Chokecherry

It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog as I have been away on a short vacation to Niagara Falls. It was really nice to get away in the busy time of summer

A short while before I left a friend kindly gave me some Chokecherry wood. This is a small suckering shrub or small tree found across most of America. I had not carved this before and also had not carved green (wet) wood for quite a while. What a pleasure to have your knife glide through green wood. I know why some spoon carvers exclusively use green wood. It’s so much easier on the hands!

The wood though somewhat plain, had a pleasing brown center to add some contrast.

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This photo also shows the parent piece of wood I cut the spoon from. It seems to be treated as an invasive, undesirable plant here, as it is a host to the tent caterpillar.

I was happy however to carve a bit of it and will try to get some more for a few spoons. One of the pieces I made was a coffee scoop. In addition to the brown center it had several patches of coloration adding further interest.

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Give it a nice curvy handle and it made a very acceptable scoop.

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Speaking of the French Roast – I think I am going to make a brew of Joe!

Commission

I had a very interesting commission recently. A regular customer at the store where I work knew that I did spoon carving. He had a intriguing request regarding a piece of Ash. His family had the use of a canoe belonging to a friend. One of the thwarts of the canoe had become rotten on the edges and he replaced the thwart with a new one.

This was how I received it:

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He specified that he did not want straight spoons but wanted them curly or bent. Within the limitations of the piece of Ash, I laid out the best I could using the whole width, and most of the length. As the colour is fairly plain I also set holes at the ends of the spoon to add some interest.

This was my rough cut out:

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Ash is different from any wood I have carved in that it alternates from softish to very hard wood with the growth rings. This gives a very distinct feel as you carve – almost a feel of corrugations.

As I have said many times – the sharper your tool the easier the carve,

The following pic clearly shows the growth rings in this wood.

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I was quite pleased with the final outcome and so was the customer. The thwart now lives on, and hopefully will grace many a meal. This has spawned another commission – this time a set of salad servers as a wedding present. Better get busy on those……

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