Spoon carving from a Bushcraft perspective with Jon Mac...
I am a spoon carver who lives and works on Dartmoor in Devon.
I carve spoons and Kuksa from green wood, using the three principal bushcraft tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife. I find spoon carving gives me a greater understanding of these tools as I can demonstrate a precision of craft in the finished spoon. I have developed my own spoon carving knife 'The MaChris' which is made by 'Chris Grant' a fantastically talented bladesmith.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Spoon carving at the Westonbirt National Arboretum...


Well.
There you go.
This is what happens when two fellas take a biggish tent and some axes and stumps into a wet field at Treefest, national arboretum Westonbirt, and carve things.
Sean Hellman and I win best in show.
Best what in show ? 
I'll leave that to your own imagination.

spoon carving first steps

Whilst at Treefest I met up with my mate Darren from Morgans wood.

morgans wood spoon carving first steps

He is a clever old stick who can make all manor of wooden objects and furniture for both house and garden. 


morgans wood spoon carving first steps

morgans wood spoon carving first steps

Both Sean and Darren use all manor of tooling for there work.
And I am always struck when watching craftsmen process wood using tools that I personally have no skill with, as you know, I limit myself to three edge tools for my Kuksa and Spoon carving.
Imagine my excitement when I watched a demonstration from Steve Woodley.
He, like me, uses an axe as a prime tool for his work.
But way up at the other end of the scale...

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

Here he is cleaning of bark from a selected timber length with a Swedish draw knife.

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

And toshing in the log dogs that will keep the log firmly attached to the horses.

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

Steve spends his time travelling the world teaching and demonstrating his skills, I bet some of my friends in the United States would love to hire him for demonstrations and classes.

hand crafted timber co.

Steve marks out a top line with a chalked line.

hand crafted timber co.

And then chops 'V' cuts along the log.


Here you can see him using a two lugged bearded broad axe.
A design that hails from the seventh century.


Most of Steve's historic axes are made by Gransfors .

hand crafted timber co.




spoon carving first steps

Once he has finished chopping out with the bearded axe he swaps axes and starts in with a Swedish broad axe

spoon carving first steps

From memory the axe he uses is double bevelled with a canted handle that allows plenty of room for his hands between the helve and the work.

spoon carving first steps




hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps


hand crafted timber co.


hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

It's hard work and I needed a sit down...

spoon carving first steps

Well, that's two faces finished.
Steve finishes the faces with a axe from Transylvania.
This is one of his favourite axes, unfortunately it has a small crack appearing at the tight right angle of the beard.
I will give him Chris Grants contact details and see if they can get it sorted. 

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

As you can see, it's a big old broad side axe.

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

Job done...

hand crafted timber co.

Who needs a mill....

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

Or a plane, when you can have a Steve ?

hand crafted timber co. spoon carving first steps

Steve regularly travels abroad to pass on his skills at many organised country fairs and shows, why not give him a shout ?
Steve Woodley can be contacted via his web site at... Hand Crafted Timber
His work is included in a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon building at Weststow

Enjoy...
J.


3 comments:

  1. To me it's impressive that you limit yourself to 3 edge tools. Your work is very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you F.C.
      I use three edge tools, knife, axe and hook knife. One day I will master these tools... All great fun...J;-)

      Delete
  2. Well-done Jon!! You did a great job. Really happy to see that still people are using hand Tools. They are more reliable I think.

    ReplyDelete