Misadventures in Making
On My Bookshelf

Walking Away From Spoon Carving (For a Little While)

Spoon & Knife

{spoon carving knife in leather sheath with coal burn spoon}

For the last month or so I've been obsessed with my new hobby of spoon carving.  It was so much fun to take a log and turn it into a spoon using an axe and a knife.  Since then I've been spoon carving every spare chance I get.  I've even bought myself a special knife and made a leather sheath for it.

One of the lovely things about spoon carving is that I've discovered a whole community of spoon carvers on Instagram who are all about making things using traditional tools and their hands.  Not only do they carve spoons using axes and knives, often the spoons themselves are finished by knife.  That means that no sandpaper touches the wood.  Pretty impressive when you look at some of the spoons! 

When I learnt about knife finishing I was determined to improve my knife skills.  It would be awesome to be so good at carving that I don't even need to use sandpaper.  But I'll settle for getting the spoons symmetrical.  I figured that if I did some carving every day, I would get better at it.  After all, practice makes perfect, right?  At least that what I tell the kids when they don't want to play the piano :o)

IP - Spoon Carving - Curly bits

{really excited to get curly bits on my spoon}

I've managed to do some carving every few days but I've now hit the point of frustration.  I don't know what I need to do to get better.  My spoons are still wonky and asymmetrical and I've run out of wood.  I'm wishing that those spoon carvers on social media were actually my neighbours so I can ask for help and tips.  

Maybe I need to find a branch (there was a big storm last night so may find something in the local park today) and just play around with different knife strokes.  Have some fun and experiment.

Or perhaps it's time to walk away from spoon carving for a while and come back to it when I am feeling refreshed and enthusiastic once more.  Instead of envious and not good enough!  

I think I've hit that point in the creative process when it's time to walk away and take a break.  We're so used to thinking of life as linear that it's hard to remember that creativity is cyclical.  It comes and goes in waves and is it's own master.  No matter how hard you try you just can't boss it around.  And trust me on this one, I've tried!

For some more great insights into the creative process, check out this fantastic article by James Clear.