The Joy of Carving Wooden Spoons.
I love carving wooden spoons. And I’m not even Welsh.
Over the last few years, Spoon Carving would be one of the most popular of the public workshops that I run. It is a wonderfully tactile process and a lot of fun.
In the Northern Hemisphere, wooden spoons are predominantly made from green wood. We don’t have such a menu of suitable timbers here in Australia. So we do some things differently.
I use mostly hardwoods for wooden spoons. This requires different tools to the green wood spoon makers. Hardwood spoons are incredibly durable as kitchen utensils. As decorative items they are great to carve, take a finish well, and are pretty tough.
|A sample of spoons … such fun to design and make!|
The sample of spoons pictured above are as follows, from the top down:
- The first spoon I made, 1990. WA Blackbutt. Rather mechanical in nature.
- Sugar spoon, WA Blackbutt.
- Kauri Pine spoon, recycled from old fireplace surround. (See below…!)
- Cooking spoon, Native Cypress.
- Cooking spoon, Jarrah.
- Decorative spoon, Sheoak.
|Story of a spoon. Life after a fireplace surround…|
An old fireplace surround, over 100 years old, came my way. It had 3 of the original 4 split turnings nailed to the face for decoration. The whole thing was made from Kauri Pine, so I pulled it a apart for the timber. What to do with the half spindles?… I cut one in half and carved one into a spoon. Both of those pieces are pictured above – a kind of “before and after” thing.
The 4 old layers of paint are visible on the back of the spoon. This is a decorative, not a functional spoon. It would be a shame to lose the paint from it, as this tells a story. Love this spoon.
|Another look at my first spoon – side profile.
It has two design faults: a LH thread and short grain on the cranked shaft.
Well… ya gotta start somewhere!
Spoons are such fun to design and make. There’ll be a Spoon making workshop in the next round of public workshops I’m running in June 20-23, to be held at Earthwise in Subiaco.
We will use traditional hand tools only – no noisy power tools. Just traditional tools like a mallet and gouge, coping saw and compass saw, curved scraper, spokeshave, etc. When you make a spoon in this way, it’s a bit like you need to establish a relationship with your piece of wood. It is one of the best ways to understand the importance of working with the grain direction and characteristics.
Don’t miss it… no previous woodworking experience required.