Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WIP-Part 1: A spoon to nourish the body & soul

A funky vein system connects hearts with bowl

This will be a WIP (Work-in-progress) and I will update when more progress is made. From the picture above you can see that this spoon project is something quite different from your ordinary twist-handle spoon, and that is exactly what I was looking for. However that is all that I was looking for because this spoon was begun with literally no plan in mind and I just wanted to let it discover itself for the most part. A second goal on this carving was to make it as complicated and complex as possible, you know... something that was really interesting to look at and would surely generate a lot of conversation from onlookers so it would have a lot of detailing. Thirdly, I wanted this carving to have some kind of central theme that brought everything together "full circle" and that mission has also been laid in place as you will see.

The bowl is still rough and I've just begun
extending the "veins" into the spoon bowl.

Like a lot of my recent spoons this one was also cut from a found wood poplar limb with my bandsaw. It measures exactly 10" long and the bowl is exactly 2" at it's widest point and I have been carving it with my Flexcut Carvin' Jack knife. Found poplar makes excellent wood for spoons and I've been carving it almost exclusively as of late. When I started the carving I made one wrong push of my blade and sadly broke off a little chunk of the forming bowl. I always teach the kids in my woodshop class that mistakes should be looked at as opportunities to discover a great new idea in the creation of their projects and this is advice that I follow too. After a bit of study and a little further shaving on the tip of the bowl I was delighted to now have a much flatter scooping surface and I also saw it becoming a "spork" by adding a few teeth to the tip.

On the tip of the handle I carved a heart then later I began to see a theme form. After looking at other folks spoons I saw one where the fellow carved in an interesting thin brace-looking extension of wood from the base of the handle and into the bottom side of the bowl. That was so neat and I began to do the same thing. Later I was led to carry this "extension" all the way down the underside of the spoon and connected it with the heart at the opposite end. I really liked that and thus my theme had been found. The central idea here would be a spoon that had a vein system to connect it with the bowl of the spoon so that when a meal was consumed I would not only be nourishing my body but the heart would nourish my soul. Cool!

A shot of the floor at today's carving class

Today I was able to work on the spoon just a little but I had it on the floor in front of me which gives me a lot of extra energy when I'm helping the kids create their own carving creations. This week the woodshop has been closed temporarily because of North Carolina state testing. I wasn't needed as a proctor so I've been spending some great quality time with the 9th and 10th graders helping to facilitate various projects such as woodcarving. Although I'm really into my new spoon I get just as much contentment from teaching and helping them with their own projects and teaching new skills is where the real joy of carving can always be found.

This has been a rainy day but also an absolutely great day for carving and I will keep you updated as more progress is made on my new funky love spoon because new ideas are always dancing forward in my head. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I can already see that's going to be a dandy spoon there, Dave! I am forever "adjusting the design" of my spoon bowls. "It's not a mistake; it's a design modification." ;)