February 21, 2012
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!