Hey there everyone! I don't post in here actively but get a lot of joy from reading threads here from time to time. I looked for another topic I could post this in but didn't find much when I searched for "carving". My good friend recently moved out of country and left me many tools and useful items including some carving tools and a nice Eric Frost/Mora knife. I was having my first go at sharpening an axe he gave me and decided it needed to be tested out. I had a small log of big leaf maple that fell from a large branch last year which my old boss and I cut apart and hauled off, just fine to test the axe on. Feeling a bit silly about what to do with the resulting split wood, I decided to carve a spoon - something I've never attempted before. A day or so of obsessive carving later I finished carving, sanding, and applying a couple coats of linseed oil. It worked out to be a perfect parting gift for my friend who had given me the carving tools to begin with. I'm glad I used this native tree instead of worrying too much about if it was the right kind of wood or not and my friend mentioned that native people used to use vine maple to make spoons.
Anyway now I'm working on making a small wooden box with a lid that fits together and maybe a set of chopsticks afterward. I am looking for more ideas of useful things to carve. Right now the possibilities on my mind are: tool handles, spoons, chopsticks, bowls, containers, and pipes. I've also considered but am less interested in things that aren't as useful like jewelry, masks, figures, terrarium decorations, etc.
It would also be great if anyone had pictures of things they've carved and any details like what kind of wood or any notes of interest. I would love to see some of the great stuff the members of this forum have carved!
Note: For size reference the spoon is on top of a glove.
I love most of the old hand skills and within the last few years had taken up wood working when I began working with my gourds and built my Navajo weaving loom. As a result of the loom, I made all my hand weaving tools to weave with. Below is a pic of the first spoon I made, messing around. Within the next couple of weeks I will be finished with my current projects and will begin working on my hair combs and forks out of various hardwoods.
All the woods are natural with just linseed oil on them. The beater comb is made from cedar. I forgot to mention a project I am about to begin. I have to deal with research from ancient cultures which took me to the Sami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwestern Russia. They are very nature oriented and were never assimilated or conquered, though marginalized by the Indo-European cultures. They make a cup (kuksa)from a birch burl. Below are some pics in case you are interested. The top pic has fine carving with a powdered, darker bark rubbed into the cracks. The process is called barkrosing or kolrosing if you use powdered coal. For the bark, you can use cinnamon to stain the cracks.
Hrm I'd thought about making bowls but cups escaped my list somehow! Consider it added to my mental list I've seen that style of cup before and they always looked cool to me. Have you ever carved into burled wood before? I imagine it would take some special attention and patience. Of course burled goods are almost always beautiful I always like seeing pictures - keep 'em coming!
Very nice! My dad likes to do lamp-bases, vase and candle holders, and ballpoint pens on his lathe. He got kits for the pens' innards, and did a whole set for wedding presents for my little brother's wedding party. With the trimmings, he made himself one that looks like a Lifesavers roll of about 6 different kinds of wood!
He likes working with burl wood, sometimes he stabilizes it with epoxy or other resins. He says the trick is to think of it as a project to make a lot of sawdust, and if your feed stock ends up in a pleasing shape at some point, well, keep it.
Hair sticks are another idea, somewhere between jewelry and functional art. Used to whittle myself new ones sometimes. You can use chopsticks, but purpose-made hairsticks have a little twist to them, and something ornamental at the ends to keep it from slipping right through. They're a nice way to use a sliver of wood that's too nice to throw away, or I've seen some awesome ones done with pieces of deer antler.