Saturday 29 September 2012

Spoonfest part 2. Two spoons by great makers

I bought 2 spoons  at Spoonfest. There are design aspects of these spoons that I love, both are great spoons and fulfil their function perfectly, and they look good too. I often find that if something performs its function well, it often looks good.

It was great to meet and spend time with both these craftsmen. The first is Jarrod from the USA and his is a small, in fact very small eating spoon, made quickly with a milk paint handle.
 The knife work can be easily seen, there is no messing around here. Facets or large knife cuts left on spoons can work really well, but you need to have confidence in your carving and more importunely experience. I have seen so many spoons where large cuts do not work and a spoon just looks unfinished.
 One of the things I love about Jarrods spoon is the handle crank. Turn a spoon over and lay it on a flat surface you can see it clearly. Try it with your spoons. I carved a number of spoons copying this shape and I was really surprised about just how deep I had to carve.

Look at how the spoon tapers towards the end of the bowl. It gets thin, really thin and this fits into the mouth just right, a real pleasure to eat off.
So this is one I made, it is a bit more solid than Jarrods, and with a longer handle.

I do notice that I tend to spend more time finishing my spoons, I cannot help it, I enjoy it too much.

The other spoon I bought was made by a Swedish craftsman Fritiof Runhall who makes some of the most beautiful and creative spoons I have ever seen.
Made from a crooked branch, a finely knife finished spoon with a handle with a forward curve in that is just so sweet. The way it fits in the hand is perfect.
Fritiof has a trade mark which is clearly seen on the inside of the bowl, this is not easy to achieve. He often carves finials on the ends of the spoons.
Again have a look at the bowl shape especially at the tip.
I have been carving hearts at the end of mine. What I love about spoons is their infinite 3 dimensional shapes, they are hand held sculptural forms and you can go on forever with all the possible variations.
 To finish off this post, a couple more Fritiof spoons, photos taken in the Spoonfest gallery.
Next post I hope to add the photos I took at the gallery which include Stuart Kings spoon collection.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Spoonfest, part 1

Those of you who could not attend, here is some good news for you: it rained. Well. a few showers. The workshops were over subscribed, but more were put on to motivate this to some extent.
All tools had to be put away at 7pm, when the bar opened.
Not very good phone signals.
The grass was the wrong shade of green.

Well, you missed the best green wood event ever! Tough! Learn your lesson and buy a ticket for next year! We all loved it.
I was there teaching. I did not manage to book onto any workshops myself and would have loved to have done quite a few. I can safely say that we all learned, we were all inspired. Spoon making in the UK has now significantly improved, both in its teaching and in its practise.

Spoonshop,  Spoons, a few tools and teeshirts.

All ages made spoons. Great to see the next generation start early
I taught how to axe out scoops and ladles from straight wood. This is a form of extreme spoon making as it can be easy to have too much short grain and snap your scoop. What I hoped to do, by pushing the wood to its limits, was to inform people about that all important crank in spoons. After axing out such extreme cranks, then making eating or serving spoons becomes childs play. I was asked, and hope to, in the winter, to do a video tutorial on making a small scoop. 

A few people from one of my classes
What I loved about Spoonfest was that beginners, men, woman, boys and girls all got stuck in.

Here is a short video, mainly of Barn and Robin opening Spoonfest.
I have taken lots of photos of spoons, and I even bought a couple. Next post, I hope to talk about the various design aspects of these spoons and what about them really 'floats my boat'. This all may take some time, as I have been travelling around a lot. Just off the the APF and then down to the Weald Wood Fair a week after.