I do the vast majority of my work to commission order, so for me, nothing is sweeter than repeat custom. To properly carve a lovespoon necessitates a certain level of involvement with my clients and I am often privy to deeply personal details about their lives. Considering that we seldom meet in person and I rarely even see a photo of them, it is always remarkable how well the spoons ultimately tell their stories!
So when I get a repeat customer, it is particularly exciting; both because it affirms for me that I 'got it right' the first time around and because it often gives me an opportunity to explore different aspects of their lives and relationships.
Such is the case with this beautiful stylized Orca which I carved for a wonderful couple who were back for their FOURTH (!!!!!) spoon!! Their story could easily be the stuff of a great romantic novel and maybe one day I'll get their permission to tell it along with showing the four spoons, but for now, I'll concentrate on this most recent design.
A departure from the traditional notion of a lovespoon as messenger with its symbols telling a romantic story, this spoon is more about ideas and feelings. There are still a number of symbolic details (such as the closed Celtic knots which symbolize eternity, the sneaky stylized heart between the whales tail fins and the fins as double bowls indicating 'we two are as one') but the idea of this spoon was to capture something of the beautiful 'feel' of the couple's romance.
Now when you get talking about something as difficult to define or pin-down as 'the feel of a romance', you can get into some deep and murky waters! But this leaping Orca seemed to capture it somehow.
Whether it is the freedom, the raw power or the sheer beauty implied by the whale or just the way the elegant sweep of it's body enfolds the 'water' knot....something made both my clients and myself feel this design was 'right'.
Of course, we might all be kidding ourselves and its just a really nice looking whale that makes us feel good....but that's ok too.