Not another snake spoon!?

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Project by Spoontaneous posted 10-28-2013 12:38 PM 3806 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

’Slither’ is carved from a piece of ebony wood and inlaid with silver. This is the third snake spoon thus far…. and truthfully, I had no immediate plans to make another snake spoon. It was actually my wife’s fault.

About 6:00 one morning we were having coffee and out of nowhere she says, “I guess it will be a while before you do another snake spoon.” Well… ‘no where’ is the same as ‘now here’ and on the way to the shop all I could think was snake spoon, snake spoon, snake spoon.

Part my fault too, though. I broke my bandsaw blade (again!) and while (im)patiently waiting for the replacement blade, I am somewhat limited to spoons that are fairly narrow and can be carved without the luxury of cutting out on the bandsaw. So…. snake spoon it was.

This one measures 9 1/2” long. The silver dots were created by drilling tiny holes in the wood, gluing in silver wire, then after snipping, the excess wire is ground down to flush and then sanded smooth.

He has a turned up tail and his head is lifted from the surface to give a more 3-dimensional quality. The spoon bowl has a unique shape, hopefully resembling that of a snake’s head.

This one sold within the hour of being posted on Etsy and the collector told me I should consult my wife more often. I think they are ganging up on me.

’Pot of Gold’ is carved from basswood. I had a terrible time with trying to color the rainbow. First I used aniline dyes with alcohol. All the colors sort of bled into one… even though I had pre-moistened the handle to raise the grain and sand smooth.

So.. I sanded again.. and then tried the dye with water. Better, but still a big mess. Sand some more.

Then I had this great idea of using high-lighter pens!!

Nope. Back to sanding.

Next, I used my acrylic paints diluted with water… and that is what you see here. Not the effect I was going for… but I quit. The pot was stippled and dyed black and gold leaf was applied to the inside of the spoon bowl (as best I could). I was glad to call the dang thing complete. 7 1/2” long, 4” high.

’Outside the Box’ is carved in mahogany. My clever intent was to carve half a spoon with the ends sticking out of a block of wood… call it art, and charge for a whole spoon. Well, I didn’t like the effect so I went back to carving it and this is where I stopped. Now, if I had one of those drill presses with a mortising bit, this could have been quick and easy… but I didn’t and it wasn’t. 11 1/4” long and 1 1/4” wide.

’Maraschino’ is from the cherry burl with a bit of red aniline dye. A little over 5’ and the color is more vivid that the camera claims.

’The Blue Brothers’ came from the same cherry burl. In fact, they are the last of it. It was a very enjoyable wood to work with. I had this 5 1/2” cut-off that I sawed in two and then cut around the best burl areas. This resulted in the shapes of these two spoons. I dyed them very blue and then sanded 97.2% of the dye off, leaving what you see here. Big brother is 5 1/2” and little brother is 5 1/4”... or there about.

’Lady in Black’ was inspired by the old Hollies song, Long, Cool Woman in a Black Dress but I wanted to save that title for a redo and use ebony instead of dyeing the wood. This was carved in maple which had a little burl to it. She is about 10 3/4” tall and a little over 1 1/2” wide at the hips.

’Blue Dress’ So then I thought this might make for an interesting functional spoon and so I carved another with simpler lines. I used food coloring for the dye…. which, I still haven’t found a way to get it more saturated into the wood. Same dimensions as above.

’Sycamore Scroll’ From sycamore, of course. The end of the handle sort of rolls back over on itself creating a scroll effect on each side. That line runs down the length of the handle starting on the bottom but ending up on top to form a loop cantilevered over the spoon bowl. The spoon is about 8 1/4” long with the bowl width just over 1 1/2”.

Three functional spoons from Surinam Cherry. The two longer ones are about 13” long… the other one might be 11”???

’Limb Scar’ is a hair stick from a piece of boxwood I foraged down in Miami a few months back. 6 1/2”.

