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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Leaf it off!

This week I'm continuing my work on the back face of the Left Coast Eisteddfod spoon with more work on the vines and some shaping of the maple leaf and the star.

Before committing to the knives, I am careful to mark the overlaps with a pencil. I also want to draw the path of the vine across the leaf and star so that I can remember to carve it later! Because I want the dragon's tail to be uninterrupted on the front face, I didn't bother with too much over/under where the vines merge into the celtic knot. If I wasn't so interested in keeping the flow of the tail, I could have overlapped these a bit more but it would have broken things up a bit.

With the lines penciled out, I use my small straight knife held also in a pencil grip to scribe the lines to a depth of approximately 1/16th of an inch. This keeps the sides of the vines pretty vertical, marks out the path of the vines and gives me a line to start cutting against when I start lowering the leaf and the star.

In this picture I have begun cutting down the leaf using the straight cut along the vine as both a guide and stopping point. With my leaves, I resist the urge to really thin them down as my spoons are generally subjected to regular handling and an excessively thin leave becomes a breaking hazard. I try to achieve the illusion the spoon is thin by tapering toward the edges, but I still leave enough thickness that the leaf can handle rough treatment. When the spoon is viewed from the front or back, the leaf will look pretty thin and 'flowing', but when viewed from the side it will be apparant that it is a bit more substantial.

If I knew the spoon wouldn't be touched, I would thin foliage details to the very minimum. However, handling these spoons is part of their pleasure, so sometimes a little aesthetic sacrifice has to occur for the guarantee of security!

With the leaf, star and vines roughed out, I can begin to define things a bit. The vines start getting rounded over and the leaf will get a bit of texturing as it is thinned out. I'm rounding each leg of the star a bit to give it a softer feel than the more 'sheriff's badge' look the front face has and to give the back of the spoon a more organic feel.

This picture shows the 'organic' section of the spoon nearly completed. Once the rest of the spoon is complete, I'll return to this area for a final touch-up and to do some last minute shaping and sanding of the rounded edges on the vines.
I hope that you have been enjoying this little blog and that following the creation of this spoon will encourage you to donate to the Left Coast Eisteddfod. It's easy to do and might win you this spoon!

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1 comment:

  1. The detail in this is amazing, love the feet! So intricate and every little piece gets attention.