After chatting to Robin Wood about green woodwork, production work, and about Ion Constantin, spoon maker, from Slatina, that Stewart King and Robin filmed in
The link to the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7yipq2xd7o
I find this process very interesting and how it can inform and change all my other knife work. I love a well made spoon, the time spent on achieving perfect form and a beautiful hand worked finish, but as we all know there is not a very big market for a £25 or more spoon, so we need to reduce the price and the only way of doing this is by compromising. It has got to function, we can not compromise to much here, but the look and design can change, the finish can be rougher the knife marks and cuts bigger, in other words bigger `flats`. We can not compromise on wood, we can use willow and alder which are some of our softest woods, or cherry and sycamore, but we must use them green, just felled. Do not try doing this using slightly dry wood it will slow you down and will be harder on the hands.
One thing that would have shaved a few minutes off my time is a suitable hook knife. Frosts hook knife? No, because it has a too tight a curve and also it has an angled bevel which should be rounded. My little Ben Orford knife is too small, so I am going to have to make my own hook knife with the right shape and edge geometry etc, a carving adze would help as well, just to take the bulk of the bowl out.
I have decide to use a shaving horse and a drawknife to save my knife holding hand, I find that the intense knife work even for 10 mins can be very hard on my hand and to be honest I rather look after my body.
These are not the most beautiful spoons but there is honesty in seeing tool marks, and we have become conditioned by the plastic society that needs a smooth sanded surface with a gloss finish. I want to sell spoons, and the only way of doing that is by finding the price people will pay and making a spoon to that price. So lots more practise for me.
The woods that I have used are cherry, willow and alder buckthorn. I will also be practising and refining the design and process and maybe one day I will be able to make a spoon in 10 minutes.
If you would like to buy any spoons do have a look at my website for details of how to buy