Spoon making is something that the more I research it the more I become astounded that this craft grows at the rate that it does. Friends, there are large groups of folks all over the globe that share classes, festivals, everything and anything related to making green wood into spoons and bowls.
I think perhaps it may be that spoon making is very portable as well as affordable. The wood is free, you can do it while camping with friends, the bench is a chopping log, and the tools can be brought in a tote.
I am learning that more people all the time are taking up this hobby and becoming consumed in it’s natural therapeutic
rewards of bringing nature, craft and self together resulting in an inner peace of mind.
Spoon making with traditional hand tools is a primal, instinctive and challenging process. Each time we engage the green wood and prepare to convert it to a spoon there are so many elements that require our care and growing skill.
SPOON MADE IN BLACK CHERRY
So….you see some wood spoons, you think to yourself….... Wow I like this, I have some extra tree limbs that need cutting. How do I start?
I can only provide what I have learned so far in my journey, please understand each step another spoon shows me more as well as the wonderful masters from past and present.
Form follows fibers. Jogge Sundqvist suggest that when in the woods we put on the proper glasses to see each trees form allowing us to know what we can make from it using it’s natural form and shape. By proper glasses Jogge charms us meaning to use your eyes and mindset to know what to look for as we hunt our timber.
I will have more in depth information on this situation in my next blog. Right now, allow me to cover the basics for you getting in your backyard on a sunny day and just feeling your way around starting a spoon!
1. Saw a branch off of a live tree or collect branches at least (2-4 inches in diameter) that have been cut down and left to a curb, etc. Avoid knots at all costs!
2. Split the sawn segment down the middle, this way 2 spoons from one piece if your lucky. Keep in mind the tree already has it’s natural grain path, and we have no authority over it’s instruction so let it split how it splits. Frustrating but true! Wood is a teacher, sounds funny but keep learning this craft and you shall see.
3. Hew the wood down with a quality hatchet. What’s a good hatchet? Tool makers such as Hans Karlsson, Svante Djarv, Gransfors, all can be found here: http://countryworkshops.org/Axes.html. Seriously friends, accept nothing else, if it’s made in Sweden trust me you will not be disappointed. These tool makers are total craftsmen and Drew Langsner will never steer you wrong in green woodworking, he is the american guru of these crafts and a real woodworking icon.
PUT THIS ON A STROP AND WATCH HAIRS SPLIT…LOL
4. Carve the wood green, green wood cuts easy from the trees water content. You may carve seasoned wood but please keep in mind it will require more effort. Remember no power tools in this style of spoon making, we will only be doing this in the traditional way. This applies to sanding as well…..yes I can here everyone moaning….oh joy…lmao!
5. Study shapes online. Look at spoons you like, try to watch videos. Check http://www.spoonscarver.com/ (shameless plug…lol) You will find tons of pictures from all over the world of people making wooden spoons….this craft is much larger than you might believe. It honestly was a surprise to me months back learning this by seeing it all myself.
A SPOON IN AGED BLACK CHERRY WOOD
6. Carving out the bowl you will need to get a hook knife. Please do yourself a favor and check out Del Stubbs http://www.pinewoodforge.com/ or you may go back to http://countryworkshops.org/. Keep in mind these gentlemen do this for their living, they are some of the top names in this game and their tools are the best. Your not even going to find this on Lie Nielson. If you purchase cheaper tools in the beginning you will learn how I did, and it will only be a disappointment. I used to use a Mora hook knife and honestly it’s childs play next to my Svante Djarv purchased from Country Workshops.
7. Check out some videos on my website for further ideas and instruction: http://www.spoonscarver.com/videos/
8. Have fun and take slow steps. Please enjoy an honored craft that passes many generations. Wonderful!!!!
I hope some of this may be of help and continue to grow the wood spoon making craze!
More next time and if there is something on this you want to see I will try and add it to the next blog!
Be well friends and keep making shavings,
-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB