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August 30, 2010
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Gum burl tea spoon by myceliae Gum burl tea spoon by myceliae
I was intending to carve a bowl, but the wood I chose split. I picked up this little burl from the woodpile and thought it might have some potential. In its raw form it looked a bit like a flat grey slug :D
The two-tone wood in the handle is not dyed or coloured, it's just a function of the wood itself. Isn't it gorgeous?

I believe that happy accidents like that don't tend to happen if you start off with a set idea or plan. Trying to impose a design on something as unpredictable as wood, you can often miss gorgeous forms like this that pop up.
I try to listen to what the piece wants, and for this reason I love working with burls or twisty/gnarly pieces. They have their own flow and curl that has such character and potential.

Couldn't help carving the spirals on the end *grin*.

The finished piece is about 4 inches (or 10 cms) from end to end, carved from an unknown eucalypt species, and oiled with apricot kernel oil.

________________________

If there are any more experienced wood workers out there who would like to give me some feedback, I'd be delighted (hence the critique request).
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Do you actually use this regularly? It almost looks to beautiful to use, yet begs to be used.
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:iconceilius:
Ceilius Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Very well done!
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:iconsvenmarie:
svenmarie Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
This is so beautiful! The form and the colours of the wood are so lovely. I adore carved wood, and now I'm all inspired to do some carving myself! (I have no idea were to start, so it's off to the library, to find some tutorial books)
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:iconbubble-warp:
Bubble-warp Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2010
its like one of those fairy tale spoons :D :)
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:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2010  Professional General Artist
Fairytale is a good way to describe it :) Thankyou.
Reply
:iconbubble-warp:
Bubble-warp Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
^^ :D your welcome :D:D:D
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:iconkimsbutterflygarden:
KimsButterflyGarden Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
I love these spoons! I imagine tiny fairies using spoons that look like this. I love the freely swirling design and the :bug: natural feel to them :heart: I have submitted this picture to the 'Featured' folder in my group "Fairy Doors and More," [link] an artisan crafts based group with a fairy theme. If you are interested in submitting more work or joining, please feel invited to do so! :heart:
:sun:
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional General Artist
Hello, and thankyou for submitting my spoon! I am already a part of the group :D
And a lovely one it is, too.

:love:
Reply
:iconkimsbutterflygarden:
KimsButterflyGarden Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
lol yes you're welcome! I realized that as soon as I clicked "send" >.< I write more or less the same message over and over to people, I got caught up in it and didn't realize who I was writing to right away. Love your work as always! :love:
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
Heheh, no worries :D and thankyou again!
Reply
:iconicydrake:
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Well, there's certainly a lot of imagination in this piece.
The bark inclusion on the top seems to be very nicely handled to give the two-layer effect. However, I cannot help but to feel one first sight that this is unfinished, partly because of the texture of the bark not being covered over.
I like the work you've done the the overlap on the spirals, the different layers are very distinct. It can be difficult to get even a near right-angle cut in the kind of space you had there. The uniformity of the spoon dish is also commendable; it's hard to work with burl and bark together and get anything going the right way, especially with hand tools.

By the way, I have been working a lot with the issue of wood-on-water (or other food material), and I'm curious how you're going to deal with the inevitable grain-raising that is going to happen once wood does come into contact with tea? If you use any production made wooden spoons for cooking, you'll know that use in hot water eventually ruins the color and texture of nearly all woods.
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thankyou for your comment! It's so nice to receive thoughtful comments :)

I'm not sure what you mean by bark, exactly. The lighter-coloured wood on the top of the spoon is very hard and solid - just as much as the darker red wood.
Oh agreed, the right angles in the handle were not exactly easy, but they weren't too bad. Lots of chipping away at it slowly!
I thankyou for your compliment on the bowl part of the spoon, but again I'm not sure what you mean by 'bark'. Perhaps this is some woodworky-specific use of the word I'm not familiar with - being a newbie and all :D
It really is just as solid as the burl wood. Maybe I managed to pick up a weird piece of wood to start with - it wouldn't suprise me ;)

Ah yes, the water-on-wood issue. I'm getting around that by not using it in water at all! *laugh*. It's not really the best shape for using as a teaspoon, being short and wide. I was going for more of a tea SCOOP, I guess you could say. For measuring dry tea leaves into teapot.

I have seen some stunning wooden spoons out there, and really want to make some of my own, but I am concerned about the grain issue, yes.
Reply
:iconicydrake:
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes, Thoughtful and constructive comments are nice, aren't they?

Bark...I was taking a stab at why there was such a different color in the two grain types I saw; the burl and the lighter stuff on top. I know that in many trees, the first layers of bark, where most of the tree is grown, is very much more fibrous and often different colored. I also know most burls occur near the surface of a tree, so I assumed. Dried and cured wood - up to the bark - is usually uniform in hardness, and sometimes the inner layers of bark are so close to the growth of the wood that the thin stuff can be indistinguishable.

