Well, the fun stuff has finally started. I've been busy scroll sawing out the shape of the spoon and am very pleased with how the wood has responded. There is lots of lovely grain patterns which should make the bowl and the leaf look really vibrant and the wood has been cutting evenly with no splitting or shattering. Wood this old and dry can sometimes be a bit brittle, but this walnut seems very good. The dowel that I came across last week shows up pretty well in this photo, but won't be quite so visible when the spoon is complete. I'm very pleased with the proportions and am even more confident that this will be a very smart spoon when complete.
In the second picture I have begun carving out the spoon bowl using a hand-made bent knife. These are specially made for me by Mike Komick at Preferred Edge Tools who specializes in crafting razor sharp, beautifully made blades. In the old days, the Welsh carvers used a ferocious looking bent bladed knife called a 'twca cam' which was often fashioned from whatever metal was at hand. Thankfully for me, I can rely on Mike to use the very best steel so that I can reap the benefits of a good, keen edge. Many carvers use gouges, electric grinding tools and curved scrapers to achieve the same ends, but I personally prefer the bent knife.
Carving the spoon bowl is one of my favourite parts of the process and is one I am happy to spend a good deal of time on. I tend to think that a lot of spoon carvers consider their bowls an afterthought with the lack of attention they give them showing up as a clunky and unsightly end to their hard carving efforts on the handle. But I'm starting to get preachy, so I'll get back to the tools and see how things shape up.
Before I go though, I hope that you are enjoying the blog so far and that you will feel inclined to donate a dollar or two to the Left Coast Eisteddfod! Every dollar you gift will equal a chance to win this spoon when it is completed. I hope you'll join in and I wish you good luck!