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Project by Spoontaneous posted 03-19-2014 09:31 AM 3395 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am working some long hours at my ‘other’ job and so instead of starting from scratch on writing out the descriptions, I am going to cheat and just copy and paste most of it from the Etsy listings. I (almost) promise that I will be more true to form on the next project entry.

B.O.T.E. is carved from a pretty piece of Serviceberry wood… with bark still attached (live edge).

You might be thinking that I don’t know how to spell (it’s true), but in this case B.O.T.E. stands for Bark On Top Edge. I had originally planned to make this a bit longer.. but the bark was only suitable for the 14” length of this boat. The width is 3” and the height is approximately 2”.

This project took longer to carve than I originally thought it might. Just a lot of wood removal while having to be careful not to mar the bark. But I like the end result which, in part, is due to the beautiful grain of the Serviceberry wood. The warm color of the wood contrasts particularly well with the rustic bark.

An occasional departure from my spoon work.

Note to self….. instead of digging out the insides, I could have just bored some holes in the bark to hold those little tea candles… for a ‘Candle Boat’.

HEART MIRROR ~ This recycled 10” mirror is framed with hearts from 20 species of wood. The overall piece measures just shy of 15” at the widest point.

As mentioned… the mirror is recycled and has a faint scratch and some other minor blemishes…. but nothing to keep you from looking at yourself.

The mirror has a plywood backing which has a hole drilled for hanging on a nail or screw. It will be signed and dated on the back.

These are a lot of work (without a scroll saw) and I may not be compelled to give it another go for quite a spell. I made a smaller one a few years back to give as a gift…. and it has taken me this much time to get myself back into the ‘heart mirror making mood’. After all, I’m a wooden spoon maker.

SPLAT ~ This was my first attempt at carving a SPLAT spoon. You know… that effect you get by dropping something solid into a liquid and the liquid ‘drops’ go vertical.

The spoon measures 8” long and is fairly ‘bulbous’ at the handle. Obviously nonfunctional… but still ‘fun’.

I’m intrigued with the idea enough that I think I might have another go at it one of these days…. maybe with a blonder wood.

AFRICAN BLACKWOOD ~ It started out as a small piece of black wood with one edge showing some nice contrasting sapwood.

The spoon measures only 6 1/2” long and 1” wide, with a depth of 1/2”. It can stand upright on its integral base or lay flat.

I’m not really sure what the design reminds me of…. but something.

I started out trying to preserve the gold color sapwood and this is what came about. Interesting little spoon but certainly won’t be much help in the kitchen.

MACA DAME ~ Macadamia, although a beautiful wood, is a bit too open grained for a good functional spoon… so this one has been finished with a decorative finish.

The spoon measures 10 1/2” long.

PEA POD ~ I had this little shard of lilac left over from a previous project and found myself with a bit of time before I had to head home from the shop.

As the carving began it looked like the spoon was headed in an ‘ergonomic’ direction…. where I make indentations where the fingers would naturally hold the spoon. But then… an impulse to just carve at random took over and this pea pod shape emerged.

Lilac is a pure delight to work with. Carves easily, sands easily, holds great detail and… finishes out as soft as any wood I can think of.

This functional spoon measures about 7” long and has been finished with a food safe oil and beeswax. Silky smooth to the touch.

DK ~ The wood specie is unidentified and the exterior was in a fair state of decay…. leaving the wood with the interesting texture on the handle of this spoon.

I figured ‘DK’ would be more palatable than ‘decay’.... especially when it comes to a spoon…. even if it is not meant to be functional.

The spoon measures 9 1/4” long and the bowl is 1 1/4” wide. I could have carved the spoon bowl deeper.. but I would have lost the interesting contrast of the smooth/finished portion and the raw/decayed portion.

Actually, I had picked up this piece of wood, considering it for a ‘magic wand’ handle I am looking to make for someone. But by the time I carved away all the wood that I knew had to be removed…. it just looked a whole lot like a spoon.

