Ambrosia Maple is one of the woods I have really enjoyed carving. These two scoops have some spalting, adding to the drama of the piece. It carves easily although durably hard, The grain is even and it gives a clean finish. I do not have lots of experience with this wood as I was only given one piece but am able to get a few spoons from that one piece. Like most carvers I generally use every tiny scrap! Interesting to me is that it has several tiny holes in the wood caused by the Ambrosia beetle. These are easily filled and stabilized and I think they add, rather that detract from the carving.
Peach is another very striking wood with a very distinctive grain. I was give quite a bit from large prunings a few years ago and very much regret not roughing out many spoons while it was still green. Now totally dry, it is very hard. It finished very smoothly and if you are careful with choosing where and how you carve, you can really bring out the grain into interesting features.
This scoop demonstrates that very well as it seems to have a rather stern expression!
From a colour perspective, Lilac Wood is very striking – the contrast in the outer white wood and the heartwood is amazing. A really much harder wood that it may seem, it is close-grained and very strong. Again a small piece was given to me by a knifemaking friend who used it for knife handles due to its stability and strength. Both characteristics that also suit the perfect spoon. Wish I had more of this.
These are the only spoons I have carved from Apple wood – again a very dry piece of wood that I had but also a really nice wood to carve. It is funny because a carving friend says it is very difficult to carve and splits easily but then he always carves it green. Maybe once seasoned it is easier. These two quite large spoons have a wonderful “feel” to them and show no signs of splits after some months. Again I would really like to get hold of some more but folk don’t cut down their Apple trees!