Before being a spoon and after it was a tree, this bit of wood was part of a timber shower floor in a ladies changing rooms. A builder offered it to the site manager where I work, and as he knew I made spoons he gave it to me.
So this spoon has probably seen a fair few things its life time, who knows whether it was looking at the tiled floor below or at the ceiling. The builder reckons it is mahogany or walnut, but I am clueless to what it is as I haven’t spent much time working with this type of wood. It was amazing to carve, it had a tight grain but worked easily, and once polished, the grain really popped. Again, another highly practical spoon to add to the collection.
I still have the rest of the the shower floor, so I think there’s a fair few more spoons to be made from this!
I made this whilst showing some of my workmates the basics of spoon making. My first spooning session and I well impressed with the spoons they made – waayyy better than my first one. For this spoon I kind of cheated and to save time I drew around another spoon I made – Spoon 38. I made the handle slightly shorter and went for a very angular underside. I don’t know what type of wood it is, maybe some kind of spruce, pine or cedar. It was very soft though and so quick to work compared to the last few spoons in oak.
Unfortunately I don’t have any working photos of this spoon. Partly because of trying to help the others, getting right into the spoon zone and my phone running out of battery. Continue reading →
I helped to clear some oak branches a few weeks ago and noticed a crooked one which had a ladle written all over it. I used the natural bend in the branch to create the ladle shape. But, I am slightly frustrated as I have lost many of the photos I took of the carving process. But from the ones below you can see the progress from about half way. It started as a fresh branch, no bigger than the thickness of my wrist. Pretty risky as when this spoon dries it may well crack. But it worked well, and as the wood was still green it was soft compared to seasoned oak.
I went quite freestyle on this one, I still drew out a rough spoon shape, but wan’t too fussed in keeping it symmetrical and just went with the wood. The strength of the wood even at the thinnest part is ridiculous – oak is a wonderful material to work with.
This is made from the same bit of oak that I made the Clove Spoon from. I knew this spoon was going to be challenging from the onset. You may have also noticed that it is not really a spoon. I ended up carving through the head, but rather than chucking it I thought it might work quite well as a pickled onion drainer – an essential kitchen appliance for every home, one that is so essential it has yet to hit the mass market. The wood was so hard and because of the design, quite tricky to complete.
I ended up changing the design in several ways, not including a little fancy bit on the end and making it shorter as I had cracked it. I am impressed with the strength of the wood, even with such thin sections.
I found a this branch of oak whilst on a walk with some friends. It looked fairly dry and had an interesting pattern in it. I’m pretty sure it is laden with rot, both white rot and black rot but I kept it as the rot looked so good. Who knows if the fungus will continue to ravage to wood…
I found this bit of oak in my living room, it was in the house when we moved in. I’m not sure which section of the tree it is from, or how old the tree was. But it is from the outer part of the trunk, so the youngest and softest part of that particular section of tree. Despite this, the wood is very strong, and even this thin little spoon is sturdy.
Oak is renound for its strength, and its latin name means exactly that: Quercus Robur – Quercus means Oak and robur Stength.
This is another bit of wood my Granddad gave me, along with a load of yew and ash. He turned up with a van full the other day. Since then he has been trying to get me into making some walking sticks… next project I think! I couldn’t make my mind up with the design on this one, and after a few failed sketches (one which I have included below) I ended up with something I liked. I took inspiration from a spoon I had seen in a spoon book of course. You can see it in one of the pictures, its the yellow spoon.
I wanted to include as much of the colour and veins on the top and bottom of the spoon as possible and went with the natural curve of the wood. I also tried some bevelled edges of the underside of the spoon which I don’t think I have done before. The wood worked beautifully and was hard, but workable, and a breath of fresh air after hacking away at the ash from last week.
This is my first time using ash, a native tree to Britain with an estimated 5% of woodland currently being ash. The wood is tough and is a natural shock absorber, because of this it is commonly used for tool and sport handles including: axes, hammers, hockey sticks and oars. It is also easily bent and used in the furniture industry and can be made into skis.
This is the fourth spoon from a special bit of pine sourced from the North of Finnish Lapland. The wood is incredible, it is dense yet workable, has a rich creamy colour, a distinct grain and an almost magical quality to it. Quoting myself, below gives a bit of background info on the tree.
“It’s made from a dead standing pine found right in Northern Finland in Lapland. The tree was located on the edge of a bog where the soil nutrition is poor and because of the long harsh winters the growth of the tree was extremely slow. This is perfect for carving, as the usually soft pine is dense and strong.
Although the trunk wasn’t much bigger than the thickness of my wrist, it was approximately 100 years old or more. And it could have been standing for 30 years or more once it was dead. I was using it for firewood but had to keep some for making spoons as it was so beautiful.”
I am not sure about the use of this spoon, so went with a salt spoon. It could be used for adding spices to a sauce of something. It is made from a bit of Yew I found in a pile at my Mum’s house. This pile of wood found its way there from my Granddad – giving some of the wood to my mum, for her fire! Can’t be having that, so I took a couple of pieces for spoon making.