Usually, I can be found relentlessly carving in a cloud of dust… but this wood (whatever it is) insisted that I have a fan next to my head…. something that rarely ever happens.

SERVICE SPOON (or ladle) ~ I hadn’t listed this one yet… as I am thinking of gifting it. But the basic story is that it comes from the same piece of Serviceberry wood as BOTE and the Ladder Ladle from the last project listing. I think it might be 14” long and has a pretty deep bowl… which I like the shape of.. but didn’t like carving the shape of.

TUSK ~ Carved from a branch that was hollow on the inside. The markings on the back of the spoon are from where the blackened decay inside the hollow joined the solid, exterior wood.

The specie of wood is unknown… as I rescued this one from a brush pile…. but the bark was smooth and green. Inside the hollow section everything was just sort of black and ‘blistered’ looking.

I actually like the back of this spoon more than the front…. and it was that ‘marbling’ look that got me to carving this spoon. The spoon handle reminds me of a ‘tusk’ and the spoon bowl is sort of cantilevered off the side. The length of the spoon is about 7” long.

Not much of a functional spoon but does hold a bit of interest… especially on the back.

BEECH SCOOP ~ Is from the weeping beech tree that I have a history with. Just tried to salvage one of the last pieces…...

BRUSH PILE spoon ~ from a limb rescued from the brush pile at Mounts Botanical Garden. I believe it is from the Royal Poinciana tree… but can not be certain. The wood grain, color and working properties all match up.. but it is hard to say.

Whatever the wood, it has a beautiful grain and the color contrasts between the dark and light gives the spoon a certain appeal. The spoon bowl is a sort of free form teardrop shape… which just happens to be a great shape for scraping the bowl (at least for us right-handers).

The spoon is just shy of 13 3/4” long with a good and generous handle, while the spoon bowl is about 1 3/4” wide at the heel.

Probably less than 25% of the spoons I carve are meant to be ‘functional’ and when I do carve them I hope they are a bit unique when compared to the mass produced spoons. I strive to create them with a certain ‘heirloom’ quality…. at least, to the best of my abilities.

This spoon, being of questionable origin, might have a hankering to be adopted and put to task by some good folk. Whether that task be cooking or serving…. this spoon is ready for it.

BLUE BIRD ~ I think I listed this one before… carved in ebony sapwood…. but I wasn’t happy with it and so I dyed it blue. Sold the first day it was re-listed.

HARD TO HANDLE ~ This wood is from the specie ‘brushpileas’ (a recent favorite) and the handle has been covered with dried rose thorns.

The title of ‘Hard to Handle’ is actually a double entendre… with the more apparent meaning being that of ‘difficult to hold or handle’. The less apparent meaning (but the one that initiated the title) is that I had a difficult time with the ‘handle’ of this spoon.

When I first carved the spoon the handle had a line of soft ‘pith’ running a good part of the length… which sort of nullified the intended functionality of the spoon. So… I came up with this really great idea to cover the spoon in crushed eggshells… which then… I decided to carve these little walnut footprints and glued them onto the handle for a ‘Walking on Eggshells’ spoon.

It didn’t work.

So.. I set about sanding/grinding off the footprints and the eggshell bits… which took a spell longer than I could have imagined. But I don’t give up too easily sometimes…. so I came up with another brilliant idea.

This time… I took the ‘scales’ off of some pine cones I had collected… and set about gluing these to the handle with the intent of replicating the ‘whorling’ effect of the pine cones. Well, the radius of the spoon handle proved to be too small to curve the pine cone scales around with the desired effect.

Back to sanding/grinding.

Almost 40 years ago (mid 70’s), I worked in this huge wholesale greenhouse in Louisville, KY (before they tore it down to build a shopping center) which supplied cut roses to the floral shops. Each morning when I would walk through the door, I was greeted by this overwhelming fragrance that just kind of made it difficult to be in an ornery mood.

