She turned to me and asked, “How hard would it be for you to make a wooden spoon? ” I had a few hand tools, and we began to experiment on whatever wood scraps we had on hand. Eventually I found out that traditional wooden spoons are lap-carved from green wood, but I was already well on my way to developing a method that worked well in dry hard- woods. I have since made hundreds of spoons and spatulas in many sizes, from two-foot-long stirring spoons to two-inch tasting spoons.

spoon carving

So as you carve you need to be testing that you’ve made it thin enough. Similar to willow, lime is good for when you’re learning to be a spoon carver but it isn’t a very remarkable wood. Roasting it gives it this dark, almost aged patina quality. Some herbaceous shrubby bushes have wonderful woods that are not commonly used.

How Do You Dry It Once You’ve Carved It?

In theory, the outside of the bowl should be the same shape as the inside, and it should be the same thickness from the tip to the shoulders. In practice, the thickness can vary quite a bit front to back. Just make sure not to leave too much wood on the underside of the bowl, especially near the rim.

Love Spoons Hand Carved By Mike Davies

These are some of the most challenging spoons, but can be the most successful. In them, the spoon’s bowl flows below the stem and handle while following the tree’s fibers, resulting in thin, but strong spoons. When you work with straight-grained blanks, you have to compromise some to create the flowing shape of a graceful spoon. At some point, you’re cutting across the wood fibers. To hollow the spoon’s bowl, I use hook knives specifically made for carving spoons, but you can hollow your spoon with a carving gouge.

Sketch out the inside of the bowl freehand, leaving a rim of about 1/16″. Melanie Abrantes Designs rents out products, teaches workshops and produces events. She also teaches private classes from 5-10 students for wood carving and spoon carving in her studio in Oakland,CA or remotely at different locations. Please contact her at if you or your company are interested in any of these services. These workshops are thoughtfully put together to create a relaxing, playful, fun, unique and cozy experience for everyone attending. You will find simple, sweet, homemade touches scattered throughout the entire class and will leave feeling creatively inspired with your very own spoon in hand.

As the handle thins down, you will feel it flexing beneath your tools, and you may feel you are going to break it. If the spoon survives the process of its own making, it will survive for many years in the kitchen. Many hardwoods are appropriate for spoon making, but the finer the grain and the fewer open pores, the better. You can practice on white pine, but a hardwood spoon will stand up better to rough use in the kitchen. For your first spoon, choose an easily worked hardwood such as poplar, black walnut, soft maple or cherry. I have successfully used many woods, including pecan, Osage orange, Chinese tallow tree and mesquite.

Making something like this, something simple yet difficult, practical yet pleasing, feels good for the soul. “You want long, slim shavings, not short thick ones,” says Barn. (Easier said than done.) “This part is all about wasting away the maximum of material smoothly and efficiently, getting the handle nicely down to the shape you want.” In the fourth unit, Andrea talks to you about the key premises for designing a spoon, showing you the different types and how to draw them.

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