16 January 2020

Maple Shrink Cup

At last I've finished a shepherd's shrink cup that has been lying around forever. This one has a standard size and materials. The cup is from maple and the handle from pear wood.

I also made a tool for fixing the branches while drilling with an auger. It is something like a wooden jaw vice, one hollowed block is fixed to the bottom board with screws and the other is held with clamps.

8 September 2019

Finally Finished

It took a long time but the batch of 8 spoons from the freezer is finally finished. The pictures show (left to right) 4x apple, willow, plum, hawthorn and walnut. You can see how much wood must be removed from the blank to the finished spoon and also how different types of wood change their colors after oiling.

This spoon is inspired by a shape traditionally used in Romania. I think the design could have been imported to our country during Vlach colonization. I wasn't able to find any traditional Slovak design yet because museums usually don't keep historical spoons.

This is a copy of another spoon found on instagram (I don't know the author's name):

This spoon is decorated with a simple ornament that has been widely used ever since drawing compasses were invented.

Although I don't usually do such things, I left a piece of roughly cleft wood on the handle here because it created an interesting pattern:

This spoon is from a bent willow branch. The chip carved handle is painted with natural iron oxide and sealed with beeswax. The design comes from Dave Cockcroft. I found that many non-toxic dyes can be ordered online as additives for making homemade soap and cosmetics.

Plumwood usually has interesting colors whether it is freshly cut, dry or polished and oiled. This piece of plumwood originally had a very dull grayish-pink color but it changed dramatically after oiling. The spoon ended up with rather short handle because the wood was split quite asymmetrically.

This is a spoon from hawthorn, very hard and beautiful wood. The brown parts will eventually become much darker.

The last spoon is from walnut sapwood. At first I wanted to throw it away because the wood was gray and ugly, however now I'm glad I've changed my mind. The oil helped to improve the color again.

9 July 2019

Pale Wood

In the spring I found a broken ash tree in the forest, one of the largest ash trees I've ever seen. The trunk was already rotten and it broke a young hornbeam tree when it fell. I cut off a few branches and made these spoons, two hornbeam spoons on the left and an ash spoon on the right side.

The ash spoon is decorated with chip carving that emphasizes the natural growth ring pattern:

This hornbeam spoon is from a bent branch. The bend is visible on the transverse strips in the spoon. The decoration is inspired by feathers:

The last hornbeam spoon is a pattern I've already tried before:

And now I just have to finish 8 spoons from darker woods.

21 June 2019

Work in Progress

I've been carving quite a lot lately but I still haven't finished everything I wanted. Here is a finished spatula, a serving spoon and a few pebbles compared with the original blanks. I put the shrink cup off till later but there is one additional pebble from ash wood instead.

And here are the spoons in various stages of unfinished. Some spoons are waiting for more decoration, some for sanding, some haven't been touched at all and none of them is oiled yet.

29 March 2019

Empty Freezer Challenge

Our freezer was old and starting to break down, so we decided to buy a new one. The only trouble was how to deal with a drawer full of frozen wood.
So I had to take the wood out and make spoon blanks that can be safely dried and then finished later.

This is the result of two weeks of carving: left to right 4x apple, willow, plum, hawthorn and walnut.

Here are some other things from the freezer stock: an olive pebble, a plum pebble, a prospective shrink cup from maple, a plum server and a walnut spatula.

And finally some spoon blanks from fresh green wood: 2x hornbeam and 1x ash.
Now just to finish them all.

28 March 2019

Hawthorn Wood

This spoon is not a result of pruning fruit trees, nor of forest trees broken by windstorms. I've cut a hawthorn bush almost as big as a tree. It was almost dry and in the end I could use only two pieces because of insect holes. This is the first piece.

Hawthorn wood is harder and denser than most fruitwoods (just a guess because I could not find hawthorn in the wood database). But I think it is also one of the most beautiful.

10 February 2019

The Last Cherry Spoon (for now)

This was the last cherry spoon blank I've had in the freezer since last winter. At least I think so - I would love to find some forgotten piece there.
Cherry wood is quite soft and easy to carve compared to other fruitwoods. Even the kolrosing on the handle was unexpectedly easy. Only the sanding took longer than usual because softer woods are more difficult to polish properly.
The original design is by @Frejlonnfors, but I changed it a little.

Lastly, here is a picture-puzzle for you: find a spatula on the picture below!