Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another New Hobby/Obsession

In a recent blog post back in July, I'd hinted about a new form of woodworking I'd recently become excited about that wasn't as physically taxing on my body, yet was every bit as challenging and rewarding as furniture making. And that new obsession is spoon carving.

I'd actually done a blog about it once before, back in January, where I chronicled my very first spoon; an anniversary gift for my wife Jen. I pretty much knew after that spoon that it was something I wanted to pursue further. I've carved quite a few spoons since then; some out of Cherry, Apple, Beech, and Sycamore. I've found my favorite wood so far to be Beech, although I'd like to try some Apple spoons with wood that is freshly cut from the tree. The Apple I used had been cut about 6-8 months earlier and had dried to the point where it was really hard to carve. Spoon carving wants to be a green woodworking endeavor as it carves much easier when freshly cut. The older I get, the more I seem to be drawn to green woodworking of all sorts. I think there's just a closeness to the wood that you get building or carving something that you rived out of a log and worked into a useful object, like a spoon, or a joint stool, or a ladder back chair, that you just don't get from a piece of kiln dried lumber you buy from the hardwood store.

So anyway, this has proven to be a very relaxing and satisfying form of woodworking for me given my decreased strength and stamina of late. And I had no idea just how popular spoon carving is worldwide until I got researching and delving into it. There are some people out there that do some absolutely phenomenal work. I also found that they have a huge gathering in Britain each year called Spoon Fest and one in Milan, Minnesota also. Not sure I'll ever get to the  one in England, but I've got the one in Minnesota in my sites.

So with that new avenue of mine revealed I'll leave you with some pictures and a promise of another blog post real soon chronicling some shop expansion and the start of something COMPLETELY different for me. It's off to bed for now though. Leaving early tomorrow morning for Winston-Salem, North Carolina and my first ever Woodworking in America Conference and Show. Should be a great time. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve tonight. :-)


Ordered this spoon from one of my spoon carving inspirations, Peter
Follansbee. Made a big difference to be able to actually hold and see
first hand what a properly made spoon was supposed to look like.

My first "successful" spoon. I liked it at the time. Now it's relegated to the
didn't make the cut pile.

One great thing about spoon carving; this is really all the tools you need
to get going.

My first serving/mixing spoon. Not the greatest, but I find it very useful
for mixing brownie mix and scooping potato salad and such.

The first spoon that I was and have remained pleased with. An eating
spoon for my youngest daughter. She uses hers quite a bit.  :-)

My first attempt at a painted and carved spoon handle. I like this look.

My first spoon commission. A lady Jen works with ordered four to give
to her family as gifts.

Made little custom cards for them for a little personalized touch.

Made this spoon rack the other day to make the spoons more accessible to
get to and use. Carved oak with a couple coats of Soldier Blue milk paint.

Everyone in the house has there own eating spoon now.
Some have two.  :-)


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you were able to update your blog before leaving for WIA. Love the spoons and will treasure mine forever. I really like the blue milk paint you used on the spoon rack. Hope you get lots of pictures this weekend and looking forward to hearing all about the trip when you get home. Mom

Anonymous said...

Jamie! I've learned that Beech is my favorite for carving spoons so far too but still have so many woods to try, including apple, it's supposed to be stellar and the apple spoons I've seen look really nice!

I've rediscovered my love for green woodworking the last couple of years and really like doing spoons. You're right, they're a challenge. Really wish I had one of Peter's spoons to learn from. Maybe someday...

Have a great time at WIA2014. I'm having problems after hitting my head a few times and, while I need to make a trip to WV yet this fall, driving makes me dizzy and is still too much of a challenge to make the show this year. Get lots of swag! And, listen to your mom, get lots of pictures! Todd

Anonymous said...

Great work on the spoons!! Have a great trip!! Love Debbie

Tom Buhl said...

I saw your comment on a Kari H FB post and a little voice said I should check out his blog. First post was on spoon carving. I recently added a Peter Follansbee sweetheart to my display shelf. I've created mostly furniture and furniture type accessories and love the process and results. Something about the tactile nature of a carved spoon speaks to me.

Seeing that as your first blog post I saw, made me smile. Thanks. Hope you enjoy your journey. Also appreciated your story and pix of the windsor chair build. Well done by all involved.

I missed WIA this year, but should you make next year's event perhaps we shall meet. Until then, best to you.

Tom Buhl

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