Sunday, 22 December 2013

Willow Bowl

Willow bowl commission finished this afternoon.

The exterior surfaces of the bowl are sanded to 2500 grit, with the exception of the underneath of the end wings which are fluted for grip, the interior of the bowl retains the tool marks per the customers request, the bowl has received a couple of coats of pure beeswax and will get a couple more tomorrow to finish it off and then it will be off to the customer just in time for Christmas

Friday, 29 November 2013

Blanks

Roughed out spoon blanks drying off before final fine carving and finishing.

The top two are eating spoons, the lower pair are serving spoons, woods used from top to bottom are, Gorse, Apple, Apple & Sycamore.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sporks

A few Hazel sporks that ive made of late, really got into making these and thoroughly enjoyed it, the simplicity of carving the flat style of utensil made a pleasant change from the normal cranked handle style of spoon i tend to make these days.


Sycamore Serving Spoon

Small Sycamore serving spoon, the rough shaping was done with the axe and the refinement with my Ben Orford pick knives, the spoon has an overall tooled finish.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hazel Spork

Something a bit different to the norm, carved from Hazel and given a sanded finish, the spork is 17cm in overall length and the bowl section is 4cm at it's widest point.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Birch Kuksa / Kasa

Hand carved drinking cup (Kuksa/Kasa) in Birch.

The cup is just under six inches in length with a bowl diameter of three inches and a bowl depth of one and half inches, fully tooled/faceted exterior finish and smooth carved interior.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Cherry Eating Spoon

Made this one for myself, hand carved from Cherry using the axe and knife and features a tooled finish, the photo shows the handle to bowl transition area as well as the cranked handle that has been carved out from a straight grained log to give the spoon not only pleasing aesthetics, but also functionality.

The spoon was based on one that i made for myself some time ago now from a piece of Magnolia, and as i use the Magnolia spoon quite often, i thought, i would make a copy of it, but this time in Cherry, the photo to the left, shows both spoons, with the Magnolia one uppermost.

It's now ready to be placed into my rucksack for the next trip to the woods where it will be pressed into service come lunch time.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Cherry Serving Spoon

Cherry serving spoon carved in a Scandinavian style, spoon made for a commission we recently received, sanded finish and some simple carved decoration on the handle per the customers instruction.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Wasp Spider

Spotted this Wasp Spider in the back field this afternoon.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Challenge

Last week whilst out on a nice long bimble with my old mucker Hugo from BCUK, we decided it was time for a challenge of sorts, nothing too strenuous though, the challenge we undertook was to each carve a spoon from the same branch.

So i took the top half and Hugo the lower half, my effort is as shown, the spoon was initially roughed out with the axe before finer carving with my Ben Orford Pick knife and then for a change i sanded it to within an inch of it's life - not one of my best by any means, but it will do.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sycamore Spoon

Sycamore spoon carved on commission, the brief was to carve a spoon in the style of the Medieval spoons i do, but to make it slightly larger, with a deeper bowl for use in a small cauldron.

The spoon is seven and three quarter inches long (about 19cm) and has an octagonal section to the handle, which is incredibly tactile, the bowl is just under three quarters of an inch deep.

The brief also called for a tooled finish, so that's exactly what it has, the bowl section both inside and out still retains the tooling marks from it's manufacture and the handle section has been finished off using a cabinet scraper, finally a small depression was carved at the top of the handle for aesthetic appeal and to rest against the brim of the cauldron to stop the spoon slipping in when in use.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Hazel Spoon

Hazel spoon that i started on Wednesday whilst on a trip to the woods.

Got the bowl hollowed out earlier today and a bit of meat taken away from the handle and underside of the bowl area, just waiting for it to dry now so i can get it finished off.

Feather Sticks

Had a spare five minutes today, so decided it was time to practice making feather sticks, this one is probably the best of the lot, made form a piece of inch thick Hazel.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Clematis Cordage

Cordage made from the bark of the Clematis vine.

The bark was soaked to make it pliable prior to spinning it up into cordage and i suppose there is approximately ten to twelve feet of it in the hank pictured.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Sycamore Spoon

Sycamore eating spoon made from locally sourced timber, fully tooled finish.  The blank to this spoon was made at one of the events i recently attended, but due to other commitments, ive only just now been able to get it finished off.

