Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stone Age-Style Spoon

My first attempt at spoon carving resulted in a piece of dinnerware befitting of Fred Flinstone. Chunky, lumpy, and dino-sized.

In my defense, I didn't have any green lumber so I grabbed—what else?—a gnarly piece of cherry whose grain pattern looked like a Jackson Pollack painting.

Plus it had a few knots.

Nonetheless, I bullheadedly worked on this ornery piece of wood until I sprouted a few blisters on my hand.

During this time, a chunk of dry silver maple soaked in a tub in an attempt to soften the fibers and make it easier to carve.

The second spoon went more smoothly and the straight grained, semi-softened maple was much easier to carve.

I rough shaped both blanks with my new BTF (Best Tool Forever)—a hewing axe—and a slojd knife at my outdoor bench.

The cherry was too hard to cut with hook knives, so I secured the blank in a simple jig: a long v-block with two stops at either end of the workpiece. Then I hollowed out the bowl with spoon gouges. The hook knives worked great for final clean up.

The decorative elements on the maple spoon were carved with a gouge, chip carving knife, and stab knife.

And after finishing the second one, I hope I've moved up to the middle ages.


Unknown said...

Your description of the first spoon sounds a lot like me!! They both look great by the way.

Bob Tinsley said...

I think you've got a future in this line! They certainly look better than my first effort. You've got a nice flair for decoration.

Larry Marshall said...

Your spoons look great, Kari. That gnarly cherry much have been "fun" as it's bad enough trying to deal with that when you've got a foreplane to remove the wood.

Cheers --- Larry

Unknown said...

Nice looking spoons. Particularly the decorative elements. Seems as thought you are hooked now!

Shazza said...

What is it about wooden spoons that is so appealing to me?

These are great Kari!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Woodbloke said...

Kari - good stuff...spoons like this are usually called 'treen' (if you were unaware) I've got a book somewhere with pics in it of rather pleasant ladels made from fruit woods (apple, pear etc) with big curly handles that so you could hang them from a pine unit in the need to have some nice pine though! - Rob

Kari Hultman said...


MacktheKnife, that's encouraging to hear since your spoons are gorgeous.

Larry, yeah, I don't think I'll try carving gnarly cherry again.

Will, it's really fun to carve them but I should probably take a class to learn how to do it right!

Shazza, I know what you mean. :o)

Comment deleted--it was spam.

Rob, the spoons in your book sound cool. I'm on the lookout now for other design ideas. I also plan to hit a few nearby orchards to see if I can have some of their freshly cut trees.

Unknown said...

Kari, we need to band together and get Robin & Nicola Wood to come over from England and teach a class.

Let us know if you find some US based classes teaching ax, adze and knife spoon carving.

Kari Hultman said...

Will, better yet, I'd rather travel to England to take a class with Robin and Nicola. ; )

You can take classes in the states at Country Workshops:
I've heard very good things about it.

Vic Hubbard said...

Very nice Kari!
Loved the DTs on the shelving unit and those spoons you bought were exquisite. I'm sure you'll be making delicate spoons in no time.
I can't wait till things slow a bit so, I can follow you religiously again!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kari Hultman said...

Vic, I miss seeing your face! Hope things slow down for you soon so you can get back in your shop. :o)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary Roberts said...

Wilma... if you can get some magnolia, it makes nice spoons. Years ago a magnolia in front of our house went down in a nor'easter. I gave the trunk to a guy up in NH who carves spoons. They looked particularly nice, even though I never got one... sniff


Handi said...

Very nice work. I'm going to attempt such a craft as soon as money isn't so scarce, so i can buy some Carving Tools.