Sylva Spoon

Bulk batches

Thomas Bartlett1 Comment

In the last week I've carved thirty-two spoons. I haven't worked at this volume before, but doing so has been an invaluable experience in learning how to become more efficient in the work that I do. 

In the past when I've produced batches of spoons I usually follow this rough format:

  • Split a log into pieces
  • Take one piece and do all the axe work 
  • Repeat on all other pieces
  • Take one spoons blank and do all the rough knife work
  • Repeat on all the other spoon blanks
  • Take one spoon and do all the rough hollowing
  • Repeat on all the other spoons
  • Let the work dry
  • Do finishing cuts on each spoon, usually alternating between straight and crook knife.

I talked about my process on Facebook and got into a conversation with Don Nalezyty who mentioned that he breaks down his process even more. I tried this and found that repeating the same action really helped with the flow of the activity. For example, instead of doing all the axe work on one piece of wood before moving onto the next I would axe out the bottom crank on all the pieces of wood, then the top crank on them all, then the left side of the handle, then the right side of the handle, and so on. This really helped me understand exactly what subtly different techniques work better than others.

Here are some photos of the spoons that came out of the bulk batch. 

A lot of thought went into the bowl shape of this cooking spoon. I will add this design to the shop soon.

A lot of thought went into the bowl shape of this cooking spoon. I will add this design to the shop soon.

This design has a deeper bowl and more of a crank in the handle than the purist cooking spoons above. The edge of the bowl is relatively flat making these a nice hybrid cooking/serving spoon. 

This design has a deeper bowl and more of a crank in the handle than the purist cooking spoons above. The edge of the bowl is relatively flat making these a nice hybrid cooking/serving spoon. 

I really love working with black cherry, and wanted to play around with some other designs after sticking to the two designs above. 

I really love working with black cherry, and wanted to play around with some other designs after sticking to the two designs above. 

These birch serving spoons all have a hook carved into the handle to stop them from slipping into the bowl or pot. Some of the birch had started to spalt, adding some lovely colour. 

These birch serving spoons all have a hook carved into the handle to stop them from slipping into the bowl or pot. Some of the birch had started to spalt, adding some lovely colour.