Spoon carving. It all started the day an ash tree in front of my apartment dropped some branches during a bad storm. After the weather let up something told me to go down and grab a branch and make something. With an old Case pocket knife and some coarse sandpaper I carved my first spoon. I still have the ugly thing. Looks more like a corn cob pipe than it does a spoon. But from that ugliness came an obsession: spoon carving. I have no idea why I am here on planet earth but when I have a piece of black walnut wood in one hand and my Mora knife in the other all the existential anxiety that I backpack around seems to soften. This is a good thing. So each spoon that I carve has a piece of me deep inside its fibers. They are not just spoons to me. They are my wood babies. But like all children they must one day leave the nest. I only ask that my spoons go to a good home.
From beginning to end it takes me between 5-8 hours to finish a spoon. I carve slow. Often taking breaks just to admire the grain or to take in its lovely scent. The whole time fully aware of the life this soon-to-be spoon once lived. As a beautiful tree. Still and calm. In the heat. In the cold. And now in my hands. And maybe one day in yours. From design to the final buffing I find the whole process meditative. I only wish this fell upon me years ago.
I use Mora knives: a straight and a crook. And to keep these knives sharp I use Shapton Glass Stones. I now only work with black walnut. For some odd reason I feel connected to this species.