Babies

Tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillars, hatched yesterday (18-7-2013), lovely to see, i will follow their progress and post updates on their development.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Spoon Blanks

Just a few of the spoon blanks created during the two shows i attended last weekend where i performed what seemed like almost non stop spoon carving demo's, using the axe and knife.

All of the blanks shown and a few more, that are not in the photo, were roughed out from Sycamore, all i need to do now is find the time to sit down and finish them all off

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Hand Drill

Practicing the hand drill whilst on a trip to the woods, i didn't take anything with me as the challenge was to gather materials on the day and to then make an ember using what was found.

The drill im using is Elder and the hearth is made from Clematis, did i make an ember, well, no i didn't, but i had a few attempts and got good smoke and a nice pile of dust on each attempt, but, i think the drill was just a tad too far gone to be really effective as it was wearing down incredibly quickly, and my hands were sore from the previous few days of playing around with the hand drill, well thats my excuse anyway :-).

When i got home that evening, i tried a set that ive been using a lot recently, and got an ember in five passes of the drill, making me think even more that the drill i used up the woods was the problem, still, it is nice to set oneself a challenge when you are out and about.


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Naturally Defined Spoon Blank

Sometimes you just get lucky when splitting logs to make spoon blanks, just as was the case with this piece of Willow i split this afternoon.

It's not often you get such a defined line to split & carve to, although the line seems to be well defined, there is some horrible twisted grain in this piece of wood, still, i do enjoy a challenge.

School Fete

We were invited to attend a local school fete last evening, we took a number of products with us including the ubiquitous spoons and spatulas, shrink pots etc, we also took along Fan birds, wooden flowers, cup cake pots as i call them and a few other odds and sods.

The afternoon evening fete was great fun, with the kids and indeed their parents showing a massive amount of interest in what we do and how these these products are made using just hand tools, and just for fun, i spent over two hours making small wooden flowers to give away to the kids and parents.



Saturday, 22 June 2013

Little Adze

New tool that i received this week and totally unexpected as i didn't order it, the story unfolds thus.

I was at a small show a few weeks ago and on the stand next to me was a Blacksmith, as the day went on we chatted, as you do, and we got round to talking about the tools i use and i made a throw away comment about how useful a really small adze would be for spoons, ladles and cups and i thought nothing more of it, then this week i get a call saying come and get this tool, but i didnt know what the tools was. When i opened the packet i was gobsmacked, a hand forged adze and totally unexpected, the cutting edge is just over an inch in width and even though the adze is small, it has a good weight to it, since the above photo was taken ive added a handle to it and ive had a little play and first impressions are good, although the bevel is a bit steep, so im going to take that back a tad, but, i just know this little adze is going to make a perfect companion to my Hans Karlsson.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Lack of posts

To answer a few mails ive received recently about the slow down in posts on my blog and people wondering where i am/what's going on?, well im still around, but im just very very busy with work, ive a whole host of shows and events to attend this summer and the prep for these is taking up masses of time, which isn't leaving me much time to actually write about things.

There has been a lot going on, ive new tools to try and a whole host of other things, but at the moment, im time limited, rest assured when things slow down a little, there will be a few more posts made.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Fan Birds

Finished off the batch of fan birds that i started last week, all now have bronzed pins attached and a short length of fishing line for suspension.

The one pictured is one of my favourites and im loathe to let it go if the truth be known, but there again, you cant keep everything and i can always make another if i want to.

Now i just have to get the next batch of sixteen birds made in time for the next show in a week or so's time.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Ash Serving Spoon

Roughed this one out yesterday whilst i was up in the woods, got it finished today, not turned out too bad, only issue is the knot in the handle, ok i could have stopped and made another blank when i first saw it, but why waste wood?.

Ive left the area around the knot a little thicker than i normally would, purely to add a bit more strength to that area of the spoon, it's not one of my best, but it's turned out ok in the end.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Aspen Spoon

One of many spoons ive made in the past two days, this spoon is made from a quarter log of Aspen and although you cant see it in the photo has a really steep crank in the handle.

