Spoons!

I have some spoons for sale. Although there are a dozen in the photo, one has already been removed from the mix, so eleven are available. If you’d like one, send me an email at dandkfish@gmail.com. You can pay through Paypal or by sending a check. In either case, I’ll get it boxed up and on the way to you right away. The prices include shipping, so the price you see is the total amount. All are from branch crooks except for two. All surfaces are straight from the knife. I’ll list dimensions for each spoon below and the apple will provide an additional sense of scale.

I will update the post by indicating which spoons have sold. The updates won’t show up in your email browser, but will at the blog post itself.

#1: Cherry serving. 12 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ $140 includes shipping. SOLD

#2: Red Maple serving. 8 1/2″ x 2 1/4″. Carved lettering “Fika?” I was introduced to the concept of Fika in 2019 at Täljfest. $140 includes shipping. SOLD

#3: Cherry small eating spoon — for little bites. 5 3/4″ x 1 3/8″. $65 includes shipping. SOLD

#4: Red maple cooking/serving. 10 3/4″ x 2 1/2″. “Peacock” milk paint on handle. $110 includes shipping. SOLD

#5: Rhododendron serving. Ideal for lefty. 9″ x 3 1/2″ $110 includes shipping. SOLD

#6: Cherry cooking/serving. Straight-grained cherry, not a crook. 11″ x 2 1/4″ $65 includes shipping. SOLD

#7: Cherry cooking/serving. Straight-grained cherry, not a crook. 11″ x 2 1/4″ $65 includes shipping. SOLD

#8: Red Maple serving. 5 1/2″ x 2 1/4″. Tight little crook with carved lettering, “Hold me.” $130 includes shipping. SOLD

#9: Cherry serving. 10 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ $120 includes shipping. SOLD

#10: Cherry scoop. 5 1/2″ x 2″. Organic form that follows the fibers of this twisty crook. $60 includes shipping. SOLD

#11: Cherry serving. 8 1/2″ x 2″. Carved lettering, “Take time.” $130 includes shipping. SOLD

Posted in spoons, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

With Flutes on the Side

I tried a new fluting pattern by going from foot to rim on the side of this cherry bowl.

I sketched some lines on in pencil as a general guide for the carving.

Then I worked from the center to the right…

…then back the other way. I like the slight variations that result from the repeated short cuts.

Anyway, cutting across the grain like that was a good solution for dealing with the band of interlocked grain.

This one is 17″ x 6 1/2″ x just under 4″ high. It’s already spoken for, but I have some other pieces nearing completion, including several spoons that should be ready to post sometime next week.

Posted in bowls, patterns, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

If You Still Haven’t Made a Shrink Pot

Making a shrink pot may be the most magical thing you can do in green woodworking. You can carve bowls and spoons from dry wood, but a shrink pot’s gotta shrink. I revisit the process regularly, and I was working on the one above from a bent length of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) from a recent windfall. So I thought I’d share some photos from my work with this one detailing a few steps to encourage you to share in the fun.

I’ve written a bunch of posts about shrink pots, beginning with this one that presents the general idea.

I’ve discussed my process for boring the initial hole and the rest before (see the other posts), but for this one with a bit of curve along the 10″ length, I went half way in from both ends at a bit of an angle to each other — aiming for the center in the middle. Then I widened and shaped the curving interior by working along the grain with a gouge from both ends.

After the inside is formed, I shave away the excess material from the outside, but just to a rough stage. Much more will be done after drying. Depending on the size and design of the pot, I leave a wall thickness of 5/16″ to 1/2″ at the base. 3/8″ (9mm) is a good general target.

Next comes the groove for the bottom, but it’s worth taking the time now to make sure the bottom is flat and that it supports the pot above vertically or however you’d like it to sit. One way to at least make sure there’s no wobble is to rub a pencil on a piece of paper, then rub the pot bottom over that.

The graphite will transfer to the high areas.

You can shave them with a knife, but I like to use a block plane while pushing the pot down against the upper edges of my partially-open vise jaws. Any gap between boards will work.

Here’s the cutter I used to form the groove in this pot. I wrote about making it here.

I cut a slight outward taper from the groove to the bottom of the pot with a knife (forgot to take a photo — the shot above is before that). You can cut a (slightly different) groove with a knife, and there are other ways as well.

I trace that inner rim to a dry board, but in this case, it was still a real circle, so I just measured and struck the board with a compass.

I cut it out roughly with a coping saw, then trim to the line with a knife, followed by chamfering both upper and lower corners to form a V profile to the edge.

It should be a snug fit on the way in, requiring some pushing and/or tapping.

Then, with a little “pop,” it will find the groove. It will shake around in the groove at first, then become tight over the next few days as the walls constrict around it.

Once it’s dry, you can go ahead and make the finished pot, or you can wait quite a while. But I’ve waited long enough! I’m ready to get back to these now, with lots of ideas.

