In my last post, I outlined the best methods, tried and proven, for destroying your investment in quality woodenware. Now I know that many "craftspeople" use absolute trash wood for their woodenware - stuff I'd be ashamed to put into my woodstove. But most of us create good quality ware and hope you can use it carefree for a long time.
I am on vacation this weekend, but I thought I'd offer a post or two on my favorite topics. The first is on -how not to care for kitchen woodenware - Spoons, bowls, spatulas, and cutting boards.
Attitude is sometimes what the rest of us get from those fortunate enough to have been in an apprentice program for their craft.
My Judo sensei was relentless, he'd walk around us casually, then without warning sweep or throw us to the ground. With a smile, he'd then point out the weakness or flaw in our stance that allowed him to throw us.
Little problems are sometimes big problems in carving.
Small vessels of the Napoleonic War era below the rate of the frigate were frequently termed Sloops of War. It didn't matter if the ship was rigged as a sloop, a brig, snow, or an actual ship rig.
This eagle is barely eleven inches wide, not my smallest, but diminutive none the less. It's a good miniature project for a woodcarver. Pine is great wood, but fine detail in small sizes are not its strong suit. Would this pop out at you in cherry, plum or box? Sure, but my objective was to do what was possible with a butt end from a #3 common plank. A piece of kindling in other words. Why, just because it was the middle of summer and I needed something to do while larger projects developed.
I carved this banner around when the Patrick O'Brien books like Master and Commander were popular.
Wood swells and shrinks with humidity despite careful construction, drying, and sealing. We call this movement, and most commonly, we see it across the width of a plank or piece of wood. This is why you sometimes see splits in panels of wood. Wood remains a living item despite being cut, resawn, planed, shaped, and coated.
The imp sat on my shoulder yesterday as I shaped the hollows on an eagle's wing. We had visited Mystic Seaport the previous week, and I had spotted some carving on a transom that I'd never successfully modeled in three dimensions. Something about how to carve it had always eluded me.