Thursday, January 7, 2010

That's Some Mighty Purty Kindlin'!

This is the newest effort at a lovespoon. I call it the Art Deco Fountain.

Looks pretty good from this angle. I'm especially fond of the Art Deco "Fountain of Life" with the diamond in it. I originally wasn't so sure about the heart-piercing on the handles of the keys, but having looked at it a while, it's starting to grow on me. On top is the eternal flame.

More on the fountain later.

Since this was carved out of a 1"x3"x12" piece of basswood, I have thought about painting it with a very dilute wash: the fountain with blue and gold along the edges, the hearts as red (of course), the keys with gold, and the flame with a blue fading to a yellow at the top. I don't know though. What do you guys think? It's not traditional, but . . . .

This is my new basswood rough-out knife. It started out life as an Analon kitchen paring knife with a 3.5" blade. Since I almost never use a saw to rough out the shape, I wanted a larger knife with a thin blade so I could remove great gouts of wood quickly. A thin blade in soft wood does that so much better than a typical sloyd-type knife. So I liberated the knife (along with its own sheath) and reground the edge. It works great! On harder woods I'll stay with the sloyd.

This is the knife I used to hollow out the bowl. The blade is by Mike Komick at Preferred Edge, an outside-bevel hook. I carved and mounted the handle. I prefer to think of the handle as a sperm whale even though the flukes are turned the wrong way.

These are the knives I used to relieve the keys into low relief and make the piercings. The piercings were done with the top knife made by my friend Carl Johnson which has a 3/4" tiny blade making tight curves easy. I did the relief with another knife from Preferred Edge, an inside-bevel high curve bent knife. I feel like I have more control doing relief with a bent knife, and Mike Komick makes some of the best out there.

Now that you've seen the good, here comes the bad.

And here's a close up.

I started off not going to carve the back of the spoon. However, while working on the hearts, the knife slipped and took a corner off the back of one of the "leaves" of the fountain. I tried super-gluing a piece of off-cut into the gap and carving it down to match. Unfortunately I didn't like the way it looked, so I decided to carve the back to take off the "uff-da." With a little clean-up, I think it would have worked fine.
Unfortunately . . . .

. . . while doing the other side of the fountain I got in a hurry, got lost, and carved from the wrong direction. I don't think this can be fixed. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd sure be interested in hearing them. In any case, here are some more pictures of the back of the spoon.

I really like the way the heart piercings came out on the back. So I'm going to have to try this pattern again and pay attention this time. I hope. Since I've already screwed this one up, I think I'll do the painting and see how it looks before I try it on a real spoon.

Until next time, let those chips fly!


  1. Now thats a spoon! I know the time and concentration needed and appreciate both in this carving.

    One thing I've learned about piercing I can n't do this accurately. Next spoon I'm using a pillar drill. Its amazing how far off the true I can get by not using it.

  2. At least the spoon looks good from the To bad on the mess up, It doesn't look bad to me. Oh Thanks for posting the exercise video in the previous post. I get that "carvers wrist" pretty bad especially on that last big carving. ( swinging that mallet.) I didn't realize that I am pretty tight with my right hand (The swinging arm) complared to my left. Time to stretch things out!

  3. I like to see carvings where there is humanity; your slip has left the carving a one off and as such should be treasured. its beautiful and I would love to see it painted.