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

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.

wille overall 2

wille finial

Wille end on

 

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.

jojo overall 2

jojo end on

jojo profile

 

 

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.

jarrod overall

 

jarrod full profile

jarrod end on

jarrod profile

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.

old beech spoon

beech profile

beech end on

tool marks beech

tool marks beech 2

 

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.

links:

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/

 

As you can tell from the last post, I am in a state of flux; many things about to begin. First, I finish up at Plimoth, then on to a slew of ideas. Make a bowl-lathe. finish the hewn bowls. clean up parts of this house so I can work here some. Take the kids on a whale watch. some work for MLB Restoration, aka the Blue Oak guys. Those are some priorities, not necessarily in order. And I have a bunch of blog posts unwritten. Let’s try this one.

Every time I attend some woodworking event in the US , it’s principally a bunch of old men. In flannel shirts. Mostly. We have been seeing some young guys coming along. So it was a gas & a half to meet Jojo Wood when I was at North House Folk School a few weeks ago. She’s a double-whammy – a young woman woodworker. And what spoons! Robin Wood had written on his blog “her spoons are better than mine” – and I assumed a father’s pride in his child’s work, but then I saw her spoons in real life. very nice stuff.

jojo spoons

inspiration 5

She’s grown up around green woodworking of one sort or another; mostly her bowl-turning father, but somewhere there’s a photo of Jojo & her brother learning knife work from Wille Sundqvist when they were quite young. (HA! swiped it from Robin’s blog)

Jojo pre-dreads

Jojo told me that when the first spoonfest happened in Edale, she noted the lack of women instructors; and began to concentrate seriously on her spoon carving. I jumped at the chance to learn her technique for carving a “crank” as she calls it, into a straight blank. Very organized, logical approach. Blows my doors off. Jojo told me she’s been lucky to have met all the great spoon carvers of today, without really having to leave home – through the spoonfest events and otherwise through connections w Robin.

jojo hews

Well, I think luck had something to do with it, but practice, skill and a good eye made it happen for her too. She’s been up in Wisconsin & Minnesota feeding mosquitoes for a few weeks, but I hope when she’s back home she’ll add stuff to her blog …

http://jojospoons.blogspot.co.uk/

Jojo's spoon

Nice going Jojo, I look forward to when we meet again…

 

 

 

One day a visitor to the museum asked me “How long have you had the greatest job in the world?”

overall view

overall view

Certainly that’s a pretty accurate assessment. For a woodworker, my day job has been a blast. For the past 20 years, I’ve gone to work, got set up in my shop, and made stuff. All that was required of me was to talk to people about what I am doing. Did you ever meet a woodworker who  doesn’t like to tell people about their projects?

 

But now it’s time for me to hang it up. I decided a while ago to leave Plimoth Plantation so I can concentrate on a range of wood-working that falls outside the guidelines of 17th-century English furniture. That work continues to fascinate me, but I’ve been drawn in several different directions in recent years, some re-visits of work I have done before (baskets, spoons, bowls) some new areas I hope to explore. A book to finish, for example. And other stuff. 

 

I still don’t know where i’ll set up my tools next. For now I have a bench here at the house, and one tool chest. My spoons & stuff I can do out in the yard, down by the river. Or in the kitchen, except for the hewing. I’m not rushing into a work-space; I hope to find the right spot before long though. The blog ought to get more active again. Right now my teaching schedule is pretty well booked for 2014, but I might add some stuff to it. I’m going to be continuing to post things for sale, (maybe move it to an etsy site) because I still need to create income… so if you need some woodsy handicrafts, or lectures/demos, etc. – here I am. 

 

My years at Plimoth have been astounding. I met people from all over; made great friends, even got a wife. Made connections that hopefully will stay with me for many years. I can’t begin to list all the highlights, among them were three great trips to England as part of my research, poked around in museums there & here in the US, and talked, talked, & talked some more. I learned more than you can imagine, from working day in & day out, from co-workers, and from visitors. The stooped-over Romanian carver who used 7 mallets of different weights, Mark & Jane Rees showed up un-announced one day when I was making tools, the Brazilian man who cried because my shop looked just like his father’s of 50 years ago, the time Pret used his axe to cut Paula’s hair on the chopping block, the Amish man who knew Daniel O’Hagan. I have a million stories. So my thanks to all my friends & visitors past & present at Plimoth. It was great. 

