During the bowl-turning class I attended earlier this month, we spent some of our “off time” discussing spoon design. I recall Robin Wood saying something to the effect of “the game has changed” – meaning there have been great strides in spoon carving in recent years.
I don’t have a large collection of other people’s spoons, but here’s a couple to view. For me, it starts with Wille & Jogge Sundqvist – I met them through Drew Langsner many years ago. So long ago that Jogge & I looked like this:
PF & Jogge 1988
Wille’s spoon that I got recently is very slick. From what I know, he always thickens the end of the handle at the finial; and I have tried to keep that in my spoons too. He often hollows the upper face of the spoon’s handle too. Gives the spoon’s shape a lot of “movement.” this spoon is a small serving spoon, the bowl is too big to fit in the mouth. Its front edge is straight across, and the rim of the spoon’s bowl is flat.
I mentioned Jojo Wood’s spoons in a recent post. Here’s one of hers; thin as a whisper in places; note the finial just the opposite of Wille’s, gets thinner at the end, but has an up-turn to move your eye, and fingers. Bowl is crowned across its width; this is something Jojo strives for in her spoons. This spoon is made from a radial straight-grained blank, not a crook. A real challenge to get a good spoon out of straight stock.
One of Jarrod StoneDahl’s spoons. Jarrod does lots of radially split spoons, but this one’s from a crook. Thin at the end, crowned bowl; the bowl follows the crook’d shape very nicely.
Thinking about these spoons (and carving my own versions inspired by them) got me to thinking about this old spoon given to me by a friend. Beech, makes me think eastern Europe, not Scandinavia. Thin finial, pointy bowl, crowned across its width. thin as Jojo’s. Radially split. All the knife marks are there on the bottom of the bowl, you can see what direction the carver worked at different parts of the spoon’s bowl.
By now, most of us have seen this video, filmed in Sweden in 1923.
I just copied it from youtube, thanks to whomever cropped it to be just the spoon-carver. The spoon he makes is a very similar shape to what Jojo, Jarrod and the beech spoon are after - seems to me anyway. I remember when I made spoons on Roy Underhill’s show, we couldn’t brace the spoon against our sternum, too much microphone noise for the TV guys. I remembered this fellow using his knee as a fulcrum point for knife work. So I swiped that idea and Roy & I used it on the show.
Robin’s excellent post looking at modern makers’ spoons: http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/12/26/20-best-wooden-spoons-world/#lightbox/17/
Jarrod StoneDahl http://woodspiritgallery.com/
Jojo Wood http://jojospoons.blogspot.com/
Me & Roy making spoons http://video.pbs.org/video/2172740518/