Spoons


Many spoons have headed off to good homes, so I don't have pics of them all and it is hard to put them in order now.  
Anyway, here are some of my spoons to date, listed most recent to oldest.

Last update, 1/13/17

Gave this one to Oliver Pratt









14.2 (note: comparing the 2014 spoons below with 2017 spoons above is really interesting.  Lots of changes have been made in the last three years!)

Rhododendron, kolrosed with green milk paint, tool finish, soaked in flax/wax for 8hrs.  This was a dream to carve.  Love that wood.  Need to be sure to incise lines that are deep enough and wide enough to take lots of pigment and survive the scraping afterwards.  (note: don't scrape!  sand or burnish...  You need the wood fibers to close up to keep pigment from dropping out.)  Also, lines that run parallel tend to push its neighboring line closed, so don't make them too close.  Cross hatching works, so do it.  Also, shallow engraving picks up a lot of pigment, so you can use that.  Any engraving should happen after the kolrosing, so pigment does not get into the engraving.





14.1

Apple, kolrosed with green milk paint, tool finish, soaked in flax/wax for 8hrs.  Apple is really hard to kolrose.  Might be better for engraving only, though I should try to kolrose apple again once I get a thimble to protect the "steering" thumb.  The cross hatching worked surprisingly well on this.  Watch out for changing grain direction on a surface being kolrosed.  If you are finishing by scraping with a knife (rather than sandpaper) it makes it tough to remove the excess pigment and reveal the lines.  Maybe just sand rather than scrape?  The bowl turned out a bit too deep; my lip can't quite reach the bottom.  The thickness toward the back of the handle is nice, but it starts too late, and there does not need to be that much material.




Apple tasting spoon

Apple, (I think?), tooled finish with daisy inscribed, soaked in warm walnut oil and beeswax for about five hours.



Wrinkled Apple 

Apple, tooled finish, soaked in warm walnut oil and beeswax for about five hours.



Daisy Mae's Eating Spoon

Maple, tooled finish, chip carved and kolrosed, soaked in walnut oil and beeswax until no longer buoyant.




Spoon Swap Spoon


Apple wood, soaked in warm walnut oil and beeswax for 10 hours until no longer buoyant.  Given away as part of the International Spoon Swap in January of 2014.







  

Tasting Spoon

The beech tree really chose the shape and size of this spoon.  (Which reminds me, I should really shoot my spoons with an object for scale!).  It is like a little serving spoon, maybe six or seven inches long.  I was baffled what someone would do with it, until I showed it to my wife and her mother and asked them what they would do with such a spoon.  They replied immediately, "Its a 'taster' for tasting soups and sauces."  Brilliant!
I also decided to kolrose this spoon.  Prior to this my kolrosing has been limited to stab-mark stars, like those on the Wedding Spoons below.  But I finally decided to give my new kolrosing knife a go.  Del Stubs at Pinewood Forge makes these.  I gave it one pass on my practice board and fell in love.  It turns on a dime and makes a nice wide incision with relatively little effort.  So, rather than practice, I just dove right into marking up my latest spoon.  The beech wood is so lightly colored that I thought kolrosing would really show up nicely, and it does.  I drew the design on first in pencil and then roughly traced with the knife.  I did not "seal" the wood prior to etching, so I had to shave off the surface with one more pass of my knife when the design was done.  For the most part that did not hurt the effect, though it did nearly obliterate one leaf that I did not incise deep enough.  Love the effect!
So, here is my first "taster" spoon.  Beech, kolrosed, and then cooked for an hour in walnut oil and beeswax at warm temp.  Saw lots of bubbles when it went in, less when it came out.






Wedding Spoons

Spoons celebrating love, but not Love Spoons in the Welsh tradition.  My long time pal Andy married his girl Michelle, and to celebrate their union I made this pair of spoons.  Apple wood from the tree taken down behind the Johnston dorms at Dana Hall, cooked at warm/low-ish for two hours in walnut oil and beeswax.  Engraved and kolrosed.  The apple wood darkened just a bit through the oiling process to a lovely warm color.  The heartwood on the apple is also so striking.  I love working apple.  Easier to work than cherry (which is also lovely, but tough!).  








