Spoon carving, a novice's viepoint

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  • Every Christmas Mrs CragMasterCraig and I hand make wee extra presents for close family and friends. Usually home made culinary items - infused oils, bramble gin, biscotti, that sort of thing. In January I decided I was going to do something different - carve spoons for folks. Only thing is, I don't know how to do it ?(

    Well @Chris Grant messages to say a local course on spoon carving was coming up and I jumped at it, bought two of the 6 available tickets and persuaded Mrs CMC to come along too :)

    The course was arranged by a really nice guy called Peter who is involved with a commendable enterprise called skill share: https://skillsharedundee.wordpress.com/ and he and Chris managed to get the talented folk carver Jon Mac involved. http://www.spooncarvingfirststeps.com/?m=1

    Everything was supplied. We carved green (still wet / un seasoned) silver birch. Chris provided a number of knives he and Jon have collaborated on (the mini-mac and the MaChris) both in 52100 ball bearing steel and French walnut handles. Very nice to hold and laser sharp. There were beautiful made bowl carving knives (maker escapes me). And a wide selection of axes:

    We used the axes under expert instruction to rough out the spoon blank. Here's mine:

    We then used Chris's knives to refine the blank following Jon's brilliant guidance and help where required. Once the shape was there the bowl carving started. This was particularly challenging as the knife is crazy sharp and the controlled cuts are often towards your thumb supporting the other side of the spoon :/

    Only cut myself once and ended up with this:

    A very satisfying day with lively folk learning a new skill. I recon that after 5 hours today I will be able to practice and maybe even manage something that passed as a spoon all by myself. There was lots of knifey chat and sharp show & tell... I really enjoyed myself and so did the Mrs (also means I can fulfil some spoon gifts this Christmas) :thumbsup:

    PS sorry for the title typo, can't seem to fix it.

  • Thanks GWS :-) This still need some further work and refinement. Definitely worth getting a good crook knife as that was the trickiest part of the whole process.

    I'm surprised at the lack of comment etc to this thread. What's wrong guys? Too fanboy? Not meant to be that way just thought you would like to see some knives in action? Ah well, can't please everyone all of the time eh.

  • looks like fun and one of these things that looks easier than it is.

    You planing to have a go at some more? Something I would like to try but haven't got the spare time at the moment.

    Chris makes some lovely knives that look like they work well due to the amount of thought he puts in.

  • I really enjoyed it Ben so definitely going to keep at it. Interested to see where it could go. There are some very refined wooden spoons out there, almost art. Like these:

    Joe, you may well be right. I did notice this knife use section is pretty light on content. Perhaps I need to go find a spoon whitler's forum ;-)

    Cheers for the feedback, it's appreciated :-)

  • Getting the shape you want out of a piece of wood is an art in itself I would say.
    All wood grain is different by degrees, some more challenging than others. I was trying to repeat the skull carving I did out of zebrano, what an absolute bitch to carve. The spoon on the right looks like zebrano, I can tell you now if it is, the bowl would have a real challenge to make.
    Carving is one of those uses for a knife where you really have to learn control of a blade. And as always any excuse to use a knife eh?

  • A very beautiful axe isn't it :-)

    GWS - you are right. We used green birch, as soft as you can get. Looking forward to progressing onto more difficult woods in time. Not sure I'll ever get to your level tho.

  • Nice one Craig, the dark art of spoon carving is an intriguing topic, keep up the good work, you may even end up on the BBC and making a living from it ;)

    "This is my rifle.There are many like it, but this one is mine"


    Sharpen it like you love it, use it like you hate it.

  • Thanks for sharing your day :) 
    I went out yesterday for some lunch in the woods. I was sat pondering life, and I was thinking I really need to start spoon carving; would of been lovely way to pass an hour or so :)

    seems to be interest building on this, it won't be long before we will have a " what spoon are you carrying today thread" ^^

  • @CragMasterCraig was a delight to meet you and Mrs Crag. Fair enjoyed the craic.

    The hook/spoon knife blades are made by Nic Westermann.

    In my opinion, Nic is, by a mile the best carving tool maker in Europe. That I do not say lightly!

    Nic's website: http://nicwestermann.co.uk/ I recommend him highly.

    I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything...

    There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

  • We were rained off today, so the carpet came up...

    I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything...

    There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.