back to some spoon carving

Now I am turning some of my attention back to spoon carving. This fall I am presenting a session at Woodworking in America  about how I carve spoons. This stuff is not my research, it’s what I learned from Jogge Sundqvist primarily, and some from his father Wille. Much of it comes from Drew Langsner as well.

Not too long ago, I had a note from Ron Christensen, a reader of the blog about some lilac he was cutting out, would I want some? You betcha…but I had no time to go out to his place to collect it. I asked, could you just box some up & mail it to me, I’d pay, etc. Turns out, it’s too much to fit in a box! Hard to get the sense of scale in the first photo, and that’s just a part of it.  He said he wouldn’t cut it til I had time to come retrieve it.

ron's lilacs
stand of lilacs

So up I went.  Ron was a great host, and we cut a few sections out.


ron's lilacs 2
Ron C thinning the herd

 Says I can come back for more when this is gone. The lilacs are crowding his outstanding garden, a sampling of which he also sent home w me. Another case of how I have been so lucky connecting with nice folks through the blog…

ron's garden
Ron’s garden

Here is a short bit about picking out one section & “seeing” the spoon in it. Here’s a lilac crook, pretty small diameter, but there’s a spoon in there.

lilac crook
there’s a spoon in there. Maybe 2

Here, I outlined where I envision the spoon. Others can fiddle w images on the computer better than me, but that’s not something I’m willing to dedicate any time to. So a quick scribble showing the shape of the spoon.

seeing the spoon
outline spoon’s profile

Now, to cut the piece to length so I can split it first. I left the extra leg on so it would stand up easily for splitting.

stood up for splitting
rough blank for splitting

Then whacked it with the froe. I think I eventually came in from both ends to knock it apart. 



splitting w froe
splitting w froe


the split crook
the top one’s the spoon

Next, hewing away the pith. Leaving this central fibrous material in the spoon will almost always result in radial cracking and splitting.



remove pith
removing pith w hatchet

More hewing is to just remove the bark on the sides of the spoon, to help see the shape emerge.

clean the sides

trimming the sides


then it was dinnertime. 




8 thoughts on “back to some spoon carving

  1. How does Lilac work or like to be worked? (I was thinking turning or carving specifically) I came across a ~Ø6″ log of it some time ago which seemed huge for a lilac trunk. I haven’t done anything with it, but thought it’d be like boxwood/dogwood with maybe more splashy color?

  2. I think I once carved a little few sticks of that wood, does lilac have a deep sweet fragrant smell when you open it up? The stuff I used had that same purplish inky colour in it and had a wonderfully dense buttery texture…?

  3. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for taking time out of your working day to chat about spoons and bowls and the like. Hope I can take one of your courses, maybe in spoon carving, sometime soon.

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