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.