Posted in shrink box, Uncategorized | Tagged | 13 Comments

Print News from Chip

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Chip would like to point out some news from the world of books and magazines. Lost Art Press is getting ready to start the second print run On Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee’s Make a Joint Stool from a Tree. It’s the product of a special collaboration over many years and an invaluable book. The remaining copies from the first printing are being offered at a special price.

While you’re at it, pick up the latest issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine. Not only did Peter write a detailed article on making a carved box (full of great photos by Barry Dima), but the wise folks at FWW put Peter on the cover. I haven’t received my hard copy in the mail yet, but it was great to read Peter’s take on it. I remember my excitement as a nine-year-old when this cover hit newsstands:

Sports Illustrated December 24 1979 Terry Bradshaw/Pittsburgh Steelers & Willie  Stargell/Pittsburgh Pirates on Cover (Sportsmen of the Year), UCLA Bruins  Basketball, Winterlude in Ottawa, College Bowl Previews: meremart:  Amazon.com: Books

Now, this is even better:

While at Lost Art Press, you can also pick up a copy of Brendan Gaffney’s exploration of the fascinating life and work of James Krenov, James Krenov: Leave Fingerprints. I just received my copy today and I’m looking forward to reading it. I leafed through it this afternoon, and it is clear that the book, like Krenov’s furniture, has been painstakingly designed and executed. Brendan left no stone unturned with his research . If you’d like to hear more about that, and see and hear him in action, there’s a video preview of the book. You’re sure to be intrigued and impressed.

Wishing you enlightening reading and a happy Thanksgiving.

Posted in books, quotes and excerpts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Autumn Evening

As I walked old trails with a young dog last evening, our world was lovely and quiet. Especially so after the previous day’s windstorm, the one that pushed over the screen at the drive-in theater. I sauntered, scanning for spoons among fallen branches while my mind fumbled for a line from a recently-read essay:

Now that Autumn’s silence is upon the land, one can hear the big, enduring voices which seldom shout the things they have to say.

Hal Borland, “The Enduring Voices” (originally published in the New York Times, 1962)

In response to the sirens of hurry and restlessness, a fall evening whispers words of calm and continuity.

Early in our walk, the rays of the dropping sun bridged the fields of goldenrod, illuminating the bare branches of the maples beyond. A century and a half ago and four hundred miles away, Emily Dickinson wrote what might be a fitting caption:

Frequently the woods are pink —

Frequently are brown;

Frequently the hills undress

Behind my native town.

Emily Dickinson, from Poem XXXVI

Simple as it sounds, it speaks to me of broad patterns and deep assurances. Wishing you peace in autumn, and a good walk.

Posted in nature, quotes and excerpts, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Patience

As I was using my adze to rough out some spoons this weekend, I was reminded by a few emails that folks are still having a tough time getting their hands on a good adze. This can be seen as a good sign. I think the smiths are making more than ever and there are more smiths making them. It just speaks to the wonderful fact that demand continues to grow. Judging by the difficulty of acquisition, I’d say bowl adzes are in more demand than iPhones! Next time somebody tries to impress you with their new phone, show them your adze.

I wish I could be more helpful in my response to the inquiries. I know there are a number of additional makers now whose products I haven’t tried. Others have changed their designs since I last tried them, usually for the better, it appears. Some adzes with which I have no direct experience look good to me in the photos, like they would work well. But until I start buying each of these adzes just to evaluate them, I can’t say for sure.

At this point the only current renditions of available adzes that I have direct experience with are those made by Hans Karlsson and Jason Lonon. Both are good, and both typically require some wait, as do tools from many other makers. I just heard from a fellow who was happy to receive the HK adze he had ordered through Kenneth and Angela at the Maine Coast Craft School. Eventually, it will come.

Meanwhile, I have posted a list of adze makers/suppliers to help folks in their search. You can find it at the bottom portion of this page. Many of the sites listed are based on some things I’ve heard from others and are just listed as potential options for you to investigate. One of my goals in writing the recent article “What to Look for in an Adze” in Fine Woodworking Magazine, was to help people evaluate and maintain whatever adze they are considering, no matter how the list of makers may change. A good adze will last well beyond your lifetime. It’s worth the wait.

Maybe some other helpful possibilities will turn up in the comments.

Posted in adze, tools, Uncategorized | Tagged | 15 Comments

Catalpa Hen Bowl

I got a barrel of flour, Lord, I got a bucket of lard.

I ain’t got no blues, got chickens in my back yard.

Jimmie Rodgers, “No Hard Times” 1932

Maybe I should have the blues; I’ve only got a little flour, no lard, and one chicken — a wooden one at that.

I shared the early stages of this catalpa bowl in a post back in September. I took a few photos the rest of the way and put them in the slide show below. You’ll have to view the actual post, out of your email program, to see the slide show.

