never tried before. It was a piece of Laburnum which I really enjoyed as it had some colour to it right away. Not that I don't like the lighter, blonder woods, I just like the character of a darker wood.

It had a lovely close grain, which when the sun caught it looked almost like lace wood. I think I might finish and sand this one as I think it would probably look really nice polished and oiled.

SPOON # 21 - Sunday 26th May

Sorry it's taken me a week to finally get this spoon posted, but it's school holidays and so a busy week with the family - not to mention my birthday.

On that note, as it was my birthday this past week, I wanted to carve something a little more decorative and celebratory. I copied a design that was one of the first spoons I carved in recent years. It was a spoon from a section of birch from a tree that my mother-in-law had planted when her father unexpectedly died. It was a tree with great sentimental value, but had simply overgrown its spot in the garden had had to come down. So, as I was just beginning to show an interest in whitling, I thought I'd have a go at a spoon that she could keep to remember this special tree. I was, and still am, quite pleased with the results. There's something about the spoon that I still like.

Sorry about the dreadful quality of this picture, it was off of a text on my phone
So, having a piece of birch knocking around, I thought I'd have a go at replicating it for myself.

The newer version of my mother-in-law's spoon
I painted and decorated it a little (I'd like to say it was organic, milk paint or something of that nature, but it's actually just Barnes and Noble or some other DIY paint) and then gold leafed the orb with some 24 carat gold leaf left over from my sign writing days.