expect cherry spoons

We had some heavy wet snow a week or so back. I found  a broken cherry limb down by the river & made some spoons from it. Then the other day I found 2 more, but way up high. I borrowed a pole saw & cut them down. Then started to cut them up.

expect cherry

Around here cherry is the most common wood useful for spoons. It’s quite hard though, comparatively speaking. Birch for instance is much softer & more cooperative. but I love the cherry spoons. They are worth the extra work. I cut a few crooks out of this stuff to get started; but left lots in the limbs, to be dealt with later.

Here’s a whole mess of pictures; not the whole spoon – I didn’t finish it yet. Started some others instead. To really see where the spoons are in crooked timber like this, you have to view them from all around. More than once. This is 2 limbs, twined around each other in this heap.

crooks in waiting

I started here; there’s one good sized ladle/serving spoon between that end grain & the small branch in the bottom of the photo.

one at a time

After cross-cutting, I hew away the bark to see where the piece wants to split.

trimming side bark

The bottom of this crook is trash; it has a large broken-off limb, & resulting knot.

one's a spoon, one ain'

After some initial hewing, I like to start these large deep bowls with a gouge & (borrowed) mallet. Borrowed shop too.

gouge & mallet

The gouge can also be “hand” pressure, but it’s much more than my hands driving it. Here’s the top of the stroke, then my whole body moves to bring the gouge across the spoon’s bowl.

top stroke

(hat courtesy of Maureen. She’s working on her 2nd custom hat-knitting project. Contact her for next year’s winter hats… https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts )

bottom stroke

More hatchet work.

hatchet work



Then knives from there. I’ll get it on the blog at some point.


Went walking at one point – going to leave this one alone for a while, I’ll stop back when the eggs hatch, then we’ll see some owl action.

leave it alone

Out to the beach in a bracing wind. Dunlin & sanderlings in flight.

in flight


Took one last haul out to the end of the beach to see the snowies; only found one, but didn’t look hard. Soon, they will head north again.





one more visit before shoving off


Back home, the local redtails are keeping company. Time for them to nest too.




mr & mrs



9 thoughts on “expect cherry spoons

  1. Peter,

    A few questions about timing:

    How long do you have from fallen/cut branch until you shouldn’t work with it? Approximately of course.

    Once you’ve hewed the rough shape can you store it for a while before starting the carving process?

    Thanks ,

    • Shawn – I like to hew then carve in short order. It gets tougher as it dries. If the branch is intact, it can stay un-split for a while; a couple months sometimes. Depends on species; time of year. Birch for instance has a short shelf-life. Summer is a hard time to store green wood – it wants to spoil in the humidity & heat.
      I try to do the hatchet work and the rough shaping w knives = then let the spoon dry out. then finish-carve it. So think of it as 3 steps – you can leave time between steps 2 & 3, but best to not wait between steps 1 & 2. says me.

  2. I had Muareen make me a hat from alpaca. I love it. It’s extremely well made and warm. Really warm. My daughter basically stole it so I need to order another one already.

  3. A cherry tree fell in my yard too, I made a Didgeridoo, maybe I’ll make some spoons from the left over stuff

  4. Peter, I live in NE Florida. Do you know which trees would be good for spoon making and which for riving?



  5. Just watched Willie’s DVD, it really struck a cord in me. Beautifully done, and gives reason why we should creat things as simple as a spoon. Loved it. Peter

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