Cherry spoon with two-tone handle

One of my favorite spoons, for a lot of reasons.  First, since it is cherry, I was able to thin the bowl down considerably, so that after firing it went translucent.  I also experimented with putting a bevel on the top and bottom of the handle.  I like the way it catches the light, though next time I may do without the bevel on the bottom as it feels a little unstable when holding the spoon.




I also really like the faceting I was able to get on this spoon, including lining up all the cuts on the bottom of the bowl into rows.  Will ware nicely I think.  In addition, there is a lovely red stripe in the wood that you can see in the last photo here.  Unfortunately, the spalting went very dark after the spoon was fired.  Firing is not working well for me so far, and I think I will just dip my work in oil and not let it sit so long.  The firing also caused the green undercoat to come through the top salmon coat of paint, which dulled the salmon color considerably.  Still, I really like this spoon!

Beech serving spoon with blue handle

This spoon follows the curve of the grain, though that curve is not very apparent in this photo.  This spoon is for "righties."

Getting the bowl pretty thin these days.


The patterning her is done with some stamps I made from bar steel.  I am not in love the with results, as they seem strangely irregular and not substantial enough.  Also the finish is a little rough as I am basically bashing these shapes into the wood.  I like the blue handle though, and the notches in the chamfer.

Cherry spoon with finial

Another of my favorite eating spoons, the bowl is not too deep and very smooth.  Cherry is very hard but lets one make fairly delicate spoons. Pretty sure this one was cooked in walnut oil and beeswax.


The curve in the handle at the end turned out more severe than I had anticipated, but it feels good tucked between your thumb and finger.  Possibly the stem of the spoon is a bit too long.  It is hard to choke up on a spoon like this.  As with the kolrosed spoon above, I really enjoy the facetted effect of the chamfers as they join the bowl.

Spalted Birch Spoon with kolrosing

This is one of my favorite eating spoons.  The bowl depth is just right, and there are no curves in the bowl that are too difficult for your lip to get into.  The wide handle is also a joy to hold, and the crank is not too severe.  I like the kolrosing (incisions that are then rubbed with finely ground coffee, as opposed to coal), but I see that a lot more could be done with such a technique.  Imagine using pigments instead of coffee!  


I also enjoy the way the chamfers flow into each other.


Alyssa's Special Spoon 

Beech, soaked in linseed oil for a week, with a nice convex section under the handle.
Spoon action shot.

Hannah's Special Spoon

About the size of a tea spoon, it has a nice curve to the grain.  It is carved with the bowl of the spoon cutting toward the pith of the branch, so that the rings of the branch converge at the center of the bowl.  Beech, I believe, soaked in flaxseed oil at room temperature.











3 comments:

  1. Hi Eric. I recently came across your blog and have really enjoyed it thus far. I am curious what kind of wood you like to use the best when carving spoons. I see that you use apple quite a bit, but that you also seem to like cherry. I personally prefer birch because of its hardiness, but I was wondering what your thoughts might be.

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    1. Hi, glad you find the blog of some use. As to wood, I get around a bit, and I like each wood for what it offers. I do like birch a lot, and have carved many spoons with it (nearly all of my bowls these days are birch.) When dry it is passably hard, but not like a fruit wood. When soaked in oil it gets sort of translucent, and the growth rings become very apparent. Takes kolrosing well too. I can get a lot of beech, though I find it a sort of boring wood. Hard when dry, pretty easy to carve when wet. I like cherry for its ease of carving, figure and hard finish, though it can be prone to crack. Not as tough as I would have thought. I love apple for its fine finish, hardness and color, but it can be hard to carve and I can't get it consistently. One of my favorites is rhododendron. The finish is sublime, and it carves like soap. Hard as the dickens when dry. Somewhere I heard someone Swedish (Jogge? Wille?) refer to it as "spoonwood." I think we tend to carve the wood around us and get familiar with it. Sounds like you have access to birch. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

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    2. Thanks for your response; It has been very informative. You have sold me on rhododendron, so I will have to try it at some point. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

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