The spoon carving has been progressing nicely and have found time to carve in spurts when the mood takes and in that time I have been concentrating on styles, forms and improved techniques.
I have two great beekeeping friends and spoon carvers Bill and Jude and we have been meeting up approximately every few months to have a good chat and carve the odd spoon. We all like these crafty days and looking to start a small club meeting on Horsenden Hill and also have gone as far as a name Middlesex Spoon Carvers (MSC) only the three of us at the moment but will welcome anyone along to join in. The emphasis is light hearted fun and enjoying a nice chilled day in the open.
I have also enjoied popping round to friends houses for an afternoon showing them the techniques and carving a spoon. One such friend was my good neighbour and beekeeping buddy Sara Ward at Hen Corner whose husband Andy was keen to expand his spoon carving following a day in the woods carving spoons recently. We had such a good time that Sara who runs loads of great workshops suggested we do a spoon carving workshop next year from her wonderful garden with me doing the carving and a plan was formed and can be booked here.
There is something very relaxing and therapeutic working a small piece of wood with simple hand tools creating a simple but very practical and useful utensil and definitely taps into a part of the brain that all crafts do and modern life supressess.
It’s not all spoon carving as I have started on shrink pots!! yes the first time I heard the name I thought what are shrink pots? and once I found out what they are knew I will be making them in the future. They are lovely and relatively simple storage containers or pots. Probably would take too long to go into the fine details of making them and best for their own post in detail at another time.
Very simply they are a section of a branch hollowed out to form a sort of cylinder, a groove is cut into the base about half an inch up from the bottom and a thin piece of timber fitting the bottom of the pot is moved up and left inline with the groove. You then put this to one side for a few weeks and as the pot shrinks it tightens onto the base and it locates in the groove. You then have a container that can be decorated fitted with a lid if you want to and finished.
One of the more satisfying bits apart from creating a new spoon shape has been the selling of the spoons and just lovely and a bit surprising at first when people pick them up say how wonderful they are and want to buy them. I have not pushed the selling of them but have displayed them alongside honey when doing small fayers and table top sales and people clearly like to hold them and a few buy them.
Something else new along with the shrink pots is some decorate the spoons with a type of decoration called Kolrosing. Kolrosing is a very old method of giving fine line surface decoration to wood. It started centuries ago by simply using the tip of a knife to make fine cuts and then rubbing charcoal or more popular these days ground coffee into the cuts to bring out the pattern and finally sealed with oil. Kolrosing is an old Scandinavian tradition dating back to Viking times and was quite common on spoons and wooden ware with geometric designs very popular and can give big impact to a spoon or other wooden ware.