Whenever trees are cut down or heavily pruned, I try to get some nice bits to carve. One of my neighbours was cutting down a young pencil cedar a few weeks back, and I got this beautiful branch.
The grain was a bit wound and eccentric, but it turned out to be quite usable. The bark peeled right off, and immediately the distinct smell of freshly sharpened pencils rose up from the wood. I cut it in three and cleft each piece down the middle to prevent the worst checking. The wood was quite easy to cut, but also split easily. Let’s just say it was a great exercise in minding the grain direction.
I carved the spoon with my Mora Classic and Mora hook knife. If you look closely you can see my new North Bay knife in the bottom left picture. Its shape is based on that of traditional Native American carving knives. It´s great for smaller curves and fast stock removal. I mainly use my hook knife for smoothing the bowl. After some sanding, the spoon looked like this:
Update: I made a bigger brother for this spoon. It’s carved from the same log of pencil cedar. Also see this blog post for a lot more spoons.