If I could give some advice on water-proofing such a fine piece, I think there is room here to use an epoxy-resin, like fiberglass resin or epoxy glue, on the surface. Epoxy-resin wood finish can be bought at hardware stores and are the sort of thing that bar-tops are covered with to make them water (and alcohol) proof. The catch is that the wood may change color, and you may have issues applying it. However, if you manage to find a way to evenly cover this, it should stay this way for a long time.

Nice work.
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Professional General Artist
Ah I see, thanks for clearing that up :) I'm afriad I don't really know that much about the wood itself. I just pick up a piece I like and go for it!

Epoxy resin, yes! I think I know the stuff you are talking about. Is this what you use on your bowls?
Reply
:iconicydrake:
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm starting to do less and less bowls, and was only introduced to resin as a finish recently. Instead, I have been using a form of polyurethane and some CA glue (common superglue, but woodworking stores carry large bottles of it), which i then polish. The beauty of resin is the way some product create an instant gloss without polishing.
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:iconvasodelirium:
vasodelirium Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010
great design!
Reply
:icontablelander:
tablelander Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I really like the flow of this piece too & burls are unique they're all different--I'm guessing you did your work with a chisel--how many pieces have you done? I'd say keep on just carving stuff that YOU see in the raw piece
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010  Professional General Artist
I did this with a hook knife and a simple carving knife. How many pieces? Spoons, this would be the second. I do lots of misc carving things, but generally pretty small stuff (beads, crochet hooks, stuff like that).
Pretty coon I'd like to venture into bowls, but I'm not sure where to start. Dry wood? Green wood? Eek! :D :D
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:icontablelander:
tablelander Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
well I'd say Dry Wood would be best for bowls--Green wood cracks as it drys--Maybe Tassie oak or something with nice figure or colour--Tassie Blue gum's hard but pretty--or to start with something SOFT--maybe pine
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks for your suggestions! I have heard that you can carve green wood if you let the finished (but not sanded) piece dry more slowly by, say, putting in a paper bag? Any ideas?
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:icontablelander:
tablelander Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
really outa my knowledge but apparently the microwave oven is a goer on real low
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:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Professional General Artist
Haha, thankyou nonetheless :)
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:icontablelander:
tablelander Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
welcome
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:iconchaynlynx:
ChaynLynx Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Those are gorgeous. I like.
Reply
:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010   Writer
Question! How do you measure for the amount of liquid that's going to be in the spoon?
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Professional General Artist
Answer! I don't. :D
I suppose I should clarify, I don't mean a 'teaspoon' as in the exact measurement tsp (or 5ml). I mean teaspoon as in the thing I scoop the tea leaves from the tin with.

BUT, if I were wanting an exact measurement, I'd probably get something I knew to be the size I wanted (like a proper measuring teaspoon), fill it with water, and keep it on hand while carving. Carve a bit, pour in the water. Carve a bit more, test again. Keep going until it's right. :D

Does that help? Clear as mud? :D
Reply
:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010   Writer
A literal "tea" spoon.... nice.

You know, I was going to make the suggestion that you keep filling it up with the correct amount of liquid until you get it right as a joke, but seems that would have been right! :D
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010  Professional General Artist
*laughs* Yes. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. :)
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:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010   Writer
True that, yo.
Reply
:iconfairiesnest:
fairiesnest Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
So delicate and beautiful, lovely work!
Reply
:iconforty-two-point-five:
forty-two-point-five Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
I love it!! The little curls at the end are my favourite... :giggle:
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:iconshamelessmagic:
ShamelessMagic Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
So unique!
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:iconmrsbrushwood:
MrsBrushwood Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Ohhh it's so wonderful! :) The wood look so amazing! Really, the natural two colors work so great together :).
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:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thankyou! I was so happily suprised to find the different colours in there when I started working with it :)
Reply
:iconmrsbrushwood:
MrsBrushwood Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
:)
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:iconflozlee:
flozlee Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ahh this piece is a truely beautiful accident :)
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thankyou :)
Reply
:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Exquisite pieces! To bring such beauty and artistry as well as craftsmanship to a "utilitarian" object as a tea spoon is truly an achievement and a mark of true renaissance woman. :clap:
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:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
Awww, thankyou lovely.
YES, beauty and artistry in utilitarian objects. I know you 'get' it.
Reply
:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh yes I soooooo get it love! Well done again hon!
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:iconvildez:
vildez Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
so nice! makes me want to eat something hearthy, the double spiral is a great detail.
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thankyou!
Reply
:iconfreawyn:
freawyn Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This looks great. I love the spirals on the the end, the different colors make them look even better. The texture of the wood is really beautiful.
As far as I can see the oil gave a nice shine and made the colors more vivid.
A really nice piece, I like it very much.
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
:) Thankyou for taking the time to leave a thoughtful reply.
:love:
Reply
:iconblackhorsewhispers:
blackhorsewhispers Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Really really love it, very organic looking!
Reply
:iconkaelycea:
Kaelycea Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010   Traditional Artist
It's beautiful. Hurrah for happy accidents.
Reply
:iconmyceliae:
myceliae Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
Indeed. And thankyou :love:
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