Monday, December 20, 2010

i like rustic spoons...i like to touch them

my first spoon! i carved this out of a scrap chunk of regular old pine 2x4. the romantic notion of whittling went out the window pretty fast when i faced the reality of how ridiculously long it takes--i’ll wait for lazy summer days when i’m content to sit out in the garden for hours with a branch and a pocket knife. for now i want much faster gratification.

my dad hooked me up with some awesome tools for this project. first i sketched a rough spoon outline onto the wood and carved off a few large chunks using a coping saw. then i used a power grinder to take off all the bits that didn’t look like a spoon, and my dad’s brand new dremel tool with five gazillion head accessories (i’m so jealous, so jealous) to shape out the bowl and refine the rest a bit. then i hand-sanded with rough sandpaper and finished it with a finer grain. all in all it took around five or six hours. and while i should’ve been using that time to write, i’m filing this under “research.”

pine isn’t a hardwood so this isn’t as high-quality as the ones made by the local artisan, and obviously i don’t have his practice or skill (symmetry is quite tricky, and so is carving the bowl,) but i think it turned out pretty damn good for a first attempt.

i’m itching to try different types of wood. it was so fun carving off layers of grain, watching new shapes emerge, almost like digging for treasure. with a nicer wood it’s going to be even more thrilling. i’ll be on the lookout for fallen fruit or nut tree branches constantly now--i wonder what mirabelle wood looks like...

next time i go to mccall i’m raiding my dad’s wood stash. one of the outbuildings at my parents’ cabin is a former woodworking studio where he keeps lots of wood, some of it hardwood, along with a sweet bandsaw that could shave hours off the production time for making utensils and such. he gets excited when i want to use his tools so i doubt he’ll mind.

i imagine operating a bandsaw would be somewhat like using a sewing machine, only involving slightly more digit-danger. i think i have a healthy fear of power tools--not excessive or crippling, just enough to keep me on my toes so i don’t lose any fingers.

i love working with wood now! it’s so satisfying. this opens up a lot of possibilities--there are so many useful and beautiful things to make...i can’t wait. just what i needed, another hobby.

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