One thing I have been picking away at recently is another bunch of spoons. I cut a rhododendron tree that uprooted in early March… I made a few spoons from it, and really liked working it. Sometimes the challenge is “seeing” the spoon in the crook. This one in particular is perplexing; I have had it around for over a month & a half. Every so often I would look it over, and try to plan my cuts into the stock.
Finally took the plunge the other day.
At the same time I got a bunch of cherry limbs, so I have lots of spoon stock for the warmer days coming. I hew them either at home in the back yard, or in the shop. then the carving is portable, and I do that while watching the kids; in the yard, at the playground, etc.
Then I cross-cut it, before splitting.
Splitting the cherry is sometimes tricky. Once I cross-cut the section I want, I usually hew away the bark along the edges where I want it to split. This photo came out like X-ray vision, but it’s a benefit here, because you can see where the hatchet is going, and the crook-ed shape of the spoon blank.
I think this is the spoon that came from that blank
Here’s the other view
Here’s an earlier cherry blank, and the spoon-in-progress that I have worked from it..
Now the spoon laid back where it came from
5 thoughts on “spoon work”
There is something oddly pleasurable about making domestic items. I spent a few weeks this winter making various odds and ends around the house too. A laundry battle (or whatever they are called), a couple of medieval and colonial cutting boards, and various trencher plates, handles for pots and such. Its a nice change of pace.
Peter have you ever tried making a brace? I cant recall. I resuced some amazing ogival/omega-curved pieces that seemed to call out brace to me. I only get one shot at at though, they were hard to find.
Great photos of the crook-to-spoon process, Peter. How do you usually split those tough crooks? I find the froe pretty handy on those, but maybe you’ve got another method.
carving from pieces split off the quarter rather than the back is better
I am curious about the use of rhododendron. It grows like a weed where I live and have thought about using it for spoon carving. The only thing though, is that everyone tells me it is poisonous. I find this odd though as a lot of people also call it spoon wood as it was a traditional wood for spoon carving. So what is the scoop on this stuff? Is it just the leaves and flowers or is the wood poisonous too?
Just came to own a pile of ancient rhododendron, excited to carve but had same question. I’ve researched it a bit, but still do not understand. I was told not to worry as the new shoots, flowers etc have more of the toxin. Still concerned.
Did you find an answer? Please share.