All of the roughing out was done with the axe and then it was finished off with the knives, the spoon has a tooled rather than sanded finish and some simple cut outs in the handle, for that decorative touch.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Making Stock

Just a few of the spoons made to day to replace what i have sold at a couple of shows recently

On top of these i have another other half dozen blanks to finish and about a dozen more to make from scratch to get me back to where i want to be stock wise,  all of the spoons pictured are carved from Sycamore and have a tooled finish.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Stock Replenishment

Following a successful weekend at the Floral Fringe last weekend, ive spent most of my week making stuff to replenish the stock that i sold at the fair, so i have enough stock to take to the show this weekend and indeed at the shows im doing later in the summer, although, making sure i have enough for the immediate future is the priority at the moment.

So far ive replenished spatulas, lucet forks and fan birds, i still have about a dozen spoons to finish off, but, i can do some of these at the shows themselves, as i can sit/stand there whittling away as part of the demo's i do.

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Floral Fringe

I have just returned from a superb weekend away at the Floral Fringe Fair at Knepp Castle in West Sussex, the weather was glorious and the venue just superb.

I took a selection of the products i make with me, from spoons & spatulas to furniture and garden tools such as my  wooden rakes, and came home with considerably less items than I took.

During the weekend I also performed a number of spoon carving demonstrations and these appeared to be well received by the public, with comments like "i never knew there was so much involved to making a spoon" to "have you still got all your fingers".

Roll on next year.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Small Fan Bird

Finished this small Fan Bird off this morning, the bird is made from Ash and has a width, wing tip to wing tip of six inches.

As you may have noted im really starting to get back into these and have to admit that i love making them, especially, as everything seems to have 'clicked' at long last,  ive a few ideas bouncing around in my head for different shapes, sizes and indeed products.

More on those at a later date though.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Ash & Hazel Stool

Got another stool finished off yesterday, the legs are made from Ash that has been split and then rounded using a rounding plane, the Ash log pictured is representative of the size of log that was used to make the legs, the stretchers are made of seasoned Hazel, where i left the bark on, mainly as it has such a deep rich colour to it that  contrasts with the white wood of the Ash.

The seat has been woven using Jute webbing in a simple under over pattern, it also incorporates a nice piece of inch thick upholstery foam between the two layers of webbing, now all i have to do - is sell it.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Fan Bird

Been playing around with Fan Birds again this weekend, and i think im getting there, the bird pictured came from a blank that was 5 inches long, two inches wide and about an inch thick, when i rived the feathers i surprised myself as i made 53 feathers, some of which were way too thin and were discarded.

Even so, at 26.5 feathers to the inch, im happy, i was even happier with the one i did after this, as i rived 68 feathers from a blank 2.5 inches in width, or approx 28 to the inch, now it's just practice, practice and more practice.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Willow Cooking Spoon

A slight departure from my normal shape & style this one, as i wanted to experiment with the handle shape, the handle as you will see has a fairly narrow neck that flairs into a broader section, this section is oval in cross section and is incredibly comfortable to hold, the back of the bowl is also at a slightly different angle to my normal style, i quite like the overall look, although the highly coloured Willow also helps, the spoon has a tooled bowl section and a sanded handle and exterior.

Aspen Spoon

Made this from half an Aspen log, the spoon is to be used on my stand/stall at the various events i attend, the ideas being i can suspend it on some fishing line from the roof of the Gazebo i use and the spoon will spin in the breeze and hopefully draw a few people over, who otherwise might have just walked past.

Overall the spoon is a little under fifteen inches in length and has a bowl width over just over three inches, the spoon was finished with a sanded exterior, but retains a tooled finish on the bowl section to illustrate the two finishing styles i use, but also, the facets on the tooled finish do catch the light nicely too.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fluted Pots

As the last pot i made in this style was received so well, i thought i had better make a few more in the hope of selling them at a couple of forthcoming shows im doing.

All of the pots shown are made from fresh felled sycamore, i also changed the name from "Cup Cake Pots" to, "Fluted Pots", now all i have to do is sell them.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cup Cake Pot

New style of pot for me this, the pot itself is made from a big lump of Sycamore and the upper surface retains the outer radius of the tree itself, i had hoped to keep the bark on the pot, but i knocked it during the manufacturing process and damaged it, so i had to go.

