I spend a lot of my time carving really complicated Celtic knotwork, over-the-top foliage and lots of crazy stuff that helps make my lovespoons nice and unique.
However, I also love to make really simple spoons that stretch me to 'do a lot with a little'. During my recent visit with fellow lovespoon carver Laura Jenkins Gorun down in Ohio, Laura presented me with a selection of buckeye boards which were small enough to cram into my hand-luggage for the flight home.
Up until then, I had only known of buckeyes as those tasty, tasty little chocolate and peanut butter orbs which share the same name as the tree...in fact, I thought that is why they called Ohio the Buckeye State!! After all, who would nickname a state after a tree when there is a sweet chocolate confection out there demanding recognition!!
Chocolate aside, I finally had a crack at carving a piece and this lovely little spoon is the result. Based on a Norwegian design, I managed to squeeze the design onto the smallest of the pieces Laura had given me and even got it to line up so that the bowl landed right on top of a gloriously figured section.
The 'tiger-stripe' figure gives the bowl some real visual drama, but it is a nightmare to carve wood which has such interlocked grain. Although I am not a big fan of sandpaper, it turned out to be the saving grace in getting a nice, fair and smooth surface throughout the bowl.
The buckeye is a pleasing yellow tone and is very light and delicate. Carving it was a dream in all the areas that weren't figured and it seemed to accept the knife without too many complaints (unlike cherry, walnut and poplar).
The simple design is nicely 'old school' and very romantic. With a few decades of handling, the finish will get a beautiful patina and that figuring will glimmer like northern lights!!
It might not taste as good as a chocolate buckeye, but it will last longer and is completely non-fattening!
How sweet is THAT??