Progress has been slow and intermittent so far, with the 'Dragon Lovespoon', due to my other current work commitments. With the carving of the 'Dragon Lovespoon' the most immediate goal that I'm looking forward to, is that point in the carving when all the critical design decisions have been made and the safe, albeit tedious, 'haven' of finely finishing the carving, is reached. Of course right after the initial thrill of finishing some small section to that point where the natural beauty of the timber starts to show and a certain pleasing crispness begins to appear in the forms and shapes, then a restless desire to be designing something new will set in again.
Bearing this in mind it is as well that love spoons have a back and front, so a little variety can be introduced by proceeding to some of the finishing process, with needle files at least, (abrasives are best left until your edge tools are reserved for the next project) and then getting back to carving those parts that will still need some intuitive design work to complete them. I find that I need this variety in a long project, but more especially when I don't have other different work to attend to at the same time.
Engineering a little variety into the work is probably a good idea as long as the discipline of designing well and finishing well isn't interfered with by indolently, only attending to pleasant tasks. However I do have some other work on hand at present and the carving work is something interesting and pleasant to look forward to at various set times. Having good and interesting work to do, is certainly a blessing and a gift from God to mankind, but all work has its tedious side plus its pain and however well it finishes up, there's always something more and something better to look for and look forward to.
The general thickness of this carving, in many places, will be greatly reduced as material is removed from the back of the spoon. This is a time when thought needs to be given to keeping strategic strength in vulnerable parts of the spoon to weather the relatively rough handling of some of the more strenuous passages of carving.
The 'unders' and 'overs' of the Celtic knot work have been set in on the top of the spoon and the depth has been determined for many of the elements. The full three dimensional form of the dragon is still being determined however as carving begins on the back of the spoon.
As the stem of the spoon is 'buried', more or less, in the depth of the carving and only short lengths are accessible to cutting at any one time, the desirable fair curve for the spoon's neck, is going to be a challenge to carve. A lot of guessing and estimation, plus constant checking, will be necessary to establish the long slow and largely imaginary curve of this neck as it traces its 'apparent' path to the bowl of the spoon.
One side of the large heart at the top of the spoon has been carved awaiting the relief carving of the leaf pattern over the surface. I am still deciding how the back of this heart will be carved, whether it will be the same as the front or carved in a more concave manner. A great deal of 'on the fly' design will be needed when the main forms on the back of the spoon are established.
Some continuation of the plant and floral elements on the back of the carving are also going to temper the general alacrity that can be expended on the removal of the large quantities of material on the back as some of this material will be needed for those parts of the continued floral elements situated at the upper layers of the back of the spoon.