The name?, well, it looks like a gert big cup cake, so it seemed the natural thing to call it.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Second Event Of The Weekend


Took part im my second show of the weekend today, the event was in support of a local conservation group that i am involved with.

Each year the group holds a family fun day, unfortunately the weather was not overly brilliant and that was certainly a contributing factor to the low turnout.

I spent a few hours on the edge of the woods making green wood whistles for the kids and the two boys busied themselves with doing fire by friction demonstrations. Despite the weather, we all had a great time and are already looking forward to next years event.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Summer Fete

Enjoyed a really great day at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy at their Summer Fete, i had a small stand, ok a couple of tables, at the event and had a number of different products on display and for sale, including Fan Birds, Wooden Rakes, Spoons, Spatulas, Bowls plus a few other bits and bobs.

This years event was 1960's themed and participants were encouraged to dress up and enter into the spirit of things, what did i do, well, in the run up i played Mr Grumpy and maintained i wasn't going to do anything, but then on the day, i surprised everyone by dressing up in a hippie wing, John Lennon round specs, head band and CND Medalion.

It was a really enjoyable day out, made a few pennies and there were a few lovely sights to be had too, one of which, was NOT me in my hippie wig.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Quick Bimble

Sunlight through Beech leaves.
Hugo of BCUK and i went for an impromptu bimble earlier today, i was supposed to join him yesterday but events during the storm on Tuesday night meant i needed to stay at home, so we arranged to go out today.

We didn't really do much i suppose, well we did a bit of carving, i went on the hunt for a few wild edibles and took my time to admire the spring flora, and we drank loads of tea and generally put the world to rights as you do, it was nice to get away from the workshop and the looming show season for a day, all starts again tomorrow though, more products to make, orders to fill and get everything ready for two events this weekend - no rest for the wicked i guess?.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Beech Serving Spoon

Made a small serving spoon today out of some beech that was at the bottom of the wood pile, was tough going, but worth it i think, even if it is just for the superb grain patterns within the wood.

The spoon is pictured resting on the opposing half of the log that bore it, and out of which im hoping i will be able to get an eating spoon at the very least.


The photo below shows the side elevation of the spoon, not a bad shape considering it came from a relatively straight log.

This is a style, that i really enjoy carving, but you do have to aware of the massive amount of end grain in the handle, but despite the handle being fairly thin in the vertical plane, it is carved in such a way that the grain itself remains long and therefore retains some strength, a study of the photo will show the grain length.

The spoon was completed with a fine tooled finish and then oiled with pure Tung oil, to protect the spoon from food acids and to really make the grain patterns pop.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Lily Cutting.

Spent a good day up at the lakes today, the main reason for being there was to conduct a survey in one of the ponds as part of a scientific research paper that has been commissioned by the Environment Agency and for which they are using our lakes as part of the study. 

Once the guys conducting the research were set up and away doing their thing, i grabbed my lily cutter (Scythe blade mounted to an extending pole saw handle) and cut back most of the Yellow Water Lily's in one of the ponds, we have to do this each year as the lily's are invasive and if left unchecked, they would soon cover the majority of the waters surface, we don't remove all of them though, as we need to maintain some cover for the fish and other pond life, but we take, probably 95% of them.

It's a shame that we have to do it, as the lily is quite a pretty plant and has a lovely yellow bloom, but needs must and this is a necessary function of the management scheme we have in place.  Once the leaves have been cut and removed, we pile them on the bank, but importantly, close to the water, so any invertebrates that have been caught in the work can find their way back to the water and help maintain a healthy eco system.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Arrow Through A Ring

Just a bit of nonsense really, but great fun nevertheless, it's quite amazing how such a simple thing can completely baffle people.

I deliberately make these from two different woods, the ones pictured have a Sycamore ring and a Hazel arrow, that way, people don't think it's all carved in one piece, which in turn, baffles some even more.


Oak Lucet Fork

Been making a few Lucet Forks today in preparation for the forthcoming show season, these are great fun to make and use, to add variety, i make these in all manner of different woods.

I personally like those made in Oak & Ash the best, the grain patterns just seem to really pop, especially so once the wood has been smoothed out and then oiled with Linseed or Danish Oil.