Saturday, 19 October 2013

SPOON # 40 - Saturday 12th October

I've momentarily solved the wood shortage issue with a few decent pieces of laurel which I noticed had been lopped from a bush beside the school entrance where I work and left to rot. I didn't think they looked like they had been cut too long ago - they had dead leaves on so I figured probably this year at least. I grabbed a saw from the caretaker and hacked me off a few pieces that, if they were still green, would be good for four or five spoons. Julian warned me that dead wood dries out quicker with the leaves on, but I thought it was at least worth a try.

There was a nice, straight-ish crook, so I thought I would begin with a small ladle, since I gave the only other ladle I had last weekend to my brother-in-law who I know will actually use it. The laurel actually carved well - certainly not too dry (I've carved much drier and harder wood), but also not fresh, which in some respects is better as the wood doesn't seem to be so fibrous and carves cleaner. Also, not so much chance of the spoon drying too quickly and splitting, which is one of the things that upsets me more than anything, closely followed by when my wife puts the long handled serving spoons in the utensil drawer instead of in the jar under the sink where she knows they belong (I suspect she is trying to drive me slowly insane).

The finished spoon, whilst not ground-breaking in its design, is a little different for me as it is fairly asymmetric, in that there is a distinct twist between the handle and the bowl and I would usually aim for completely symmetrical, but I figured, what's the point of using a crook where you follow the natural line of the grain, if I'm only going to alter that line to suit my own eye. As it turns out, it doesn't offend me too much and it's a nice little spoon.

You'll notice I've left a thin strip of bark on the handle in order to maintain the shape -
we'll have to see if that stays on or not.

Apologies that I forgot again to put something else in the photos for a size reference - it's small for a ladle, about 6 inches, and I guess it would work well as an olive spoon.

As you will see, it has an over exaggerated keel on the heel of the bowl, which at first I thought I would trim back as I was afraid it looked too heavy for such a small ladle, but in the end decided to leave it as it was. I might carve the handle a little at a later date - though I know I say that a lot and then rarely get round to it. I'd really like to learn more carving and kolrossing skills. I guess I need a decent pointed knife.


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  2. Re: driving you slowly insane. While flattered by the idea that I could be so devious and determined as to spend 21 years in the attempt, I think being driven insane requires you to at some point have been sane. You carve spoons. For fun. You thrash about in the shrubbery outside of your school (for which I'm sure there must be some sort of register) and you fill the boot of the car with assorted undergrowth and the attendant wildlife. I think I get to put the long handled spoons wherever the mood takes me - any arguments? Ruth x