The 'old' and the new.

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Project by Spoontaneous posted 895 days ago 1770 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in October while visiting my brother on his mountaintop property in VA I found this wooden spoon relic. Since this particular area is not known for its archaeological finds I felt lucky to come away with this specimen.

Apparently, this ‘Cycladic’ spoon is from the latter part of the Holocene Epoch period of the Cenozoic Era.

Crafted from spalted dogwood full of borer holes this spoon was bathed with a brine of steel wool and vinegar to darken the wood. (Kudos to LJs members)

The nice thing about carving a spoon like this is that I can blame any mistakes on someone from thousands of years ago.

This spoon measures approx. 11 3/4” long and 2 1/4” wide at the bowl. The bowl itself was pretty eaten up and that is what dictated the ‘theme’.

The second spoon is from my author friend in MN (who I design the book covers for). She had a ‘spiritual’ experience under the Purple Plum tree in her garden and shipped me a couple of pieces to carve spoons from. This is the second one and I have enough wood to carve one more. At the end of this spoon there is a ‘limb scar’ that I thought interesting…. so I incorporated that.

The next spoon I call ‘Enchanted’ because it came from a ‘special’ tree. When my daughter was 3-5 years old and we lived in KY, we used to visit Bernheim Forest and their arboretum. They had a magnificent Weeping Beech tree in the grove where the branches grew all the way to the ground and created this magical ‘room’ inside. We would pack a picnic and spent many hours in our ‘enchanted’ tree… which she loved because even at 3 years of age she could climb on her own.

I was up for a visit last fall (10 years later) and when we visited our tree we found it had suffered some significant storm damage. The Ranger allowed me to cut and carry out some branches which were lying on the ground and this spoon and the one shown below are both from ‘OUR’ tree.

The Scoopian is what happens when you cross a coffee scoop with a scorpion. Carved in Elm burl with sapwood bowl.

The next Dogwood spoon came from the same set of woods as the ‘relic’ ..... but it was from green wood. In my mind, this is the best spoon I have carved thus far. There is an indention above the bowl for resting the spoon over the edge of the skillet or bowl. It is smoother than a baby’s butt as I sanded it to 320, soaked it, resanded, resoaked, and sanded 320, 500, 800 and 1500 grit. It was shiny even before treating it with oil and beeswax. I really like this one. 14 1/2” long. Can’t wait to cut into the other half of the branch.

Tres Maderas (three woods) was inspired by a pipe I saw. The pipe was so well done with great lines. This one I wasn’t so happy with but it was a good experiment. Madagascar Rosewood, bloodwood and cherry burl.

A couple of odds and ends….. I carved this one spoon from Lignum Vitae (Latin for ‘wood of life’), which was very hard. The wood has a beautiful ‘chatoyancy’ which I will try to show in the added photo.

I did another coffee scoop I call ‘YAWN’. carved in mahogany.

When I did the art festival in Mt Dora there was a gentleman from MN that stopped by and after a friendly conversation he asked if I would like him to send me some ‘Buckthorn’. Another HARD wood but with pretty colors and the such. He said it was a pest tree up that way. Anyways… true to his word, he sent me a box of wood. This is the first from that box. There was a crotched branch and I split it down the middle in order to incorporate the bark inclusion at the top of the spoon bowl.

Okay…. sorry for the long post. I have 4-5 others that I’m working on and thought I had better ‘catch up’. Thanks for having a look.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

13 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile


2876 posts in 1711 days

#1 posted 895 days ago

Glad to see your spoons showing up again. They are all great spoons and look good also. Your imagination
never seems to run out of ideas and the wood seems to just go along to help you show off its grain and
design. I assume you used the latest carbon dating techniques to date that first spoon, and while it might
not hold water, either the dating or the spoon, it sure does look good. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View terryR's profile


3039 posts in 934 days

#2 posted 895 days ago

Outstanding workmanship…as usual! I love them all…especially the burl scoop on the black handle.

You have a great eye for the using the sapwood and live edges in your art! Keep ‘em coming!!!!!!!!!!!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4354 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 895 days ago

Some fine spoons, beautifully made.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2786 days

#4 posted 895 days ago

not only are the spoons beautiful – but the stories behind them as well.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2892 days

#5 posted 895 days ago

Looks like the Tres Madieras photo didn’t make it.
Your spoons are always to die for.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View PeterM's profile


21 posts in 1529 days

#6 posted 895 days ago

I really, really like all of your work.
Greetings from Germany

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1430 days

#7 posted 895 days ago

spoons-of-art.. very unique and beautiful.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Bagtown's profile


1699 posts in 2356 days

#8 posted 895 days ago

Beautiful spoons.
Beautiful stories.


Mike in Bagtown

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Jimthecarver's profile


1121 posts in 2411 days

#9 posted 894 days ago

As always, amazing detail and an eye for the perfect spoon.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1123 days

#10 posted 893 days ago

While neither your story nor the first spoon will hold water, your single minded and yet many minded pursuit of this flowing form holds and crystallizes a potent liquid talent. I see limbs on the ground to be cleaned up, you see spoons. Have you ever considered branching out into forks?
My favourite is the second one, with the pipe at the end.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2274 days

#11 posted 893 days ago

beautiful work

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1304 posts in 1956 days

#12 posted 893 days ago

Thanks for the comments!

Gene ~ As for forks, I have been planning to carve a ‘Fijian’ cannibal fork… and so it will probably show up here fairly soon. Just waiting for a good piece of wood.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View NaFianna's profile


452 posts in 1652 days

#13 posted 891 days ago

I so admire how you see the life in the wood.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

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