What is Spoon Carving? | BC Series #10
What is spoon carving? What does this technique imply?
One of the most common wood carving projects is a spoon. It is popular among those who make their first steps in woodcarving, as well as among the professionals. As all the woodcarving, making spoons is addictive and rewarding. With the best wood carving tools, the process is relaxing and meditative, and in the end, you receive a useful and beautiful thing that you have made completely by yourself. That’s why you can never make just one spoon, you will always love to make another one.
What do I need for spoon carving?
First of all, make sure you have everything you need to make a spoon. Always use the best wood carving tools! Those are the main things you’ll need:
a piece of wood from which you are going to make your spoon
a pencil for outlining the spoon design
a hatchet for taking out the extra wood and roughly forming the spoon shape
a spoon carving knife (a hook knife) for scooping out the bowl
the best wood carving knife for doing the whittling
sandpapers for sanding the spoon when you have finished carving
beeswax or oil for protecting your finished spoon
A wise decision will be to get the best beginner wood carving kit and not to pick your tools one by one. Check out this tools set for spoon carving, it will give you all the knives you need.
How to carve a spoon
Draw a spoon outline on your piece of wood. Pay attention on how the fibers go. Going together with the fibers, your creation will be stronger. Where your design doesn’t follow the fibers and the fibers cross your project, this is where the spoon will be less resistant to stress. Try and follow the wood fibers in your design.
Take your ax or hatchet and take away all the extra wood, leaving some wood around your spoon, you will take it away later with the knife and make a precise shape.
With a hook knife, scoop out the bowl of your spoon. You may hold the knife like you would do while peeling a potato. Take away little by little, until your perfect bowl is formed.
Then whittle away all the remaining extra wood from the handle, the back and the edges of your spoon with your best wood carving knife. After the shape is perfect, you may add some decorative carvings to your spoon if you wish.
When the spoon is ready, sand it with sandpaper and after that put on a protective layer of beeswax or oil.
Tips on choosing the wood
You can always cut a branch in the forest and practice carving on it. But green wood (the wood that has not been dried properly) may change its form later, or crack when it dries. On the other hand, green wood is always softer and easier to work with; besides, you will enjoy the smell of freshly cut wood. If you would like to make a spoon out of green wood and be able to use it later, learn the techniques of how to dry it properly.
If you intend to carve dried wood, choose the types which are not so hard to cut, for example, basswood. You don’t want to fight with the material, especially, making your first steps in wood carving. Woods that are harder to cut, like birch or cherry, can be soaked in a plastic bucket for several days to make them easier to work with.
If you intend to use the spoon for food, keep in mind that some types of wood can easily get stained when in contact with grease, and basswood is among them. While birch or cherry will make a good choice for this kind of spoons.
Carving spoons is fun and relaxing, so you will not regret trying it. Grab our best beginner wood carving kit – this tools kit designed specifically for spoon carving! Enjoy learning carving. And later, when you look at a tree branch or a piece of wood and see a spoon that can be made out of it, then you’ll know you are becoming a professional.