Monday, April 27, 2020

thyme is in full bloom, driving neighboring bees crazy

sunny weekend drove my neighbor's bees wild. my thyme plants are in bloom and it was a total rave in front of my house. them honeybees really know how to party.
worked through my last billet of black walnut that L. Gandsey gave to me from his offcut pile. I like this wood for kitchen utensils: it's pretty durable, food inert, and is also not so difficult to carve (or at least not as hard as maple!)
the day's work produced 2 eating size spoons for my armada.
with the remaining elm, i made another one of my spoochulas, but i got a little too deep in the basin here :-). i'll try scabbing on a piece of something to fix it.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

carving from a lodi tree that i grew up with

countless helpings of apple sauce and pies made by mom originate from this one Lodi tree planted almost 50 years ago on mom and dad's farm. Dad sent me a few lengths from a recent pruning to try out. these were smaller ones, meant to test the wood for carving, and justify sending more.

my findings? yes, please keep 'em coming

the shorter section had the heart off center, so it allowed me to make a spoon with a fairly large bowl. this could be a serving spoon of some sort. the green wood is pleasant to carve. it cuts cleanly and also with much more ease than if it were dry
The aggresively crooked piece was a bit more challenging, with a knot off to one side the grain was a bit unstable. I kept at it with my 2-hander hook knife since it allows for a lot of power to be applied into the cut.
i don't think i'll be able to use this for general cooking practices, but it is a fun shape to have and i'll keep it around
close up of the bowl with a knot imparting lots of swirly grain.
the smaller piece yielded a delightful little spoon whose bowl punches above weight. i like how this one is turning out and will let it dry out a bit before finishing it.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

another spoon from some L. Gandsey offcuts

I had another blank/offcut from Lawrence Gandsey's shop in a wood that I haven't worked before but i _think_ it might be Elm? not sure. it's not quite as hard as maple, but it cleaves nice and clean with a sharp knife. the wood is a bit tawnier and caramel colored especially when you get a wax-smooth cut directly from your knives.

This shape of spoon, i call a "spoochula" because it is very useful in stir-frying vegetables off a flat bottom pan. it acts as a spatula but has a dish towards the back that allows you to scoop the cooked vegetables into a serving dish.

One of my Mora 106's on a leather strop that i made today from a cut of leather that Dad used for walls of the baby crib that all us kids spent time in. I usually use an 8000 waterstone for honing, but the strop is nice to have in the kit.
Today, I received a special package in the mail from dad containing a few sections of the Lodi apple tree he pruned back on the farm this week. This tree was planted when i was a toddler and has produced apples for 40 years. it's one of dad's favorite things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

hummingbird spoon

this is kind of personal, but I don't really care anymore.

my best spoon, made a few weeks ago from curbside tree trimmings. the handle is so delicate. it is absurd!

I don't care, because i think about this spoon, with its fairly large bowl, and its diminutive handle, and how someone who's older and needs to be fed, how what is in the bowl of that spoon might be all they can handle today. a delicate handle for the spoon fosters delicate movement towards your mom's mouth, feeding her broth as she tries to fathom what has happened and why she is not able to get out of bed.

This is where the hummingbird spoon rests in the lavender bath. hope she's happy

jasmine from my trellis adorning a bronze head that uncle michael cast 'bout 20 years ago. dad's satellite sep bolt and uncle chris's laguiolle knife with ebony handle
a self portrait from a few months back
a few color/texture tests. i like them on the bedroom door. not much of anything but a decent hello
A design for a kinetic scultpure that looks like a flower and a propeller at the same time. but it would spin on an axis with some kind of bearing race. not quite a windmill, and not quite an airplane propeller, but at least understanding of Bernoulli's principle
The Sack-Back chair that i made in Curtis Buchannan's studio 2 years ago
another self portrait, at around: too early in the morning to be waking up
It is a rock, but a body worker gave this to me years ago as a heart health sentiment, because it does indeed look like a big strong, juicy heart and it does kind of look like mine in a way

Sunday, April 12, 2020

salad service in maple and and a soups poon in local whatever-wood

I woke up thursday morning this week and decided to do a self portrait.
This weekend, i set forth on making a salad service set from some maple offcut that Lawrence Gandsey gave me. Not sure about the "fork". one could charitably say it evokes tulips but i think you could also say it evokes bart simpson.
Also had one last piece of street-side wood from urban pruning. this one's eating size
The maple is pretty hard to carve with my gouges and sloyd knives, so i bandsaw "blanks" and then beaver out the bowl with a forstner bit in a hand drill. good labor saver
i pencil in different "finger" patterns for the fork. still figuring this out.

Monday, April 6, 2020

spoon oops

tried to make a ladle from a thick piece of alder that my pop sent me years ago. the grain is fairly predictable but it got a little squirrelly and i misjudged how deep i was cutting with the hook knife. sliced right through the bowl in that one area. I've done this before a few times. at least i got a few more spoons left from this stick of alder.

a lot of advice out there says to carve the outside of the bowl first before beavering out the inside. I think it might depend a lot on whether the wood is green or not? i'm having more success with spoons where i get the inside of the bowl cleaned up before proceeding to the outside.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

more spoons from curbside wood

A couple spoons today from the spare limbs that i found earlier this week from some curbside tree trimming. what struck me today and
the branches had natural crooks in them. this is the layout approach taken. not following any strict pattern aside from applying the natural bend in the tree to establish the crank in the spoon.

Some folks like to carve out the outside of the bowl BEFORE cutting the inside. i've tried both today and have to say that making the bowl first is a bit easier for my process. i think it has to do with having the wood as a billet underneath which makes it more easy to clamp to my knee bench with the rope-holddown. i then find it easier to pare away the outside of the bowl afterwards, using stop-cuts and just carefully paring away with a very sharp chisel.

here, i use the back of my gouge to check symmetry of the bowl

i'm establishing the overall shape of the spoon here. the grain kind of tells you what the shape of the handle should be. following the grain reminds me so much of shaping oak chair spindles in Jonesborough, Tennessee.