Saturday, January 4, 2014

Carving a Celtic Love Spoon – How to

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Carving a Celtic Love Spoon – How to
“Where do you start to carve something like a Celtic Love Spoon?” was the young man’s question.  He had picked up the carved spoon and turned it over in his hands.
I asked him, “Have you ever done any carving?”
His answer was, “No, but I don’t know where to start.  Do you have a video to show how to carve something like this?”
In this very “YouTube World” where you can learn almost anything by clicking on to topic in the YouTube site, this young man was a product of the new world.
Then just before Christmas, I had the same question asked of me again, “Do you have a video on how to carve a Love Spoon?”
Nope… so giving it some thought I finally came up with an answer and then made a Video of this very idea.
Now carving something as intricate as the Love Spoon does take time – lots of it.  To try and shoot all the time needed to carve it… would be impossible.  Way too much time involved in doing that!
So still shots woven together in kind of a Slide Show is the best answer for something that takes time to do.
Today I unveil my new Video for my Blog Readers.  Just click here and take a look at the final product. “Carving Celtic Love Spoons January 2014”
But where do you start to do a spoon?  Here is the “How To” just for you.
First there is the pattern… which at times is pieced together.  The Celtic designs are many… and the people that are interested in “Celtic Things” all have different things that they like.
Each spoon has a basic structure so that it will hold up and stay together. As well each one can be very delicate in its actual make up but if the wood is too thin at any one point it will very likely break.  Just one little one asking, “Grandma can I hold it…?” will be sure to see a spoon break.
At times my customers are involved in the process of the design as well.
Just before Christmas I received an email from California asking if I did commissioned work and explaining that this fellow would like a special Celtic Knot in a Love Spoon.
He sent patterns and photos of knots that he liked. Together with an exchange back and forth by email we came up with almost the right design… at least it was a good and complete design. It was the start.
I drew the pattern for the Spoon on paper and then when the cut out was made it was transferred to a plastic sheet making the pattern long wearing and worth a lifetime of carving. For plastic I use the flat sheets of plastic cut from boxes and containers that store bought products come in.  These items are scheduled to be re-cycled.  Each flat sheet makes a great pattern possibility.
Next I transfer the pattern to the actual wood that I will be using.
In the case of this Celtic Love Spoon I use recycled wood… and particularly old Mahogany from old houses that are being torn down or renovated.  A local recycling store, “Re-Store” (connected to Habitat for Humanity) is a great place to pick up the old lumber. And the quality of the Mahogany is excellent compared to what is harvested and sold today. It usually has a rich colour and is very firm to carve. The finish is amazing as well.
After the spoon is roughed out by cutting around the outline I then cut the center sections out with a scroll saw. This part is tedious but very helpful in speeding up the process.  You could carve the holes but it takes time – too much time.
Step by step each section of the spoon is carved carefully. Once the pattern is cut out there are no more changes that can be made.  And also no more mistakes can be covered up either… so you simply don’t make mistakes!
Finally I begin the slower task of sanding and smoothing out the carved piece so that the knife cuts can no longer be seen.
An application of finishes and Tada… you have a Celtic Love Spoon.  And in this case there are two spoons completed this time around.
A photo will offer you more than 1000 words.  You can see all of these below.  And finally having published these photos to my Blog today – they are now going to show up in “Pinterest”
You can also see these on Facebook at “Misty Hollow Carving by Murray Lincoln”.  Please drop by and offer a “Like” – it will help me get the word out to others about the carvings at Misty Hollow.

First are the patterns that I experimented with...
The above design is amazing - but would be very difficult to carve - taking too much time and making the price too much for the customer

This is the best design that I looked at and would work well into different basic spoon designs that I had already carved. Using Photoshop I manipulated the two images together trying to see what the possible spoon would look like.  It also helped the customer to look at it ahead of time.

The above three are the same except for the size...

This design became one that I would use for Spoon Two

You can see in the photos the paper pattern and the plastic sheeting

Tracing the pattern to the wood is an easy step - PLEASE NOTE - the pattern for Number One Spoon is different from the patter above.  Suggestions were made as to an additional Celtic Design and a Heart that should added.

You can see the new pattern design below - added after the outside cut out - and before the inside cutting was complete...

The Cut after Cut after Cut after Cut... photos below..

This is the second Love Spoon in this series... shown only as a rough out - carving proceeded the same as for Number One

As you can see the colour of the Mahogany is beautiful

I am very happy with the final results - as I am sure the next customer will be as well

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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