Spoon carving.

Spoon carving with Jon Mac.
Carve spoons from green wood with your bushcraft edge tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife.
Home of the MaChris MiniMac spoon carving knife.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Spoon carving tutorial (How to carve a spoon)



 'Happy New Year'

First off I'd like to thank all of you that visit my little blog, 
we've reached 250,000 page views.
I never in my wildest dreams expected such support when I first started this blog.
Thank you.
Appreciated.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”sunset-jon mac-golden hour-photography” alt=”jon mac-spooncarving”/>

I thought I'd start the new year with a pictorial spoon carving tutorial.
I've been playing with a design of spoon that I really like the look of.
The spoon is small and delicate, it's not a tyre lever.
It's well suited to for use at the dinner table.
And my female friends love it....
So I'll be carving more for guests.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”kuksa carving-spoon carving” alt=”kuksa carving-spoon carving”/>

For this spoon I've used some seasoned apple.
It has been sat in my yard for a long time.
You'll need an Axe, knife, hook knife, sharpening and stropping equipment and a pencil.
I found it to be quite hard, but as long at my edge tools were sharp I had no real problems.
The first thing to do is take a split quarter and square it up.
The blank is approx 6 inches long and an inch or so deep.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving”/>

I made a pair.
A good sharp axe is needed.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Here you can see the blanks next to my carving axe head for scale.
The finished spoon will be quite short at 5 and a bit inches.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Here's where your stop cut chopping practice will come in handy.
You'll need to add a stop cut both sides to define the bowl.
Be accurate, as the cuts will form the bottom part of the diamond/shield shape that appears before the handle.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Once you've done that, cut out the slope, down into the spoon bowl.
There is a sloped form on this spoon, but not much.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Thin the handle, one side at a time and with a slope that matches the curve introduced on the top of the spoon.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”blanking a spoon-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>



<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving blank-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

So eventually it looks like a 'tick'.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving blank-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spoon carving”/>

You can see in this photo that I've started to chop the bowl shape.
Sloping from the bottom of the keel of the spoon up to the lip of the bowl.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving blank-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

You can spend as much or as little time with the axe as you require.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”jon mac spoon carving-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Cutting the back of the diamond/shield shape.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving tutorial-spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

A nice steady thumb push across the grain.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving tutorial” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

You can just make out my right hand thumb underneath the spoon handle as I carve.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving tutorial” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

The thumb push is often used in spoon carving.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”spoon carving tutoriaL” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

Coming along.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”jon mac spoon carving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

After a while the blanks start looking good.

<img alt=”" src=”Image URL” title=”jon mac spooncarving” alt=”spoon carving-spooncarving”/>

The shape is set.
Now to hollow the bowl with a spoon knife.

spoon carving+spoon carving blanks

You can also employ your fingers on the back of the spoon knife.

hook knife+spoon carving+spoon carving hook knife

Don't forget to turn the spoon knife upside-down to access those tricky places.
You don't really need a left and right hand knife.

spoon carving hook knife+spoon carving

The bowl will need cleaning up later, it's symmetrical now so I can carry on.

spoon carving+spoon carving+spooncarving

I cut a small chamfer round the edge of the bowl.

spoon carving+spooncarving

For all this knife work, especially the next part, I needed a super sharp knife.
I fettled the knife on a fine natural stone gifted to me by my friend, Sean Hellman.
And lightly stropped on my stropping stick.

spoon carving+sharpening stone+spoon carving+spooncarving

Now the blank is close to being finished.
Needs a little sexing up.

spoon carving blank+spoon carving

For the next stage I used a very pointy MiniMac knife highly sharpened.
In the distant past I've used a craft knife or scalpel for this job.
A pencil is handy.

spoon carving blank+spoon carving

With the pencil, or the spine of the knife, I lightly draw a design.

spoon carving

Holding the knife in a pen hold.

spoon carving+jon mac+spooncarving

The cross section of these cuts are 'V' shaped.
I start by making a little stab stop cut.

spoon carving+jon mac carving

Then I draw the knife away to the end of the cut.

spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving

These cuts aren't very deep.

spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving



spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving


spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving

My carving wouldn't be complete without a sun wheel or two.
I draw an eight spot star.

chip carving+spoon carving

And then start chip carving.
You'll find a pictorial tutorial HERE !


Nearly Done.

chip carving+spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving


spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving


spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving+jon mac,

And we're done !
I learned today that although it’s fun to try to emulate a design, if it doesn’t come from your own heart, it has no soul. So instead of decorating this spoon with a design not mine, I decided to let the heart rule.

spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving

Enjoy !

spoon carving+jon mac spoon carving+spoons,

J.Mac



17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Martijn.
      Great to hear from you my friend.
      Hugs from me and 'S'.
      J

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  2. Great looking spoons... thanks for putting up the photo step-by-step, they do help those of us learning the process. Cheers, Doug

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Doug. I'm glad to be of assistance. It's good to get feed back on these things. Appreciated.
      J.

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  3. Beautiful spoon and super description of the process. Congrats and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Phil.
      Good to hear from you.
      J.

      Delete
  4. Great tutorial Jon, I like the spoons as well!
    Andre

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Andre. I hope the pictorial tutorial helps in some way. Best wishes and great to yea from you... J

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  5. Fantastic spoons the seasoned apple is gorgeous, I made a few things out of apple before Christmas it's a pleasure to work with . I've not dabbled with the chip carving , but I think that will change . Great post Jon thanks for sharing this ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brian. The apple I'm using at the moment is seasoned. Very tough. However, I'm really enjoying using this wood. I can get a nice sharp finish on it. Have fun with the chip carving. Best wishes... J

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  6. Jon, it's really gernerous of you to share your skill and experience like this; thank you. In the last few days, as I've become more comfortable with my new axe I've been delighted to see how far the axe will bring the spoon. I've discovered that, when working with the axe, it helps to have a clear design in mind and have been dabbling with a Scandi style, but I hadn't stopped to think too much about the order of the work. Handle first, bowl first? I'm going to try out the order you suggest. And you've demystified chip carving! Thanks again and may all your cuts be beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for getting in touch Rex. I hope this tutorial is of some use in getting you going with your art. Best wishes... J

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  7. Great spoons, Jon, as always!
    Appreciate the artistic pictures, too. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you once more Eugen. Thanks for your support my friend. Best wishes... J

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  8. Jon, every time I look at this I see something new. I'm goona have to man up and try to carve one in this style... eventually.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'll do well Daniel. Let me know how you get on. Good to hear from you. J

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  9. Thank you very much. I have always enjoyed your blog!
    Learn a lot and get much inspiration.
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete