Ebony Spoon

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Ebony Spoon

Postby Wandrika » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:36 pm

Hello everybody :)
I like to carve spoons from many different kinds of wood - in fact, I want to have a collection of spoons from every available wood usable for spoons. Well, so far, I have collected only 13 different woods. But recently I acquired a nice piece of ebony...
Just before you tell me that ebony is hard as hell and nobody uses it for spoons anyway... yes, I know :lol: I have carved seasoned hard woods before and I'm not afraid of the hard work. I'd like to try it anyway.
The problem is that I'm not sure what design to use. Ebony can be carved very thin, holds details well and can be polished to a nice gloss. And it's really BLACK. I don't want just something ornamental, the spoon must be usable for eating, of course. Do you have any ideas?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1039 ... 9564908782
This is just a rough sketch I drew yesterday, but the spoon on the left seems too plain and the spoon on the right seems a bit too fancy for me.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Ian G » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:41 pm

Hi,Wandrika, Can't give you any ideas at the moment but I did carve a small eating spoon based on an article in the gazette a few year ago by Robin Wood, nice and simple but elegant, I'll post a pic. Anyway I'm doing something similar but I'm doing the same design of spoon for each wood I find. A simple thin/light kitchen spoon, so far I've carved, hazel, rhododendron, eucryphia, lonicera, ash, alder, cherry, cherry laurel, nothofagus and sycamore, about to try holly and eucalyptus. Mainly doing it to see how each one carves and looks and to show the public at demo's. Eucryphia is amazing to carve very similar to lime.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby woodness sake » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:49 pm

You might have a look here before you use such wood and for such a personal device.
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-artic ... -toxicity/
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Ian G » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:31 pm

Hi Woodness sake, sound advice. I tend to check up on any unusual wood I come across for carving. It all very interesting, so far I now know I would have to eat my Rhododendron spoon to get anywhere near the toxic levels. Nothofagus is used for tongue depressors, so should be ok. The only one that is giving me some concern is the Lonicera as I know some types can be toxic. But as I say it's all very interesting and just adds to my knowledge. Ebony looks to be no more harmful than sweet chestnut. But I'm sure there will be more detailed articles online with it being used for many musical instruments.
Ian
Last edited by Ian G on Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Ian G » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Hi Wandrika, a couple of ideas for you, I'm not into detailed carving because I don't have the time but mainly because I'm not very good at it. So my ideas tend to be simple looking spoons with nice shapes and I let the grain and colour of the wood do the talking. Anyway here are my ideas. The small alder spoon as I said before was based on a Gazette article many years ago by Robin Wood, I think it was Tudor'ish. The large cherry spoon was based on a metal spoon a friend brought back from Tanzania.

Ian
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large cherry spoon.JPG
large cherry spoon
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small alder spoon.JPG
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Wandrika » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:29 pm

woodness sake: You're right, I know the wood database and I always check multiple sources before using any wood for spoons. I have seen people using yew cooking spoons, but I would not risk such a thing :shock: But there is a big difference between wood dust toxicity and sealed wood toxicity. Some diospyros (ebony) species contain slightly toxic quinones, but I have gaboon ebony which seems to be fine according to all the sources I came across.
Ian G: Thanks for the pictures, they look fine. Maybe I will just carve something simple, though my first idea was to carve something more intricate :)
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby gavin » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:38 am

Wandrika wrote: Maybe I will just carve something simple, though my first idea was to carve something more intricate :)

Start simple and you'll prosper.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Wandrika » Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:56 pm

gavin: yes, I usually prefer functionality to looks. And I don't like ornamental spoons that are so complicated that you can't even hold them in your hand.
But in my mind "ebony" is linked with sophisticated miniature african and chinese statues with amazing level of detail, carved combs and intricate spiralling hair pins. Maybe that's the reason why I thought about complicated design...
Anyway, I'm working on a prototype from birch wood now - it will be white instead of black, but at least I will test my design. I will post a picture when I finish.
If someone has a spoon design that would look well in black wood, please share!
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Simon Hartley » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:27 am

woodness sake wrote:You might have a look here before you use such wood and for such a personal device.
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-artic ... -toxicity/


It seems that pretty much everything is an irritant.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Wandrika » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:14 pm

So this is the first prototype placed next to the ebony carving blank... What do you think about it?
1_prototyp_small.jpg
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Ian G » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:57 pm

Hi, I like it, should look fantastic....wish I had the talent to carve like that. To show you the extremes I'm busy carving some poplar spoons, in contrast to your ebony it's like carving butter. They actually look ok. We've had a lot of strong winds here on the west coast of Scotland and it seemed a shame not to do something with this bit of poplar. Also have a large beech tree to cut up, so looking forward to turning and carving that. Anyway good luck with the carving, look forward to seeing the end result.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby gavin » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:27 am

Ian G wrote: We've had a lot of strong winds here on the west coast of Scotland .

Where are you? I am in Dalbeattie DG5 4BE. You may like to come to my monthly Shed Therapy sessions.

Do alter your personal details so anyone can see at least roughly where in the world you are.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Ian G » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:43 pm

Hi Gavin, I'm a bit too far from you, I'm up in Argyll. So sorry I can't make one of your shed therapy meetings. But don't worry I'm very chilled out in my own shed...up to my ankles in wood shavings, very busy bowl turning and spoon carving. Just about to post a new thread about carving.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby gavin » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:38 pm

Ian G wrote:Hi Gavin, I'm a bit too far from you, I'm up in Argyll. So sorry I can't make one of your shed therapy meetings. But don't worry I'm very chilled out in my own shed...up to my ankles in wood shavings, very busy bowl turning and spoon carving. Just about to post a new thread about carving.
Ian

Ah - do you know Olvin Smith? You jolly well should. Look him up in Bodgers Membership directory . If you are not member of Bodgers Assn, you should be.
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Re: Ebony Spoon

Postby Wandrika » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:43 am

Ian, thanks for the comments - so I'll give it a try and carve the ebony blank.
BTW, judging from the list of woods you carved, I thought you were from Australia at first :D
I'm glad that I'm not the only person to collect spoons from various woods - keep up the good work!
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