Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We have a winner!

It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the first Left Coast Eisteddfod lovespoon is Howard Evans! Howard was very generous in his support of the Eisteddfod and is a more than worthy winner of this traditional, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind Welsh lovespoon!

As the designer and carver of this spoon, it has been very heartening for me to see people support the inaugural Left Coast Eisteddfod through their kind donations and to personally have been the recipient of so many kind words of praise from many of you. I would, therefore, like to take this occasion to announce that I will be back with a new spoon design to support next year's edition of the Left Coast Eisteddfod!! Lots of lessons have been learned from the whole process of trying to initiate a great Welsh cultural event here in North America and although it has not been without its challenges, I believe next year's version will be bigger, better and even more widely supported than this years!

I look forward to designing next year's spoon and to showing its progress on this blog and I hope you will continue visit me and support the Left Coast Eisteddfod as well!!

So congratulations, Howard!!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Dragon the Line

At long last, the Left Coast Eisteddfod Dragon is done! And here he is in all his 150-year -old, walnut splendor! He is a handsome chappie, I'll give him that! His abalone eyes are dazzlingly radiant and the richness of the walnut grain gives the bowls and his wings a lovely glow and shimmer. He is everything I had hoped he would be and I feel great pride in having created this lovespoon in support of the Left Coast Eisteddfod.

Now, if I were Catherine Zeta Jones, Cerys Matthews, Tom Jones, Anthony Hopkins or any of the other myriad of famous Welsh, I'd be asking myself why I don't have a stunning lovespoon like this in my house. I'd be wondering what kind of Taff would miss the opportunity to own a proper, tidy lovespoon like this one especially when supporting the Left Coast Eisteddfod means supporting a little bit of Wales overseas. I'd say. "Count me in, I want to support the Eisteddfod and win that lovely spoon!"

But I wouldn't just be thinking that if I was a famous Welshman....EVERYONE of Welsh ancestry or with any interest in Wales and its traditions has an opportunity to get involved in supporting the establishment of a wonderful Welsh cultural event here in North America. Your support is what will enable the Left Coast Eisteddfod to grow and will showcase more and more of the rich talent that the Welsh community has brought to this continent.

I hope that you have enjoyed following the creation of this spoon and that it will inspire you to become involved with the Left Coast Eisteddfod!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sexy Spoon!

With all the carving done and the eyes inlayed, its time to make our spoon nice and sexy! A needle file gets into all the tight spots and cleans up any rough areas without leaving behind a bunch of sanding grit. This is important if I discover I need to go back to carve some more as I won't have to worry about sanding residue dulling my knife blades.

When I am absolutely certain that all the carving and filing is done, I break out the sandpaper to finish smooth areas such as the bowls. This is actually a difficult and time-consuming time in the whole spoon carving process as any scratches or bumps and lumps which get missed will show up like nobody's business when I apply the finishing oils. Thankfully, the Tour de France is raging on tv at the moment and I can take out my nervous energy doing a bit of sanding while the Schleck brothers hammer their opponents on the Alps.

And here he is!! The Left Coast Eisteddfod lovespoon is completed and is ready for the really exciting bit...the finishing finish!

I'm going to go with Deft brand clear Danish Oil as my oil finish and will give it 3 or 4 coats before following up with a nice application of beeswax polish.

Here we go! I use a cheap little pig-hair brush to really ladle out the first coat of oil. I want good coverage and for the spoon to really soak it up, so I'm not afraid to really splash it on. This is the time when any sanding errors will leap to the forefront, so I've got my fingers crossed that I found everything before now!

WOW! Get a load of this! This is what 150-plus-year-old walnut looks like when the finish treatment is applied! This spoon is going to be a stunner! Man, what I wouldn't give to get my hands on a few more pieces of this magnificent timber. Sadly, this is almost the last of my supply so there won't be too many more spoons like this! So if you want to see how this spoon looks fully 'dressed' in its new coat of oil, stay tuned for the next blog!

And please, if you enjoy quality craft, art, music and written word, please help support the Left Coast Eisteddfod with a donation today or buy your tickets to attend the events! Any and every amount is gratefully received and you can be there to participate in the drawing to win this spoon!

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