Sunday, 1 December 2013

SPOONS # 45, 46, 47 - 17th November - 1st December

It's been a really busy few weeks, hence my ability to post any spoons recently. So, I am going to post three in one this week.

I can't honestly say I am very pleased with the three I have to show, for various reasons, but I put most of it down to lack of practise and I find myself in the surprising position of being nearly at the end of my 52 spoons project, by which time I thought I would be a consummate expert, only to find that the spoons I am making are not as good as many I had made previously. That's not to say it's all bad - I'm not even at the end of the project yet and I am considerably better than I was at the beginning and my understanding of the form and design of spoons has increased incredibly. What it tells me is that I can not expect to carve only a single spoon a week, giving it only an hour or so, with tools that I haven't taken the time to sharpen properly and wood that is way below a carvable standard, and still come out with something I am pleased with and proud of.

Any way, here are my three spoon, carved in the order from right to left.

The first one I carved was this little laurel spoon, which I actually don't mind that much.

It's quite a nice shape and colour. I quite like the effect of the knots in the wood, though it does make it hard to carve. I didn't originally mean the handle to be as curvy in profile as it ended up, but I had a spot where I was getting a lot of tear-out so had to carve it out. I used a hooked knife on the reverse of the spoon for the first time, too, meaning that the keel along the back of the handle is actually concave.

Then, last week, I carved this spoon (or should I say, began to carve it):

As you can see, this was from a natural crook and I'd hoped it would give me a lovely spoon. The wood is sycamore or rowan, I found it already cut in my local woods, so didn't know how old or dry it would be. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered it was very dry and fibrous and splintery and it did not carve very well at all. I left it, thinking I would come back to it to finish off once I had sharpened my knives, only to discover last night that it had two crack opening up on the bowl. Just as well really as I should have given up on it right from the first.

Yesterday's spoon is the worst. I only had a little laurel branch wood left, which didn't allow me sufficient width to do a proper crank on the spoon, so I did what I actually dislike immensely, and carved a flat spoon.

I don't know why, but I just don't like it. Oh well, now I know that for sure I'll be careful to avoid that in future (other than for cooking spoons, which work quite well straight).

So the hunt is on to find something a little better to se me through to the new year.


  1. It's funny that carving is a bit like a sport. You lay off for a bit and the memory in your hands and that little extra fitness is gone. Every now and again I will try to carve a set. Oddly rewarding. Seems like it would be drudgery, but the repetition is fun and I love how your body learns to make the same moves over and over again.

    Good luck with bringing the project in to the home stretch.



    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Pete. I've only done a set a couple of times and you're dead right - what should be monotony actually turns out to be really enjoyable, something I will definitely find more time for in the future.

  2. It's so on target. That Swedish guy said that symmetry brings peacefulness, and I have found that to be true.
    Have you ever tried the Kelrosing over a painted wood surface. I'm wondering if that might work for detailing bird feathers.