’Red Head’ is from ebony and bloodwood. 6 1/4”, I think.

’Hair Stick’ I just call this one ‘hair stick’ because I can’t figure out what it is. Looks a bit like a dog… or a duck… maybe a seal.? I held it up and asked my wife, “What is it?” and without hesitation she said, “Sea Horse”. Heck… the best I can figure is that it is a piece of wood…. or rather, 3 pieces of wood: ebony, holly and bloodwood. 6 1/2”?

’Acorn’ is probably my favorite hair stick. If I was a girl…. and if I had hair… this would be the one I would use. Acorns are harder than you might think. Gave me a whole new respect for those squirrels. Of course, I used a piece of oak for the stick part. Looks to me like a little man wearing a turban. I almost painted a face… but went the simpler route considering my painting skills are suspect. 6 1/2”?

’Dagger’ wooden spoon I just photographed this morning… so thought I would add it in. A skinny piece of Bubinga with the handle carved and dyed. It is a 12 “long spoon with a narrow bowl less than 1” wide and on the back of the handle there is a detail that sort of matches the spoon bowl shape.

I had this little piece of white glass bead I was going to inlay and so I carefully hand drilled a pilot hole and when I follow that with the right sized drill bit I find that I missed the center by 17 miles. So.. the only thing I could figure was to grind the hole wider and inset a larger piece.

I looked around my stash and could not find anything at all that might look decent. I had just recently ordered a set of gasket punches that I wanted to see if I could punch circles out of sandpaper…. and so using the smallest punch, I took a thin slice of bleached red palm wood from the end grain and punched a dot of that.

Yeah…. I know, another long post….. and thanks for having a look.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

19 comments so far

View BENTWOOD's profile


401 posts in 2705 days

#1 posted 10-28-2013 12:43 PM

I love your spoons and wood art…keep them coming.


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30577 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 10-28-2013 01:12 PM

You’re still the master. Love your work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4341 days

#3 posted 10-28-2013 01:15 PM

I am always amazed by your talent and work that you do. Great bunch of spoons…. Hard to pick a fav when you like them all. Thanks for posting.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 10-28-2013 01:39 PM

Beautiful work and craftsmanship. The creativity is flowing for sure!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3948 days

#5 posted 10-28-2013 02:06 PM

Wow. Great work! Enviable…

-- Dreaming patterns

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4500 days

#6 posted 10-28-2013 02:25 PM

Your art is always so unique and ingenious very well done.


View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5189 days

#7 posted 10-28-2013 02:43 PM

Since I always forget how to get to your Etsy site, and I always want to look there when you post here. . . howzabout putting your Etsy url in your signature?
As always- love everything about your work. Every one is a winner. Envy, envy, envy.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3789 days

#8 posted 10-28-2013 02:54 PM

I love to see your work. You have a lot of talent and creativity.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 4433 days

#9 posted 10-28-2013 02:56 PM

Excellent pieces!
i really love the spoons.

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View Heavy's profile


118 posts in 3511 days

#10 posted 10-28-2013 03:16 PM

As always great job

View BigMig's profile


521 posts in 3536 days

#11 posted 10-28-2013 04:05 PM

your posting wasn’t too long at all ! Great, artistic work.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3959 days

#12 posted 10-28-2013 05:14 PM

Another beautiful collection. Lady in Black is a definite favourite. Oh’ and not just another snake, seriously sensational snake sssssir. As for dyes and dyeing, I have, several times, whenever I try to do it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2930 days

#13 posted 10-28-2013 09:12 PM

I look at old branches and think “Burn pile”

YOU look at an old branch and think ”$poon”

What a difference!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2836 posts in 4515 days

#14 posted 10-28-2013 11:22 PM

Beautiful Spoon’s. You are the spoon master!

-- Dennis Zongker

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1053 posts in 3609 days

#15 posted 10-29-2013 12:59 AM

The posts are not long at all. I love looking at them! Thanks for sharing.RH

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

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