Anyways…. I made it a habit to snap off some of the old dried thorns from the rose stems and collect them into a coffee tin…. which I have held onto (for some strange reason) through all the years and moves. Even had them in storage for a few years.

So… after ‘failing’ with the other handle treatments…. I started gluing the dried thorns onto the somewhat mangled and tired handle. Several hundred of them to be exact…. or not.

As you can see, the ‘Hard to Handle’ title was fairly well earned. But look what you get in the end?! A spoon you can’t do anything with. <grin>

I’m still going to charge money for it, though.

What would be more ‘hard to handle’ is to put forth all that effort and time, and time, and time… and not get monies for it. So… there has to be a compassionate soul out there somewhere, feeling sorry for the maker of this spoon, willing to undo their purse strings.

After all, you’d be getting a spoon that was 40 years in the making.

17 1/2” long

STINGRAY ~ I carved from some Bird’s Eye maple that ‘Jim The Carver’ graciously sent me. I dyed the top and left the bottom lighter. After I had listed the spoon, the purchaser asked me to make a display base for it…. which turned out to take much longer than it should have.

The center of gravity on this spoon was far forward and leaned to the right… so I had to make something that almost wrapped the spoon handle or else it would fall off the stand.

The base is Cholla (cactus skeleton)... which is ironic to use for an underwater scene… but somehow just looks like it could belong. The clear part of the stand is acrylic resin.

UNCERTAIN IDENTITY MASK ~ And finally… (can’t remember if I listed this already with a different finish)????

This MASK was hand carved from a piece of basswood…. and is finished in gold leaf and crushed glass of multiple colors with an acrylic finish. You decide whether this is a Maori mask, alien mask… or something entirely different.

I am going to be straight up honest here. After carving the mask I could not figure out what he was nor could I figure out how to finish him up. My original intention was to give him a sort of ‘crackle’ finish. So I began by painting the whole thing black.

I then coated it with wood glue, let that ‘tack off’ and laid on a coat of yellow oxide acrylic paint. It crackled alright… but I was not satisfied with the result. So… another layer of glue and then I followed with some red paint. Totally different look but I felt it wasn’t quite right for the mask.

Next, (You can follow along with the process in the last photo.) I repainted the whole thing black, and then leaving the edges black I painted it white. Painted it black again… added glue… and painted portions of it white.

Nope… still not right. This is about the time when I remembered I had a bucket of crushed glass in the shed. So I painted the mask all black again, covered it in acrylic resin and sprinkled glass, red on one side and blue on the other…. and sprinkled green glass ‘dust’ on the lower half of the face.

That was kind of a neat effect.. but on top of the black paint the glass didn’t really show up that well from several angles…. and.. the texture was a bit sharp to be handled. I took the mask to the shop and sanded all the sharp points down which left it looking pretty uninspiring.

I gold leafed the mask again and this time I used the acrylic resin first as a glue coat, sprinkled the mask with various colors of crushed glass…. and then… applied another coat of the acrylic resin to soften the sharp points of the glass. This is where I stopped.

The effect looks a bit too much like ‘glitter’ to me and I find myself tempted to keep experimenting. But…. I am mostly a spoon maker and need to get back to spoons. But if someone was inclined to purchase this mask…. please feel free to alter his ego as many times as you like. I quit.

The mask is approximately 18” tall, 11” wide and maybe 2 1/2” thick. The inside is black… that part I was sure of.

Okay…. sorry for the writing shortcuts…. but Thanks for having a look!!!

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

20 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4266 days

#1 posted 03-19-2014 11:27 AM

A very nice array of projects. I really like your heart mirror. Very cool way to display many different species of wood. Also, another fine way to use up those scraps….........whoops, I didn’t mean to say that cuss word, “scraps”, I meant, cut-offs.. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 03-19-2014 11:52 AM

wow, those are all awesome, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View terryR's profile


7732 posts in 3771 days

#3 posted 03-19-2014 12:50 PM

Terry, your work is spectacular! I love them all except the Hard to Hold. :)

Really like the way your hearts blend together on the mirror frame…have you tried Intarsia yet? You have the skills and patience for it!

