So my business of country spoon sloyd craft carries on. Forgive me if my tales on this exploration have become boring, I realize there is not a lot of joinery going on. I am closing in as I enter the words here for session 4 of 5 of this spoon blog and have really made some nice strides.
My greatest findings have been using the soil I live on to adventure more deeply into the woods and come out with new species I have never worked with before such as Hickory, Black Walnut, and Black Locust!
I am amazed at the Black Locust and the ease it will split, hew and carve. If you told me it was Basswood I think I would believe it. From what I have learned it is an exceptionally strong wood best for country fences, pegs, country archery bows and parts of machinery. I can say it carves wonderfully and it is a very strong and long lasting wood.
With all of that I have yet to learn if its fragrance may interrupt the tongues pallet when using a spoon or fork for eating…but I went along and needed the practice, so a spooning we will go…lol.
I have spent a proper diagnosed coursework of approximately 2 full weeks of 2-3 hour sessions in my shop exclusively learning about this craft. In this disciplined approach I have been awarded with more knowledge about green woodwork, and additional skills in seeing shapes and hewing wood. Not to mention some blistered toughened up paws and some great use of the many carving grips. If you are enticed by this blog or any information on this craft please feel more than inspired to get outside if your environment provides and study any fresh fallen branches or maybe perhaps the felling of something large enough for spoons but small enough so you do not kill it off only to waste it.
When I use this wood I have a high reverence for the tree just as any good hunter does for their deer. I do not like to saw or axe anything down unless its in pretty high abundance or if it is possibly in danger of being knocked over during a storm causing only harm to me or my property. Otherwise fresh storm fallen maple, oak, cherry…etc. is a wonderful chance to make something to share with others and extend the trees life. I feel good about trying to let the tree live on with it’s strong elements that can continue to nurture us in the world of gifting friends and family with our woodcraft.
Here are a few pics to show you some of my adventures!
Pic 1-3: From this blank in pic 1 I estimated it takes me just over 15 minutes to fashion these out to get the result in pic 3. It is coming much more easy now. This is the Black Locust wood I mentioned above.
Pic 4: Getting some other fun ones in the swedish pattern for further work. My greatest gains here have been reduction in size. These were all coming out way too large…lol. Now after some work and study I see them shaping up more confidently and making for a smaller more contured spoon with more flow to the lines.
Pic 5: Here are a finished pair in Maple and Cherry. This is what I have been after….this has more flow, more smooth lines versus bulky and over sized.
Pic 6: A practice pile of fun spoons (although for my goals)....oversized efforts…lol. It takes some real exercising to finally get a nicely proportioned spoon in this sort of style. With that said much more work to do.
Pic 7: A nice haul of handsawn pieces of locust right out from my woods to the shop floor. This stuff carves wonderfully! Not sure it’s terrific for wooden ware (Spoons, Bowls), more to learn!....lol.
Well I sure hope this brings some fun and inspiration to all or any of you out there. I think it is amazing how we can create pieces from trees….sounds simple, even downright elementary in a galoot caveman sort of way…lol. I think I take it too much for granted actually…..I am very thankful for it and thankful to share a little of it with you!
Keep making shaves!
It’s an old piece of wooden creativity, that needs its patina dusted
there it sits and tempts my thoughts, of days when tools were trusted
its old but solid, strong and brave, inside its grain the mystery remains
was it a craftsmen young and learning?
was it a journeymen old and hurting?
rounding its profiles for hours and miles?
shaping its confidence, shavings in piles?
how many hours to make its style?
how many tests and drawings to trial?
the rain it falls with the calls of this piece
as it sits there and captures my thoughts in a sweep
of miles of piles of hickory bark
that rest in the rain outside my old shop
thunder follows as my mind wanders
seeking the curves of the old wooden taunter
I rest but in jest I’d rather get wet and set my wet steps to the questions I fret
for my hollows and rounds, shavings and planes
working my vision from the piece I’ve attained
the old wooden piece has tested my skills
the rain batters windows with a howl threw the sills
All of my love and fears as I work
calming my nerves the grain is a nurse
threw the growl of the storm the old wooden piece
has commanded my presence and my hard working deeds
To think what I saw from my old worn couch, this old wooden piece that has tempted me out
to the wind and the hail as the leaves all set sail
every step muddy to the shop I prevail
It’s an old piece of wooden creativity, that shines with pride again
I smile at the trials and the lessons its given
that piece is an old best friend…..
-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB