Mar 242016
 

Well, maybe this represents a couple of weeks as I got sidetracked with a bowl that wasn’t going too well. I can probably knock out four to five spoons in the time it takes to carve a bowl.

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These spoons represent several different kinds of wood and carving challenges. The two on the left are “eaters.” They are made from rhododendron. We had a big one die during the drought last summer. It morphed into a couple of spoons. Rhododendron is hard but has really interesting grain. The eaters are a challenge because they have to feel good to the mouth and the hand. The bowl has to be deep enough to some food but not so deep that you can’t get the food out. There’s a lot to learn about eaters.

The one on the far right might also qualify as an eater. It’s big leaf maple and I was experimenting with color using a wash made with a bit of paint mixed with linseed oil to water it down. I’m not convinced it was a successful experiment.

The third and fourth spoons from the left are vine maple and they were dry when I started carving them. But, they have wonderful two toned grain compared to the all blond big leaf maple which when green and healthy is a pretty bland looking wood, though fun to carve. Which brings us to the fifth spoon—spalted big leaf maple. Our neighbor’s tree was dying and they cut it down. Spalting is caused by a fungus which marks and discolors the wood making it very interesting. Those dark lines are called “zone lines” and look like someone scribbled on the wood. I scrounged quite a bit of the spalted maple and each spoon that comes out of it should be different.

The sixth spoon is big leaf maple. I managed to keep some of the inner bark layer, the periderm, which is darker than the wood and creates a bit of interest.

The seventh spoon is lilac which has lovely multicolored wood but which is very hard and difficult to carve.

Next up—some red alder.

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