Swedish Spoon: the practice of form and balance

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Project by jjw5858 posted 221 days ago 735 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Form and balance is something that is required in the craft of carving a wooden spoon. This learning of carving is something that seems to allow me to walk away from my current (non spoon) project left on my workbench and why? It is because of the very fact that I know for myself that this process of working out shavings upon my knee sitting at my shopping block is preparing me to be a better joiner, sawyer, planer, woodworker. A more caring and patient person.

I am totally convinced this wonderful tradition of knife and axe work is a fantastic fundamental and valued way to spend an hour or more. These various moves and carving grips are teaching care, pride and understanding of timbers. The entire time you proceed through the work, wether it is a wooden horse, spoon, or whatever else your creative mind desires to try, you will continue to learn. This work will do nothing more than educate and liberate your outlook on life. There is no rush, no competition, just let the tree teach us as we work.

Handicrafts take us out to woods again, bringing us upon the tree and humbles us in the best of ways. It reminds us to rely on ourselves, to take chances on our limitations and gather our instincts to collectively brave new trails of blade and shavings.

This craft is wonderful in the simple fact that it is so very hard, you have to exercise mind and body for your satisfaction. You must repeat the moves many times to get a form that you see as improvement. Along all of this you may find a sense of newfound freedom from the daily noise of a throw away society. To make something with our hands, with tools that someone made with their hands. That my friends is a wonderful combination that exposes an over packed modern world stuffed with constant electric gadgets that leaves us rather empty of accomplishment or achievement.

Sit your carved work on a shelf and look at it, share it with friends, or give it to someone you care for. The tree is living on from your design and showcased with it’s magnificent grain. Wonderful!

This latest spoon carved in Cherry…it is thanking me for my hard efforts. It feels correct in my hand. The crooked timber shows me the great lesson that Jogge Sundqvist and his father Wille have always taught …form follows fibers. When you walk amongst the trees you train your eye much like how the great wheelwrights saw wagon parts within the tree, you try to see spoons.

Find yourself a crook in a tree, saw her out and make a split. You just might have a wonderful blank of wood to let nature show you it’s strength for creating yourself a spoon! The secret is to find the form and balance.

Either way I hope your time is spent enjoying the outdoors,

Be well my friends and keep making shavings!


-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

12 comments so far

View Boatman53's profile


836 posts in 823 days

#1 posted 221 days ago

That’s a lovely little spoon. The first photo made me think it was larger. We have a couple wooden Norwegian spoons. Great job.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View SisQMark's profile


379 posts in 1226 days

#2 posted 221 days ago

Very nice Joe, great job. Some day i would like to make one of these. I’m half Swedish so I guess it’s just a matter of time. Thanks for sharing.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View Brit's profile


5120 posts in 1469 days

#3 posted 221 days ago

Very inspiring as always Jo. Reading your blog has single handedly inspired me to try my hand at spoon carving, so thanks.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Brett's profile


881 posts in 1386 days

#4 posted 221 days ago

Hey Joe!
Great timing for a great spoon. I was oiling up a spoon that I just finished carving and I thought that I would check email. There was the notification sitting there in the inbox just waiting for me to click on it and check out this fine spoon! :)
I do mine slightly different in the fact that I use a bandsaw to rough shape and then carve down with the knife.
Either way, it is still an enjoyable activity that brings some continued use and beauty from the piece of wood.
Thanks for sharing!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13740 posts in 965 days

#5 posted 221 days ago

Very nice clean work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View jaykaypur's profile


3311 posts in 1035 days

#6 posted 221 days ago

Your best one yet! Nice carving job!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 828 days

#7 posted 221 days ago

seeing it in your hand, makes all that you write, just make sense.. don’t know if I look forward to what you make or what you say more.. always take me on a trip, always enjoy the time spent traveling along the many hi-ways and byways which are this life we live.. thank you for letting me travel with you for a short was a very pleasurable journey… Papa


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7565 posts in 1547 days

#8 posted 220 days ago

It is really beautiful. I love your work! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View R_Stad's profile


152 posts in 470 days

#9 posted 220 days ago

Hello Joe. Sweet little spoon and well written, mind opening thoughts.

-- Rod - Oregon

View Dave's profile


11149 posts in 1467 days

#10 posted 220 days ago

I didn’t realize the size till I saw you holding it.
Nice work my friend.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View stefang's profile


12875 posts in 1961 days

#11 posted 219 days ago

Nice, I like the shape and simple carved design on the handle (not simple to do though).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11297 posts in 1732 days

#12 posted 213 days ago

Very nice shape to that spoon! Nice going, Joe!!.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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