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.
This is birch heart wood, not aspen as I thought so in some previous spoons. Heart wood is the lower portion of the tree – the oldest and hardest part. Often looks quite different to other sections of the tree, and in Silver birch it has a lovely shimmer to it. Usually tough stuff to carve, but after working on the kuksa for several weeks this felt like butter (well, almost).
Tried the furrowed effect on the inside of the spoon again. Aaaand, wait for it, it’s the perfect size for holding a lemon! Pretty handy I know…
Ever needed a spoon to get the olive out of your martini? I didn’t think so, but here’s one for you anyway!
This spoon was a nightmare to make! I didn’t enjoy the process at all. Mainly because I was rushing to make it yesterday. It was a complete test of patience and I learnt that you should never rush a spoon – carving and rushing don’t go hand in hand.
I intended it to look nothing like this. It started as a strange double ended number, but after numerous cracks and snaps in the wood whilst carving, the design completely changed and the spoon gradually got smaller and smaller. I nearly gave up with it many times, but glad I persevered.
Although it resembles the original idea in no way whatsoever I kinda like this little guy.
This is last week’s spoon, finished it in the early hours last night. Just went with the wood on this one and a left handed spoon emerged. First attempt at leaving the bark on and quite like the result. The alder has a lovely orange tinge to it and is really light to hold.
Can’t believe it’s the 11th week of the year already!! They’re bloody flying by!
Spoon 10! Finished this last Sunday at approximately 11.46pm. During this week I was doing practical training as an assistant guide for mid to long distance skiing tours in eastern Finland.
So, this meant having to tactically whittle away just before bed, catching the shavings on my sleeping bag so I wouldn’t mess up the rooms. It was a busy week and I only just managed to make it. Nice bit of linseed oil brought her up a treat, but not sure how useful a scoop of this kind would actually be…
Spoon No 05 of 52. A long bucket shaped sweet shovel made from aspen. I’ve actually been working on it here and there over the last 2 weeks, shh don’t tell anyone. It took an age to make and was a real test of patience. The skin on my thumbs is hard and blistered after whittling this monster. I got inspiration for the furrows (the wavy bits) in the spoon mouth from some other designs I’ve recently seen, so tried to replicate this effect using a small chisel. I’m almost certain the first thing my mum would say would go along the lines of “It looks nice dear but I bet it’s a bloody nightmare to clean!”.
Say hello to spoon No 04 of 52. A little coffee scoop made from curly birch. Came together quite quickly and a nice one to make. Always like the way the final product never looks exactly how you imagined it to. There’s always a few subtle changes and sometimes some big ones that result from the carving process.
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Say hello to spoon No 04 of 52. A little coffee scoop made from curly birch. Came together quite quickly and a nice one to make. Always like the way the final product never looks exactly how you imagined it. Theres always a few subtle changes and sometimes some big ones that result from the carving process #spoon #spooncarving #spooncarver #woodwork #whittling #52spoons #outdoors #carving #traditionalskills #aspen #bushcraft #wood #handmade #homemade #keepitwild #birch #curlybirch #coffee #coffeescoop
Can you believe it is the third week of the year already? I no longer work in weeks now, just spoons. We are now on spoon 3 of the year – A long thin slightly bent spice spoon – that seems to be bending more each day. I think it might be the knot in the wood that is causing this but who knows… Again made from aspen… I think? A real challenge to make and again nearly ruined it right at the end with a slip of the knife.
It’s worth mentioning the inspiration for this project came from a similar but much more ambitious project called 365 spoons. If you haven’t figured it out already, the mad man at the wheel of this project carved a spoon every day for 2014. A great idea with some incredible spoons made in the process, click the link above to see some of his handy work.
We’ve already jumped into the second week of the year, new year’s resolutions eagerly skipping by our sides, hand in hand, looking longingly into our eyes. I wonder how long this relationship will last, I guess this is considered the honeymoon stage. For some this means abstaining from alcohol for others it means sweating it out in the gym and sticking to a silly diet etc etc…. For me however, that means making another spoon, 1 a week, for a year, not such a bad resolution I’d say.
I’ve given this one the catchy title of wiggly snail shell sugar spoon. I think the wood is aspen, but can’t be sure, anyone know? Early on in the whittling process I nearly snapped off the head and was close to giving up and throwing it away. Glad I persevered. Enjoyed making this spoon, definitely learnt a lot and couldn’t even see the grain till I sanded it and oiled it, came up a treat! 2 down 50 to go.
For 2015 my resolution is slightly different to previous years. I’ve been a bit spoon obsessed recently and have decided to take it one step further – I will carve a spoon for each week of the year, so 52 in total! This is the first one of the set – a large stirring spoon made from curly birch. It’s got a little hook on the back so you can hang it on things… Like a pint glass or a table… Still not sure quite how useful that is. Either way, many more spoons coming your way. 1 down 51 to go!