This is my vision above all else: to pursue the boundaries of wood, and find within the true creative process, a freedom that captivates the mind, body, and soul.
I've often said that it was my goal to carve wood into exquisite treasures, but this means nothing if I can't discover what it means to be truly alive and well.
I started out my hobby of spoon making with very little knowledge about woodworking. My background wasn't in carpantry or woodworking, so, I had a rough start. Later this new found hobby of mine would turn out to be a full-time career. For the most part, I've been self-taught. I picked up a few videos of spoon makers and developed a few skills and techniques as I tried new techniques and ideas learned from other spoon makers. As time went on, I developed a system that works for me and has proven to be effective in producing functional pieces that work well in the kitchen. Some days, I find it hard to believe that I can pull a piece of rough lumber from the stacks and turn it into a kitchen utensil. Not vary many people could do that. Sometimes my pieces are magical, sometimes they are dysfunctional, and yet they always turn out to be useful works of art. I like to say art because this is what I would like to call my work. Even though my work is functional the design and thought process has always been a balance of art, skill, and personal style. I revisit the templates I've created over the years, and adjust them according to my customers feedback. This year, I'll be looking into making measuring cups and ingredient bowls. These will complement my tablespoon measuring set and still hold true to my classic ideas. Only time will tell if they turn out to be a success.
Author Jason Weymouth
Product: Hand Carved Wooden Spoons - Price Range: $10 - $950
What town are your spoons made in?
My studio is located in Brunswick, Maine. I have a home-based wood shop-It’s a shed-really, I built 4 years ago, and have converted it to my spoon carving studio. My studio serves as a place to center my creativity and function as a daily retreat.
When did you get started making spoons?
I started about 3 years ago, although I didn’t start selling my hand carved spoons online until recently. I watch a few video on spoon making and that got me interested in making spoons.
What got you interested in making spoons?
I have always been interested in working with my hands. I guess this kind of woodworking gives me the most fulfillment and most challenge. I started making spoons out of my interest for bush crafting and thought it would be cool to make a spoon while camping. So, I did and haven't stopped sense.
Where do you get the wood for your spoon making?
I use mostly local wood. I prefer to use locally harvested wood and scrap wood. I’ve used all kinds of wood from scrap wood to the exotic wood for special orders. It’s important to me that I use wood that has come from a sustainable forest and I look for mills and retailers that practice sustainability. I use woods that are known to be allergen free and safe to be used with food.
What types of wood do you like using when making your spoons?
I love carving any type of fruit tree wood. Fruit trees make the best spoon carving wood. I also love carving Eastern Maple, Poplar, Cherry, Apple, and Birch woods. I prefer Cherry and Apple over other types of carving wood because the color, texture, and how the grain preforms when sanding.
How do you make your spoons?
The stages of my spoon making process start with: 1) Selecting the wood, 2) Sketching the spoon designs that I’ll be working on, 3) Marking the wood with the spoon sketching, 4) Rough cutting the timber to blanks, 5) Carving the spoon design and shape, 6) Further refining the shape of the spoon, 7) Gouging out the bowl of the spoon, 8) Rough sanding the spoon, 9) Fine hand sanding the spoon, 10) Applying a blend of walnut oil and beeswax to the spoon, and 11) Taking photos and writing the spoon’s story for upload to my Etsy Shop and website. As you can see lots of time and effort go into creating a spoon. I don’t have expensive machinery; every spoon is made individually.
What stage of making a spoon takes the most time?
Without a doubt the final stage of hand sanding the spoon takes the most time.
What do you enjoy the most about carving spoons?
I enjoy the creative process of making something useful with my hands. I love when my mind and hand are united in this process of creating, and something wonderful is the result. I like to call all of my kitchen utensils functional works of art because I want people to use my spoons and spatulas and showcase them on a shelf or hang them on a wall. I’m an artisan and enjoy making beautiful spoons that will be cherished for a lifetime.
What advice would you give someone looking to start carving spoons?
Be patient, carving doesn’t happen overnight and carving spoons definitely takes a lot of practice...trial and error, and patience. Then, I would say always keep your knives sharp, wear safety goggles, and ear protection, and have a first aid kit close by just in case. Then, find people in your area who also like carving and learn from them. Watch...learn...listen...and most of all have fun. This would be my best advice.
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