Sunday 25 April 2021

52 Weeks Of Carving - Week 16 - A Beetle & A Poor Cranked Spatula

 I need to get back to the more tradional carving as this almost feels like cheating - but with the weather being so great we've been messing around lots outside doing green woodwork. 

I picked up some pear logs from my parents farm (a huge beautiful old tree that decided to split in two last autumn. The pear will dry to be as hard as nails so I thought it would make a great mallet/beetle. I roughed out the shape with the froe and axe (it is really hard to work). 

Then my daughter removed the bark and made the handle nice to hold.

It's potentially a little big, but it'll dry lighter than it is now and will be good for hitting the froe into wood. 

For my project this week I used a cranked branch of sycamore a friend had dropped off for me. I wanted to keep the crank in the work. 

I tried to do as much as possible with the axe and get it to be as light as possible. 

I got fairly close then worked on it with the draw knife and a carving knife. 

In the end I really hate it and think it'll end up on the fire. The crank just seems the wrong shape for it or in slightly the wrong place. Although it's not he end of the world it just doesn't feel right. Still it was nice to do on a sunny afternoon while my children were making clay models not far from me. 

At least it'll give me a bit of heat when I burn it. Also good to have a few failures as it makes the successes even better when they happen!  Also good to practice and try to make things symmetrical, the only way I'll learn is to keep making things, even if they all don't turn out to be useable. 


  1. Hmmm, yeah more curved than cranked, but you have done a good job of the carving. I learned to make cranked spoons by chopping (axe) across the bit that would be the bowl about 2/3rds of way up the length of the bowl, and then taking out a wedge either side of that. You get a straight handle, and a bowl with a crank in about the right place.

    1. Yeah I think I got where the crank is in the wrong place, and I basically made a bent handle! If I ended the spatula bit where I started this one it might have looked better. I think I'll chalk it up to a learning experience, and I'm keen to show my failures as well as my successes. The thirds rule is probably a good one to go by - thanks!


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