 

Whenever I travel to teach, (or as I did just recently, as a student) folks from all over who read this blog often mention seeing me at the museum, or wanting to come visit. Just in case you’re making travel plans along those lines, here’s notice – my last day is June 27th. After that, I’ll be like most other woodworkers, laboring away – head down, alone, & silent. If I get lonely, I’ll work in the front yard, and talk to passing cars… “It’s oak, I’ve split if from a log…”

sixteenths red oak

sixteenths red oak

 

spoons PF

Today’s listing of spoons are up & running. I’ll be away from my desk, as they say. So I’ll sort out what’s what tonight. Just leave a comment citing which spoon(s) you’d like. Shipping in US is $7 per order, not per spoon. Paypal or check.

thanks once again by all your support. It really astounds me & I appreciate it.

Link is here   http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-may-2014/  or from the menu at the top of the blog.

PF

 

Did you see that Jarrod StoneDahl had some spoons accepted into some Swedish competition? Look at the top 15 spoons  – he’s got 2 outta 15.

http://www.sormlandsmuseum.se/Sormlandsmuseum/Utstallningar/Trasmak/tasteofwood/Vote-in-main-category/

Eric Goodson brought one of Jarrod’s spoons to the class I just had at Lie-Nielsen, I had only seen them in photos before. Very nice stuff. Here’s his website: http://woodspiritgallery.com/

jarrod'

 

Rick McKee did a much better job than I did of addressing the new book by our friend Paula Marcoux.

DSC09872

You probably already read Rick’s blog, but just in case -

http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/product-placement/

 

For those of you who’ve been waiting for my spoons. I just photographed a few, and they’ll be for sale tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning (US – east coast morning) – but we’ll see. gotta get the kids out the door, then me off to work. Latest, tomorrow night.

spoons PF

 

spoon class at Lie-Nielsen

 

Robin from Lie-Nielsen got a bunch of photos up on Facebook. I don’t go there myself, but I like that the Lie-Nielsen website lets you see the photos even if you are not a facebook-y person. 

go. 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152090593133016.1073741893.100708343015&type=1

In there, you’ll see Ben Kirk matching me beard-for-beard. I’m the one w/o tattoos. 

Will you be there in October? It will be great…

 

I have the greatest time in Maine. Just got back from 7 days there. Can’t wait to go back.  I saw scads of birds. In the spring it’s warblers – small, fleeting little birds, mostly 60 feet up in the tree tops. Some came down low once in a while.

black-throated blue warbler. 

BT blue

Pileated woodpecker holes – just to tease me. These large birds always elude me. I only get fleeting glimpses. 

mortising not by hand

yell0w-rumped warbler, female. 

yellow rumped

The male. 

yellow rumped male

black & white warbler, not quite still enough. 

B&W

flyover Great Blue Heron. 

flyover gbh

Most common bird in the Maine woods this past week was the ovenbird. I saw many, but they. like most warblers, are never still. barely got this one. 

ovenbird

Common yellowthroat. They love the water. 

common yellowthroat

Chestnut-sided warbler. many of these around. 

chestnut sided warbler

got him even better. 

chestnut sided again

More pileated ativity, recent too. 

holes

‘nuther yellowthroat. 

yellowthroat

Then they screamed in = lousy grey day. but I had to shoot ‘em. Didn’t try to get closer, they only stayed a couple minutes. 

woody   2 pileateds

I also had a great bunch of students at Lie-Nielsen, carving spoons. I didn’t shoot much, too busy watching 13 people w axes & knives. maybe 3 band-aids, and some of those were an employee! Next spoon class there is first weekend in October. This one was full, I expect the October one will be also.  http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/1-ww-pf-sc14 

intent students   safe grip

 

pile of stuff   progress

 

It looks like nothing is happening, but look at the floor. these people wouldn’t even stop for lunch. we had a day with glorious weather & I took off to look for birds. Only 2 students came outside. the others kept carving. 

 

overall

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,176 other followers