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.
Can’t beat a three way when spices are involved. Salt, pepper and a spice of your choice…
This one was tricky to make at times because of all the changes in grain direction, nearly split it several times. Ended up looking a bit like the grand canyon or similar desert environment by complete accident. Could also be a three way egg cup, or golf ball holder. Whatever floats your boat…
I’ve been looking forward to this week since starting the program. Furthering our knowledge of craftsmanship and traditional Finnish culture we designed, forged and crafted a knife that embodies the Finnish culture – a Puukko.
A puukko is a small traditional Finnish belt knife, characterised by a small curving blade with a flat back, usually the length of the users palm, around 90 – 120mm. This allows greater dexterity and control when using the knife, as the thumb from the other hand can be used to push the top of the blade. These types of knives are truly multi-purpose and are used for carving wood, skinning animals, descaling and gutting fish, stirring the soup, lifting the pan from the fire, gardening… The list goes on, you name it and it’s been used for it.
The knife is held in a leather sheath that is attached to a belt, easily accessible and ready to use in an instant. However, bearing a sharp object that could be used as a weapon was banned in Finland in 1977. Since then the puukko has lost some of its visibility in public places. But in rural areas where the connection with the outdoors is stronger and the use of a knife is still essential, you can see the blade around the belts of forestry workers, dog sled guides, hunters and fishermen. Whilst writing this I am currently doing a work placement at a husky farm and one of the guys carries 2 knives on his belt permanently. A true Fin!