Spoon Carver’s Blog
Often while I am carving, I want to tell someone about the spoon. How it takes on a character of it's own, or how a mistake became something beautiful. That is what this blog is for. Welcome!
So, has my carving corner helped?
I’ll let my progress board speak for itself.
Some of these spoons were mostly finished before I touched them up and added them to the board, a few are made from scratch since I had the carving corner, and a few were already on the board before I started my corner. Some are even a few years old, that I finally found time to finish up.
Now I am working on sanding and oiling them all. My goal is to have them all finished by the end of March; so far I am on track.
Dream World meets Reality
I have been spending a lot of thought time in the past few weeks creating my dream workroom in my dream house.
I was inspired one day when seeing this come through my news feed.
by Captain Michael Schiller
Pretty isn’t it? Why did it spark me to recreate my dream work space? Three reasons: 1)Windows. I love to just watch the world around me while I am working. 2) Windows. I want to to be able to watch what is going on in my own home, and still be able to carve. 3)I want a space that has a barrier between me and the kiddos, they are so spontaneous that I don’t want them accidentally running into my knives while they are playing.
Then last week Reality came a knocking on my dream door. It reminded me: “Rita, you may never have your dream house, or your dream work room, can’t you find a way to make it work with what you have now?”
Hmmm… good point.
Looking around our apartment, there was really only one place that would be ideal, so with a little moving of furniture, this is what I came up with.
Nice eh? It has 1) a window to the outside world. 2) point of view that I can watch the kiddo and be part of the home while I carve. 3) a barrier keeping little fingers from my knives as I carve. And the added bonus 4) I was able to rig up a sheet to catch most of the wood chips, so I don’t have to clean up after myself every time I leave the carving area.
On my first test run last week, it was so lovely! I have just what I need. A stump for when I want to use the axe (in the back corner), a favorite chair to carve in, my work tote with knives that I can lock if needed, and a stool for my spoons that I am working on. The baby (14 month old) spent most of the time hanging around the barrier, playing with the c-clamps or pulling books off the shelf and giving them to me to read to him.
(After the first trial run, moving things more out of baby’s reach)
Know what? It’s better than my dream work space, because it’s real, and I am finally carving again, the first time since the day the baby learned to crawl.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you adventure in the new year, and time for plenty of carving!
In Christ, Rita
Peg Boards, Part 2
I wanted to give a few more photos of the peg boards, now that they are up and in use. I am very pleased with the boards, and they have been doing exactly what I was hoping they would.
This progress board is my favorite.
This is where spoons go when I am finished carving and ready to sand and oil. For whatever reason, this board is the most exciting for me to fill up. It means I have been carving. Carving is the part I love, not sanding, but I like sanded spoons. So I fill this board up, then sand them in batches, or better yet, when I have a spoon on this board, I can just grab it, and sand paper, and bring it with me to work on for ten minutes here or there. They will get finished eventually.
It was while I was working on sanding a batch of these spoons that I realized I’d like a board to hang the spoons out of the way to dry. Somewhere I could see them, but wouldn’t be so tempted to touch them or use them before they were ready. That gave way to the Drying board.
Taking spoons out of oil signals the completion of a spoon of me. That is when I take out my log book of finished spoons and record the details of each spoon. Last recorded, I have carved 222 spoons since I started (give or take about 5 that may have left my hands too quickly to remember to write it down). That is when I give a real big sigh of satisfaction, and move the spoons somewhere to dry and be admired.
The last board I have is the “Reserved” board. It’s the place to display finished spoons that are ready to leave my hands but have already been spoken for. The longest spoon that is on the drying board will move here when it’s done drying.
Here are a few photos of the lay out of the boards in the apartment. We have a small, very white apartment, so I am very glad to have a few punches of colour to liven it up.
Here is the view from the living room, walking into the kitchen. The primary boards are the finished and for sale board and the progress board. I wanted them both close, the for sale board for others to be able to look at and touch, and the progress board for me to be able to look at and reach easily. The purple reserved board is down the hall (on the right), still visible if someone wants to go look, but out of sight for those few friends that hope everything is for sale.
This is the view going into the kitchen. Notice how the drying board is very much out of reach. At the moment my drying process takes a while (I need to invest in a different oil) so I put them out of reach on purpose, but I can still see them and admire them.
For a complete look of the boards, here is the drying board, along with my own display and use board. And notice the beautiful plates and bowls on the cabinet, they are also used every day!
Thank for checking out my spoons!
In Christ, Rita
Peg Boards, Part 1
So, to start this blog again, I wanted to share something that is making the biggest difference right now in my carving. It’s not the carving itself, but more of how I am encouraging myself to keep it up.
Last year I was honored to be a demonstrated at the Spoon Gathering in Milan, MN, and for the occasion I thought it would be easiest to display my spoons if they were all in one spot. I had most of my spoons a peg board, but the board wasn’t quite big enough to hold all the spoons, so I made another one.
Now that peg board hangs in the kitchen, keeping all my spoons close at hand for use and display.
One of my thoughts since coming home from this years Spoon Gathering was trying to figure out how to keep on carving even if I only have a few minutes here or there, instead of feeling like I need an hour block to even bother getting started. Then the idea of a “For Sale” board popped in my head. What if I used my peg board idea, and made another one, one to hang all the spoons I have ready for sale. Maybe that would encourage me to fill it up!
So, David and I went to Menards to buy a peg board. they only had 2x4 foot boards, and I was thinking I wanted something smaller, so I cut it in half, and the second half turned into my “Finishing” board.
My two boards turned into 4 when I realized that I would like a board to dry my oiled spoons on. And since I had already discovered that I couldn’t get a board smaller than 2x4, I used the second half of the drying board for a “Reserved Spoons for Sale” board.
I will write a little more about these boards later. Here is a photo of my for sale board. The painting is painted by my Oma, and was a gift for our wedding. I love it!
In Christ, Rita