Le 9 novembre 2007, par Outdoors1
I have not shown the grips and holds that are required for this type of whittling. If you would like to see these shown, plese look up the references listed at the end or visit Del Stubbs.
Del’s website lots of great information on Scandinavian spoon carving techniques, carving grips, as well as information on how to select a natural crook for spoon carving, and even one on making your own birchbark knife sheath. Del is planning on adding some links to videos showing various carving techniques as well.
Spoon Carving Tutorial
The two blanks shown in the bowl are from Del Stubbs. One is basswood, the other is birch. Both of these woods are easy to carve and have very fine grain. You can also make your own blanks from green wood. Please look at the website linked above or the references at the end of this article for more information.
The spoon blanks have been cut into a traditional Scandinavian shape with a bandsaw and are ready to carve.
I like to start by refining the profile of the spoon. In the next photo I have smoothed out the handle shape and begun to carve away the excess wood on the bottom of the handle.
Then I rough out the bottom of the bowl
Then I carve the hollow of the bowl. You can use just the spoon knife for this work, but I prefer to use a gouge to rough out the bowl and save the fine edge of the spoon knife for the finishing work. Below are several tools that work for the rough work.
Here’s the rough carved blank, ready for fine tuning to get the bowl a bit deeper and to smooth out the lines.
At this point, I do a bit more hollowing with the spoon knife, and some smoothing on the exterior. As you work, be sure to check the thickness of the bowl frequently. You do not want to make it too thin !
Now the spoon is ready to sand and finish. I like to use food grade walnut oil, but any food safe finish will work. Most good woodworking stores will have one available. If you decide to use a raw food grade oil finish like walnut oil or flax seed oil, be aware that these finished can take a long time to cure. This doesn’t really create a problem since these oils are edible.
Here is a fine example carved by Schwert. Nice job !
If you found this article interesting, I encourage you to look up the three references I studied before writing the article. All three are currently out of print, but it is well worth the effort to find a copy at the library or via a used book seller.
"Swedish Carving Techniques" by Wille Sundqvist (Taunton Press, 1990, ISBN 0-942391-45-4). The original title is "Talja med kniv och yxa". This book provides an entire introductory course in making wooodenware in the Swedish style. The first sections of the book provide background information on selecting and sharpening tools, followed by sections on whittling techniques and spoon design and construction. The descriptions walk you through the entire process of making a spoon from selecting the blank, through whittling techniques, to finishing and detailing the final product. The section on spoon design hilights the most common mistakes and ways to avoid them. One outstanding aspect of the text is the quality of the writing - Sundqvist explains why to do something, rather than just showing how he does it. A truely excellent book.
The companion video to Wille Sundqvist’s book is "Carving Swedish Woodenware" (Jogge Sundqvist, Taunton Press, 1990, ISBN 0-942391-34-9). This video is another excellent reference. It summarizes the material from Wille’s book and shows all of the techniques in use. The dialog provides clear explanations of each step as Jogge steps the viewer through carving of a bowl and two spoons. An excellent reference in its own right, I highly recommend this video for the beginning spoon or bowl carver.
My final reference was "Carving & Whittling : The Swedish Style" by Gert Ljungberg and Inger A:son-Ljungberg (Lark books, 1998, ISBN 1-887374-40-x). This book starts with a good discussion of wood (specific to Sweden, though) and moves on to projects. The text provides an excellent overview (using photographs and sketches) of designs for bowls, spoons, and other greenwood projects. I think my favorite thing about this book is the way the authors present several alternative methods to create similar items. I think this is a perfect book to stir the creative impulses for those who have already mastered the technical aspects described in Sundqvist. Also highly recommended.
Yes, that’s true. This article is about carving woodenware in the scandinavian style so I used scandinavial tools, but there many things you could make with just a knife. If you would like to write an article about carving a spoon (and other things) with just a knife, I think it would be interesting to read.