Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forming the silhouette

After a rather frustrating 'down time' due to a computer virus, I've got my photo file back and can resume spoon blog entries!

I've now glued a photocopy of the spoon design to the wood and have roughed out the overall shape of the spoon with a scroll saw. Unfortunately, you can't see much yet as all the good stuff is hidden under a layer of paper. But for me, I can see the wood left behind and I have a good idea of what awaits me when I start carving! When I flip the piece over, the proportions seem right and I am confident that the various vagaries of the wood grain will line up where I want them.

The second picture is a close-up showing an old dowel which must have linked the panel this spoon was cut from to another in bygone days. The dowel won't be seen when viewing the final product from straight-on but it will be visible on the side view. I have decided not to bother trying to remove it and repatching it with a walnut plug though. This old dowel's inclusion in the spoon won't do any harm structurally or visually, but it will lend some quirky charm and will be a good talking point! After all, how many people have a dowel which is potentially a hundred and fifty years old in their lovespoon!!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

" A Regal Looking Spoon"

I've cleaned up the board a bit and swept off the dust of ages. What is revealed is a nice sweeping grain figure which should yeild a nice spoon. As I thought, the piece right on the edge worked really well for our purposes. It's a great feeling to be able to recycle a lovely old piece of wood like this, especially knowing that it was destined for a trip to the landfill! I don't often work with walnut, but it always yields a regal looking spoon with a rich, dark colouration.

As you can see in the second picture, I've roughed out the spoon blank and have slightly domed the top surface to add some vitality and movement to the carving. Eventually, I will hollow the back a bit to give the spoon a graceful sweep. At this stage of the game, I can also get a good idea of how the final grain will look. Although it is a bit wider than I had expected, it has a nice flow and the slight angle gives it some drama. There is also a nice swirl in the area which will become the maple leaf which should add some nice shimmer to the finished leaf.

I'm looking forward to glueing the pattern on and starting the cutting. I know it isn't very exciting or dramatic at the moment, but once the cutting starts, the spoon will really take shape and things will get much more interesting

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The walnut board from which the spoon will emerge

Here it is, the walnut board from which the Eisteddfod spoon will emerge!

Welsh lovespoon design and walnut

Although it doesn't look like much at the moment, especially covered in dried glue, flecks of old paint and the dust of a century and a half, I am very confident there is a spectacular spoon waiting inside.

As you can see, there are a number of holes scattered around the board which were where big screws or nails were driven through the old cabinet holding it to the wall. I have found two or three different areas of this piece where the spoon will fit without running into a hole, so now I just have to settle on the one I think will yield the sweetest grain figure. Right now, I'm leaning heavily to using the wood nearest the edge of the board as it has a section of swirling grain which should line up right where I want the bowls to be. That will make the carving a bit trickier in this area, but will make spectacular bowls which should shimmer as light passes over them.

This wood has something of a history the condensed version I will relate. Apparently, the wood forms the back panels of a wonderful bar which originally was built approximately 150 years ago for a steam ship which traversed the seas between Ireland, the UK and Europe. When the ship was scrapped, the bar was removed and spent many years in a small town pub in Ireland. A number of years ago the bar was purchased by a large hotel in Victoria BC who have now used it as the centerpiece of their off-license shop. The back panels were unnecessary during installation and were scrapped. Fortunately for me and whoever gets this spoon, the pieces were retrieved from the dumpster and found their way to me, where they found a very warm welcome and the opportunity for a new life.

I can't wait to see how this lovespoon turns out!

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