February 21, 2012

Cherry spoon

A miniature spoon made from a freshly cut branch of Flowering Cherry.

Driving along the street yesterday I saw a pile of branches sitting by the road waiting for the yard waste recycling pickup day. The branches are green wood, they were only cut a few days ago.

I have been following some articles on carving full sized spoons. They all say to work the wood when it is freshly cut as it easy to carve then. And so it is....
At this small size there seems to be no danger of splitting while drying. The surface is rapidly drying as the carving is being done.

Most of the work was done with a knife. I only used a gouge to scoop out some of the bowl material. I did the basic carving last night and after air drying all day I did the finish sanding tonight. You can't sand a wet surface without getting a lot of fuzz. I used a diamond coated, ball shaped, burr to help sand inside the bowl.

The Flowering Cherry branch was very fine grained. It does leave some pink color near the bark when peeling it and also some pink by the pith when I split the branch. But most of that fades away as the surface air drys. Any kind of species of fruit tree pruning should work for making a miniature spoon. But the base of the branch needs to large enough in diameter the spoon fist onto one half of the diameter plus some extra as you have to avoid the pithy center.

Time to get out the magnifying lenses and do the final touch up on my spoon. You all know by now that the macro photography reveals all the flaws, tiny things you can't see without high magnification. The transition between handle and spoon is too thick, overall the spoon needs more to be thinner, more delicate looking. Chunky looking miniatures are rarely going to work in a miniature setting other than a child's dollhouse.

Get out your pruning tools and head outdoors!


Marion said...

Fantastic idea Karin and thanks for sharing, otherwise I would have never known that I would be able to use green wood for my carving. Would that go too for turning you think? I love the spoon. Now the other parts of a series of different spoons while the going is good.... ;-)

Karin Corbin said...

Marion, I know that in full size lathe work they often rough out the wood when it is green. But they don't finish cut it while green.

Marion said...

Thanks for your response, Karin. I might try it anyway and see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained...... ;-)
Bye for now

John said...

What a great idea, Karin! My woodcarving skills are rudimentary at best but this looks like something I could handle and my crab apple tree needs pruning this Spring... Will your spoon shrink significantly as it dries out?

Karin Corbin said...

If there is shrinkage it won't be a problem. What difference does it make if a spoon shrinks a micro amount? In real life spoon making now and again you are likely to lose a few of them due to cracking.

Shrinkage in wood is mostly across the grain, there is very minimal shrinkage along the length of grain.

A great many types of furniture and other objects are made with green wood. It is easier to peel the bark and split the timbers while it is green. I will do a posting with some links to examples of this kind of woodworking.

Josje said...

Rats! My gardener just pruned all of my fruit trees yesterday and took away the prunings. I never thought of using them for carving miniatures. Good idea! I may have to sneakily cut a few more branches off...