I have been teaching now for 16 years, and I must say, I am no less excited today about the summer holidays than I was 16 years ago - if anything I am more excited than ever. So, please forgive my, what could seem like, smugness about the fact that we broke up last Friday and now have six weeks of holiday. As a teacher, it's a big deal and I'm going to enjoy it - I've earned it.
So, first spoon of the holidays is this simple serving spoon.
I re-handled a couple of axe heads that my brother Julian picked up from a car book and thought I'd use them on my next spoons just to try them out.
I'm not sure what wood it is - it's something Ju gave me, rowan I think he said he thought it was. It's very blonde wood, and really nice to carve - not unlike birch, smooth and soft, giving nice clean cuts.
Not entirely sure what the dark speckles are - a little bit of aging, I think.
The axe is a bit of a classic - a Gilpin of Cannock 'Chip Chop' #1 - a very common axe still, but been around a good fifty years (maybe a lot longer). As it happens, it is a lovely axe to work with, a little heavier than my own kent pattern axe, which works well when you're doing some of the finer work and want to cut without actually swinging. It took about half an hour to sharpen, which was time well spent - and to think it cost Ju about .50p - what a bargain.