On the exterior, I applied a wash of titanium white artist oil paint thinned with citrus solvent, then wiped it back revealing more of the wood along the ridges between flutes. Then linseed oil and beeswax over the whole thing. There’s something about the combination of the character of the catalpa grain and the variations in the color that give it a bit of an aged-but-cared-for appearance.

The camera picks up the reflections off of the white a little too strongly. The shot above is probably a more true representation, with the color of the wood coming through.

The hollow of the bowl is full and deep and it’s a pretty big bird. 21″ long, 8 3/4″ wide, and 6 3/4″ high.

This one is available. $850 includes shipping. Email me at dandkfish@gmail.com if you are interested. SOLD

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Website Changes

Maybe it was the approach of fall and the transformation it brings that got me moving on changing my online situation. Two websites was one more than I needed!

I started my website (davidffisher.com) at least ten years ago (I can’t remember exactly) with the main goal of sharing information. I had been demonstrating at local festivals and folks were interested in learning more about bowl and spoon carving. I would write down some resources for tools and other things on a scrap of paper for them. The website made that process more convenient and allowed me to share much more as it grew over time.

Then almost six years ago, inspired by how much I had been learning from Peter Follansbee’s blog, I decided to give it a whirl myself. Follansbee used WordPress for his blog, so that’s what I did, too.

Recently, it dawned on me that I could get everything into one spot and have my website and blog right here. With the different platforms, nothing would transfer automatically, so it took some effort to get it set up before saying goodbye to the old site. It did give me a chance to evaluate and reorganize some things, though.

Yesterday, the transfer of the web address was finalized and we’re rolling. Nothing at all has changed with the blog — it’s still here and if you’ve subscribed you’ll still get email notifications of new posts. But the menu at the top now includes more pages that incorporate much of the information that was available at the old site, and I still have some more to add over time.

Things seem to be working alright. If you’re having any problems, let me know. And, as always, thanks for checking in.

Posted in teaching, Uncategorized, writing | 10 Comments

Two Foot Two

That’s the length of this cherry bowl, so it will need a big table. It’s rare that I make bowls that long. This one began as one of my demonstration pieces for the the recent adze article in Fine Woodworking Magazine. A relatively shallow open bowl, 26″ long x 11 1/4″ wide x 3 1/2″ high.

I had some fun with a new spur-of-the-moment idea for the bottom of this one. Just a figurative tree shape.

If you’ve got a big enough spot and would like this one, send me an email at dandkfish@gmail.com. $825 includes insured shipping. SOLD

Posted in bowls, cherry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Seven Spoons

I’ve finished up several spoons, all from crooks of varying degrees of bend. I was pinching myself as I worked with some great crooks in this batch. All straight from the knife, except for #5, which I sanded. All finished with flaxseed oil and cured with heat. If you’d like to purchase one, send me an email at dandkfish@gmail.com or leave a comment. I’ll confirm that it’s yours and then you can pay by Paypal or by sending a check. Thanks for looking.

#1: (top photo and the two photos below) A large cherry server. 12 5/8″ x 3 1/2″. This one will let you get a generous portion of mashed potatoes while still being considerate enough to just take one scoop. $130 includes shipping. SOLD

#2: Rhododendron cooker/server. 9 5/8″ x 2 1/2.” This one came from a rhododendron crook with beautiful figure. A balance of crank that will perform well for cooking and serving. $110 includes shipping. SOLD

#3: Norway maple server. 13 3/4″ x 3 1/2.” This serving spoon can come in from a high angle. The design at the back of the wide handle was spur-of-the-moment. Sort of a negative finial I guess, and can serve as a hanging hole. I would call it the uvula spoon, but that might hurt its chances of selling. This Norway maple is hard stuff, especially in the crooks. $120 includes shipping. SOLD

#4: Cherry server/ladle. 12 1/2″ x 3 1/2.” I’m not sure when a serving spoon becomes a ladle, but this one has a big bowl and a very steep crank, so I think of it as a ladle. Whatever you call it, it would serve up lots of chili or soup. $140 SOLD

#5: Long Norway maple server with a wide bowl. I decided to sand this one in consideration of the figure in the wood. 13 3/4″ x 3 1/2″. $150 includes shipping. SOLD

#6: Cherry (sapwood) serving spatula. Narrow width suitable for serving cake or brownies. 12 5/8″ x 3 1/2″. This cherry crook had the perfect lines for this piece. The fibers run true through the handle, neck, and blade. I carved a (wave?) pattern into the handle and painted with artist oils. $110 includes shipping. SOLD

#7: Cherry cooker/server. 11″ x 2 3/4″. With just a little crank, this spoon is great for stirring, mixing, and cooking but can still serve. $95 includes shipping. SOLD

Posted in spoons, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments