Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wood Club

I've spent a fair bit of time in the workshop over the last few weeks. I haven't made much, instead I've been helping my friends Nick and Dave turn some bowls and make some oak chopping boards. It's been a lot of fun and we've had regular meetings of what Nick has now named 'Wood Club'.

Dave turned two big sycamore bowls out of two halves of the same log. These were both made as presents for his colleagues.

And here are the finished bowls:

It was a really interesting experience teaching someone how to turn. Having taught myself and not really understanding why I do what I do, it was a good learning experience for me to have to explain the process and through doing so, gain a better insight into what's going on.

Here is Nick's bowl:

Though it is a fair bit smaller than Dave's, it was a bigger challenge because of hollowing out in a smaller space. Both lads did a great job and are hooked on turning now. Nick has already got himself a lathe and I'm sure Dave will follow suit just as soon as he can get a dedicated space.

Wood Club in full swing

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Tortoiseshell serving spoon.....

I made this spoon a couple of months ago. It's laurel and it was a copy of a spoon Julian bought from a charity shop some years ago and uses a lot for cooking - or at least he did until I nicked it to copy!

Not sure how this picture came about?

Anyway, It's not a bad spoon, as spoons go. The bowl wasn't as deep as I'd have liked it to be, but that was dictated by the size of the piece of wood I started with. It's about 10" long. It's not particularly decorative in design, but I absolutely love the natural colour and patination (I'm sure that's a real word, but spell check says 'no') of the wood. It was quite colourful to begin with, but after a little bit of oil and a couple of months in the spoon jar on the window-sill of the kitchen, it has gone even darker. At first i thought it looked a bit like cow-hide, but now it reminds me of the fur of a tortoiseshell cat.

I haven't used the spoon yet, but am convinced with use, and washing and subsequent oiling, the colour would come out even better. Oh the eternal dilemma of using or selling spoons. I haven't made that many spoons yet - a couple of hundred maybe, altogether, which may sound a lot, but there are those who would do that in a month or two - and so I'm still a little bit precious about them all. They are a bit like my children and all live in a drawstring canvas bag in the garage (the spoons, that is, not the children). I guess I can't go on carving for ever and never getting rid of any. I've given away and sold the odd one here and there, but one day I'm going to have to get serious about them.

Anyone out there got any tips on how to cut the apron strings (again, I'm talking about the spoons, not the children).