Terry, I have literally tons of rock dust and chips from my knapping debitage. White and black novaculite, jasper, agate, obsidian, pink flint ridge flint, too much to list. You want a few pounds of pretty chips? I’ve used acrylic resin and crushed stone from In-Lace, but their rocks are expensive!

Just shoot me a PM with your snail mail, and I’ll sift some dust for ya! :) Maybe we can trade for a small piece of Serviceberry???

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4427 days

#4 posted 03-19-2014 01:16 PM

Your work is always cool…....SPLAT is such a neat effect, but they’re all great…..

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4564 days

#5 posted 03-19-2014 02:40 PM

“Hard to Handle”....your really sick

I like it….................

-- mike...............

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3800 days

#6 posted 03-19-2014 03:19 PM

I do believe that you have one of the most creative minds on this site. Incredible work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Skylark53's profile


2868 posts in 4523 days

#7 posted 03-19-2014 03:26 PM

I don’t think I could pick a favorite. Some stories are more endearing than others, then there’s the grain of the wood, or the color, or the shape it found. All very good and thanks for sharing. Each project is sure to bring smiles.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1084 posts in 4148 days

#8 posted 03-19-2014 04:04 PM

As always, I like your work, your creativity, all enhanced by your writing.
You are well out of the box with your carving and I look forward to your next posting.
Kind regards, Roman

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

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 5057 days

#9 posted 03-19-2014 07:03 PM

WOW you have some amazing carving talent. I love them all

Ahh I just looked again you are spoontanous yes you always have amazing work

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4285 days

#10 posted 03-19-2014 08:42 PM

You’ve been a very busy boy, all great pieces & should sell easily, wonderful variety of work :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Spoontaneous's profile


1340 posts in 4792 days

#11 posted 03-19-2014 11:34 PM

Thanks everyone! I just came in from a long day in the sun working and all of your comments give me a lift.

(I know that many of you northern folk could do with such a day in the sun… about now, but I wouldn’t mind if it cooled down to the 70s for a spell.)

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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5175 days

#12 posted 03-20-2014 05:08 AM

Your creativity is unending! I think my favorite is “hard to handle.” I can’t begin to imagine the dexterity and eyesight required to complete such a feat!


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 4143 days

#13 posted 03-20-2014 05:12 PM

cool ; )

View JimArnoldChess's profile


210 posts in 4457 days

#14 posted 03-20-2014 06:15 PM

Don’t know where to start Terry…

the B.O.T.E. turned put great, and i like the heart mirror too! Masks look interesting…I always wanted to try those, but as always I just marvel over your spoonwork.

The work is always spotless. Outstanding quality and craftsmanship, your skills are top notch, but even more than all that, I just admire your imagination. Its rare. Lots of people do lots of different kinds of work, and Im not taking a thing away from somebody that creates all kinds of work all across the board, but to me there’s just something a little extra special when the creative ideas are focused on a specific outlet, like your spoons. I know there is no end to your ideas and your last one is just as interesting and appealing as your next one and the same goes for the ones I saw years ago. A lot of people dont get it, but there is no subject that you can’t address in your spoon work. I am just constantly amazed and entertained with your ideas and creativity and I can’t just look at one of your spoons, I have to look at all of them. What a tremendous body of work you have accumulated over the years and these latest editions are equally impressive especially the ebony one that looks like a ballroom dancing couple, the manta ray and “hard to handle”, the blue stained spoon is cool and so is ‘Tusk’!

Its just a pure treat to sit back and watch what you come up with next. Unique, creative, and there ain’t nothing like them anywhere.

Cheers my friend! Brilliant work!



View Ivan's profile


17284 posts in 4330 days

#15 posted 03-20-2014 08:32 PM

Some beautiful objects. The boat looks great!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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