Swedish Spoon: the practice of form and balance

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Project by jjw5858 posted 01-13-2014 10:40 PM 1910 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Form and balance is something that is required in the craft of carving a wooden spoon. This learning of carving is something that seems to allow me to walk away from my current (non spoon) project left on my workbench and why? It is because of the very fact that I know for myself that this process of working out shavings upon my knee sitting at my shopping block is preparing me to be a better joiner, sawyer, planer, woodworker. A more caring and patient person.

I am totally convinced this wonderful tradition of knife and axe work is a fantastic fundamental and valued way to spend an hour or more. These various moves and carving grips are teaching care, pride and understanding of timbers. The entire time you proceed through the work, wether it is a wooden horse, spoon, or whatever else your creative mind desires to try, you will continue to learn. This work will do nothing more than educate and liberate your outlook on life. There is no rush, no competition, just let the tree teach us as we work.

Handicrafts take us out to woods again, bringing us upon the tree and humbles us in the best of ways. It reminds us to rely on ourselves, to take chances on our limitations and gather our instincts to collectively brave new trails of blade and shavings.

This craft is wonderful in the simple fact that it is so very hard, you have to exercise mind and body for your satisfaction. You must repeat the moves many times to get a form that you see as improvement. Along all of this you may find a sense of newfound freedom from the daily noise of a throw away society. To make something with our hands, with tools that someone made with their hands. That my friends is a wonderful combination that exposes an over packed modern world stuffed with constant electric gadgets that leaves us rather empty of accomplishment or achievement.

Sit your carved work on a shelf and look at it, share it with friends, or give it to someone you care for. The tree is living on from your design and showcased with it’s magnificent grain. Wonderful!

This latest spoon carved in Cherry…it is thanking me for my hard efforts. It feels correct in my hand. The crooked timber shows me the great lesson that Jogge Sundqvist and his father Wille have always taught …form follows fibers. When you walk amongst the trees you train your eye much like how the great wheelwrights saw wagon parts within the tree, you try to see spoons.

Find yourself a crook in a tree, saw her out and make a split. You just might have a wonderful blank of wood to let nature show you it’s strength for creating yourself a spoon! The secret is to find the form and balance.

Either way I hope your time is spent enjoying the outdoors,

Be well my friends and keep making shavings!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

12 comments so far

View Boatman53's profile


1078 posts in 3271 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 10:58 PM

That’s a lovely little spoon. The first photo made me think it was larger. We have a couple wooden Norwegian spoons. Great job.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 3674 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 10:59 PM

Very nice Joe, great job. Some day i would like to make one of these. I’m half Swedish so I guess it’s just a matter of time. Thanks for sharing.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View Brit's profile


8323 posts in 3917 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 11:43 PM

Very inspiring as always Jo. Reading your blog has single handedly inspired me to try my hand at spoon carving, so thanks.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brett's profile


959 posts in 3833 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 11:46 PM

Hey Joe!
Great timing for a great spoon. I was oiling up a spoon that I just finished carving and I thought that I would check email. There was the notification sitting there in the inbox just waiting for me to click on it and check out this fine spoon! :)
I do mine slightly different in the fact that I use a bandsaw to rough shape and then carve down with the knife.
Either way, it is still an enjoyable activity that brings some continued use and beauty from the piece of wood.
Thanks for sharing!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30615 posts in 3412 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 12:22 AM

Very nice clean work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3482 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 12:28 AM

Your best one yet! Nice carving job!

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

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 3275 days

#7 posted 01-14-2014 04:14 AM

seeing it in your hand, makes all that you write, just make sense.. don’t know if I look forward to what you make or what you say more.. always take me on a trip, always enjoy the time spent traveling along the many hi-ways and byways which are this life we live.. thank you for letting me travel with you for a short was a very pleasurable journey… Papa

-- Papa...

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3994 days

#8 posted 01-14-2014 11:02 AM

It is really beautiful. I love your work! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View R_Stad's profile


439 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 01-14-2014 05:18 PM

Hello Joe. Sweet little spoon and well written, mind opening thoughts.

-- Rod - Oregon

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3914 days

#10 posted 01-14-2014 05:30 PM

I didn’t realize the size till I saw you holding it.
Nice work my friend.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4408 days

#11 posted 01-15-2014 04:46 PM

Nice, I like the shape and simple carved design on the handle (not simple to do though).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26186 posts in 4180 days

#12 posted 01-22-2014 04:11 AM

Very nice shape to that spoon! Nice going, Joe!!.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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