Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again!

Greetings and Salutations! Hope everyone had a fine Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I've been busy on a new lovespoon. This one I'm calling Cranes & Cross, for obvious reasons. It's made of a nominal 3"x1"x12" poplar board.

It doesn't come out in the photos very well, but there is a stripe of brownish-green running through the right hand side of the spoon. That's the reason the eye and wing of the right-hand crane stand out more than the left.

I'm very fond of the pairs concept in lovespoon design, especially cranes as they mate for life. After all, isn't that what it's all about? I'm also fond, as I'm sure some of you have noticed, of the two-hearts-merged-into-one bowl design.

The knot is called Fae's Eternal Promise. I have modified it a bit to accentuate the heart shape.

This spoon I did a little differently in that I only used the hand saw to rip the handle to the depth I wanted it. I used a drill to start the piercings. The rest of the shaping and finishing was done with knives. It is an original design, and took me about 10-12 hours over four days.

You might note the feet on the cranes. That wasn't an intentional design element. While doing the leg on the left-hand crane I got a little carried away with wood removal. You know how it is when the wood just seems to be flying off the edge of your knife. Luckily I noticed it before I chewed all the way through the leg. So I had to adapt the leg of the other crane to match. Ah, design adjustments! I love 'em!

This wasn't the best piece of poplar that I've ever carved. It had a tendency to split out. When I was drilling the starts to the piercings around the cross a chunk about an eighth-of-an-inch thick split out directly across the left hand arm of the cross. That wasn't so terrible since I was going to relieve the cross anyway to put it behind the cranes.

You can see some striations on the top of the bowl, and could be forgiven for thinking it showed a split-out. But that part of the bowl is as fair and smooth as can be. It has to be something to do with that greenish-brown stripe, through nothing like that has happened before.

And here's what the back of the spoon looks like. I paid a little more attention this time to the guzunders and the guzovers.

So there you have it.

Until next time, when I hope to have more in-progress photos, let the chips fly!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Thank you to all who have read my blog and especially to those who have chosen to leave comments. I want you all to know that among the many things I am thankful for, your attention is one of those.

And with that, a little Santa Show.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birds & Fishes Lovespoon Finished -- Finally!

I know, I know, I have neglected you, my faithful readers, horribly. My only excuse is that I was in production mode on my Santas, every spare moment devoted to that jolly old elf.

But now I'm back! Celebration abounds!

Or, maybe not.

In any case, I finally got the guts to finish the Birds & Fishes Lovespoon that I started way back in February. It was only my third lovespoon, and I think I got a little ambitious with the design. So, seven months, three lovespoons and innumerable Santas later I decided I was ready to finish it, and here is the result.

This photo shows what a dog's dinner I made of the back of the birds's necks, all through the mechanism of not paying attention, front to back, of the order of the goesovers to the goesunders.

This photo shows the front view of the birds.

Here's the lower part of the spoon.

And a detail of the bowl.

And an overall photo of the back of the spoon. Overall, not a bad effort, if I do say so myself. Even if it did take 7 months!

So I'm off on another woody adventure or two. I've already got the design for my next lovespoon transferred onto a blank, and I'm also playing with a design for a Woodworker's Chess set. I'm almost done with the first bishop, and I have designs for the pawns, knights and rooks. I'm dithering about the design of the king, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with the queen. Once I get one of each of the pieces carved, I'm going to post them and ask guidance for the queen's design. So keep on the lookout.

Until next time, let the chips fly!