Yep still a week behind… Oops. Quite a tricky bit of wood to work this one, not sure why, the grain wasn’t that hard, but was slicing funny at times. Tried some flat bevels on the back which turned out alright. Grain came out a treat after an oil. The skin on my left thumb is like an alligators back now after all this whittling!
This is last week’s spoon, I am falling behind schedule! Again in silver birch heart wood – seem to have quite a lot of that hanging around and it’s lovely to work with. A sharp, spikey spoon that doesn’t really fit in your mouth, is an urgonomical disaster and culinary-wise not much use for anything. On the upside, you can use it to de-ice your car window and as self-protection against vampires.
Me and my classmates are on the final stretch of our wilderness guiding training here in Finland – with just under 2 months left. Since getting back from the February work placement, one of the main focuses was preparing ourselves for the Bear Ski, which we completed several weeks ago. This was a real test of our personal, camping and bushcraft skills learnt over the last 8 months. But, that will be explained in another post. I wanted to do a weekly round-up blog post because recently all I have been writing about is spoons (more spoons to come don’t worry).
This spoon is made from a section of an old dead spruce tree I was using for fire wood whilst on a recent skiing trip. The beauty about this tree, (and similar small pines and spruces) is that through years of slow growth the grain is extremely tight – the tree must have been around 80 years old or more, but was no more than 5m tall with a trunk diameter of 12cm or so. This is because of the environment the tree grew in: at 70° North of the equator it is subject to long, cold, dark winters, with no sun for months of this, and this tree, on the outskirts of a bog and surrounded by much larger trees would be fighting to get light and nutrients. Many trees will stay small till a neighbouring tree falls, giving them the opportunity to grow. This one however died before it got the chance.
Update: This post was meant to send last week, but the signal on my phone cut out. I actually ended up having no phone signal for the whole trip which meant my solo ski had to be altered slightly, but will explain all in an up coming post.
Starting this morning we embarked on the 930km drive to Hammastunturin wilderness area in the far north of Finland. We will drive through the night and should arrive in the early hours tomorrow. From here we will start an 8 day solo skiing trip – The Bear Ski.