Thursday, 24 October 2013

SPOON # 42 - Thursday 24th October

My wife Ruth (who is very understanding and indulgent, if not positively encouraging of my hobbies and interests) pointed out the other day that my maths had somehow gone astray and that if I kept adding a spoon each weekend until the end of the year I would only manage 51 spoons, which would kind of defeat the point of the blog's title. I have obviously dropped one along the way, hence here is my second spoon of the week and hopefully I am now on track to complete my 52 spoons by the deadline of last weekend in 2013.

When Ruth and I first married we were poorer than church mice. I was a full-time student and she was very quickly pregnant and then a stay at home mother so we had to get by on my student grant (those were the good old days when the government said that all British children had a right to degree level education and they actually paid for us to do it) and the small amounts of money I was able to make unloading vegetables at Safeway early in the morning and ushering (in a rather dashing synthetic blue waistcoat and dickie bow) at the local Showcase Cinema at night. We were given a council flat in a rather run-down part of Birmingham, top floor - 15th floor - which has since been demolished. In an attempt to personalize and liven up the place a little I decided to paint a fish on the bathroom wall, taking for my inspiration the fish (trout I believe) that are carved around the edge of the fountain in Birmingham Town Hall Square - locally known as The Floosy in the Jacuzzi.

Anyway, having made a very short and simple story (about my most recent spoon) long and unnecessarily complicated, I thought I would try to produce said fish on the handle of my latest spoon. I had recently tried carving a spoon handle (as mentioned in my last post) which hadn't turned out satisfactorily, so instead thought I would have a go at kolrossing - the traditional Scandinavian method of scoring a pattern into the wood (rather than actually removing wood, as in carving) and then rubbing in some kind of coloured pigment, I'm led to believe that this would often be fine sawdust or ash.

So, here is my spoon (no prizes for spotting the nod to a Jarrod Stonedahl design), complete with 'fish' coloured with gravy browning.

I love the colour this wood has gone after only a night in walnut oil -
it was really quite 'blonde' when I first carved it.

Ok, so not anatomically correct perhaps (couldn't fit a dorsal fin on) but I'm quite happy with it.
I wasn't sure whether to put an extra line in between each of the 'scales' to make it a
bit finer, but thought I should quit while I was winning.

And just in case you thought everyone from Birmingham was morally loose, here is some good citizen's response to the fountain.


  1. I absolutely love your trout. What knife did you use?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I just used the tip of my frosts whittling knife, but kind of held it like a pen. This worked okay but the blade is thin so it cut probably deeper than it needed to, making it hard work to 'drag' through the grain. Proper kolrossing knives I notice are shorter bladed and thicker - most being made from round bar, I think, which would mean the blade wouldn't cut so deep and it would open the cut more. I'm going to see if I can make one some time.

  2. Wow, love the details you've added. Just a thought for all who follow your blog, how are we going to celebrate the completing of the '52'?

    1. Now that's a good question, Rob. I'm going to have to give that one some thought. Any ideas?

  3. No ideas that stand out, but if the weathermen are to be believed, your wood shortage is about to be solved!

    1. Well, as usual, the weathermen got it wrong again, looks like the quest continues.