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This blog features the current woodcraft, Art and Graphic work of David Stanley.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cariad Lovespoon Back on Track

Most of the main details of the 'Cariad ' Welsh lovespoon have been roughed out now, including the reverse side of the spoon. Each element has been established on its level in the multi-layered design. Some teeth still need to be added to the gearwheel and pinion, the 'iron ring' needs to be carved and separated from the lower neck of the spoon and the bowl of the spoon needs to be fully roughed out.

Then remains the long and important task of refining all the shapes, first with edged carving tools, then with fine rifflers and needle files, before final finishing is done with a series of finer and finer grit, wet and dry abrasive papers, until a silky gloss is obtained. Then at last the final finishing with danish oil and polishing with wax.

You will probably have noticed the change in colour of the spoon at this stage. The cherry 'Cariad' spoon now known as the 'learning experience spoon' has been replaced with the walnut version of the 'Cariad' spoon. The Cherry spoon, due to some earlier problems in planning a workable procedure, had started to deviate from the original design in ways that I was not happy with. The top area of the spoon with the links and sun motif had been very cramped and ultimately led to a reshaping of the rays that basically spoilt that part of the spoon. I had no choice but to start over, and as I could not get hold of another piece of cherry quickly, went back to a nice piece of walnut I already had and to a new spoon, slightly scaled up in size and more closely following the original design.

The walnut has not proved to be so much a problem for holding fine detail, as I had first thought and the darker colour seems also to work well with this design.

There is a little more detail work to be done on the Geese, mountain and the gate at this stage and then the finer finishing. It's difficult to see here but the grain in the walnut has shown a fortunate presence of figure on the side of the front Goose, closely resembling the banding on its wings and body. When final polishing is done the figure in this timber will be clearly seen and its present drab appearance will be replaced by the sheen of polished walnut.

Some work has now also been done on the back of the spoon with motifs added to make use of the reversed shapes that are made by the lettering and the goose wings intersecting the sun's rays on the other side.

The back of the spoon has been roughed out and features some different motifs presented in a slightly more abstract way. The sun with its rays, now tops a regrowing tree stump, the roots of which blend into a looser montage of knot pieces, gear fragments and rocks with the connecting rod merging into the neck of the spoon bowl.

The re-growing tree stump is a favourite motif of mine and I have used it as the signature piece in hand-crafted wooden jigsaw puzzles that I have made in the past. Apart from the obvious meaning a re-growing tree stump conveys, like renewal and vital continuation, it symbolises, in the book of Jeremiah and other places in scripture, the promised Messiah Jesus, and the final establishment of his eternal kingdom at the end of this age. A kingdom into which all people are now invited at his expense and as his cherished possession.

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