2 years ago today I had just completed my first wooden spoon of the year. It was the start of a slightly bonkers challenge for 2015 where I decided to carve a spoon, using only hand tools, for each week of the year. I completed the challenge and ended up giving a handful away, keeping my favourites, and selling about 35 of them – donating half of the money towards the charities I supported whilst swimming the Thames. To see all the spoons take a look here.
So, if you bought one of the spoons, or gave it to someone as a present it is about time it needs an oil. What if I don’t have any special oil I hear you ask? Not a problem, just use regular sunflower oil. Apply it to some paper or a cloth and wipe onto the spoon. This will keep the wood nice and supple and stop it from drying out. Don’t use olive oil though, it will make it smelly.
And don’t oil if you bought:
Spoon 23 – The Paella Server (Just oil the unpatterned side) – Anna Hobbiss
Spoon 34 – The Egg and Spoon Race Spoon (Just oil the spoon bowl) – Antony Joury
Also, I would love to see some pictures of the spoons in use, or wherever they may live now Happy Spooning!
A few weeks ago I completed my New Year’s Resolution for 2015 – to make a spoon for each week of the year. This was by far the best new year’s resolution I had ever done. I can’t even remember any of the previous ones.
I had carved around 3-4 spoons before starting this project, so I knew the basics, but I was still a novice. I made all the spoons using hand tools only – an axe, a carving knife, a hook knife, some chisels, sand paper and oils. I did this because I wanted to improve my knife skills and wood working ability, it meant I could work on the project wherever I was and partly because I didn’t have access to any machinery or power tools.
This is the second spoon I made from Blackthorn the other night. I had a rough sketch, but mainly went with the flow of the wood with this one. I’ve called it the whale spoon because it reminds me of a whale for some reason. You can really see the blacks, purples and reds in this particular section of the blackthorn. The white section of the spoon is from the outermost part of the trunk, and much softer to work than the coloured parts of the spoon.
This wood has only been drying for a month of two outside so hopefully it wont crack as it starts to dry out even more. Oh, and this time I tried oiling with lemon oil. My guitar-mad flat mate had a little bit left over which he gave to me, it smells incredible and brought out the grain amazingly well.
This spoon is made from Blackthorn, or Sloe as it is more commonly known. My original plan was to make a massive scoop, but this failed on every front, cracking the whole way through and becoming completely unworkable. This spoon was made from the ‘offcuts’ I had split to make the scoop.
I made this spoon and another in one evening whilst half-heartedly watching films with my flatmates (it is almost impossible to focus on anything else when whittling). It was late in the week and I promised my girlfriend I would make a spoon for her Dad’s birthday, which was the following day. I actually managed to make two spoons which is fast for me, and my hands felt completely beaten afterwards.
The wood is simply incredible and the grain is laden with streaks of black, purple and red. As I was using ‘young’ wood from the outer section of the trunk it was relatively soft. It carved and finished much like oak, and a nice sheen was possible. I oiled it with sun flower oil for a change which worked just as well as linseed oil as far as I could tell. I cant wait to carve some more in this stuff. Again being small doesn’t seem to help speed, and actually makes the whittling process quite tricky.