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

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ship Horse Lovespoon

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Front

It has been a while since I have added any posts so I am posting these photos of a recently completed love spoon. This lovespoon was carved on commission for a couple with interests in the sea and horses. 

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Back

My first proposed design was a seahorse and kelp on the front and the existing horse head on the back, using the silhouette shape to contain both motifs, front and back. When something different from the sea horse (obvious choice to utilise one shape for both motifs) I needed to fit another sea theme design to the horse head shape. 

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Front detail

The kelp background to the original sea horse was going to be an easy fit to the spiky parts of the horse's mane. The clouds behind the ship, usually another easy filler in a design, would need some special treatment at the carving stage to make the pointed portions look soft and round. The negative spaces read, of course, as rounded shapes and I endeavoured to make them appear to be part of the cloud volume by carving the surrounding points way back into the timber for natural perspective and shadow to soften them into the cloud mass. 

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Back Detail

Apart from these design problems needing to be to overcome, this lovespoon was much less complex than previous spoons. It still took a long time to carve however and when there is more access to the various parts of the carving, then more time and work can be spent on refinements in these places. 

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Front Detail

The Ship Horse Lovespoon has been carved from rock maple, one of my favourite timbers, it is about twelve inches long by three and one half inches wide by three quarters of an inch in thickness. The lovespoon is finished in danish oil and finally with wax. 

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Back Detail

The spoon has a ship and leaping fish motif on the front side to represent the recipient's interest in the sea and has a horse head on the back of the spoon to represent the interest the client's wife has in horses. The horse design is quite stylised and is based on characteristics from several different carousel horses. This seemed the best way to go as I am not familiar with real horses but I have long admired the highly gestured forms of carousel horses. The interplay of fast and slow curves  in their forms also suits my own 'personal calligraphy' or design tendency, which seems to show up un-bidden in most of my designs.

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Back Detail

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Bowl

 A heart-shaped bowl is at one end of the lovespoon with a small incised heart just above it. At the top, for hanging, is a single circular chain link ring through a looped ball-topped post.

Ship and Horse Lovespoon – Loose ring