As a tutor, making a spoon along side students on a course has a number of advantages: it allows me to avoid falling into the trap of working on students own spoon blank when demonstrating a grasp and also if I work at the same pace as students they can quickly glance over to check how they should be removing wood from a particular part of the spoon, how the spoon blank should be held and what safety is in place.
One particular piece of birch cut for the course looked perfect to recreate an old Norwegian spoon. The spoon had clearly had significant use over many decades, with a deep patina, blackened from the heat of the pan. Very functional with a beautiful handle and peg so it would not slide into the pot.
Dificult to say exactly what species the original was made of but probably birch..... what else! No visible tool marks on the original but working with the tighter grain of slow grown Norwegian birch can produce good results with just sharp knives. The growing season for trees in our part of Norway is short, typically from May to August.
In our own collection of Norwegian and Swedish hand carved spoons and bowls, and those belonging to our good friend Jens, the year in which they were made and the makers initials or full name is often carved into the piece.
Spoons and bowls with dates of 100 or even 200 years ago is relatively common.
We have two Spoon Carving courses in 2014 both held at the Flint Mill Workhop, Beamish, Co Durham
1) Sat 7 and Sun 8 June 2014 (2 days)
2) Sat 11 and Sun 12 October 2014 (2 days)