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Here's My Woodcarving!

by Robert Wagenseller
Labadie, MO

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I am retired from the US Navy. I have been a woodworker for over 30 years building anything I wanted as my skills became good enough to do the work. I started carving to learn how to do it and I started carving spoons because you cannot find a nice, long, thick handled spoon in the store. They were a labor of life to make because it allowed me to spend time in the shop with no machines on. It was just me and the wood making something for the one person I loved above all others. It was my therapy and was very relaxing. As I made more of them I became better and more efficient at it. I bought different shapes and types of tools and used different kinds of woods.

My spoons started getting some attention when friends and family would come over and see them being used and realized how nice they were to have. I started getting requests and offers for them.

I now make them out of all kinds of woods in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I have now made over 500 spoons and am still making them every year to sell at my craft show and a few other places. I started with one tool and I now use up to 6 to make them. I have made them with 7 different techniques just to further the skills required and to try new ideas for efficiency and finish. It is a learning process but you never get better at something until you try.

The nice thing about a wooden spoon is you can use it with any pot you have. I know it makes cooking more enjoyable for me.

Some of my earliest spoons. Spalted maple from a piece
of Firewood. 13 inches long.
More new designs of flat tops to scrape with, but scooped
to still be a working spoon. I call it the "scroons."
Lots of my spoons after they were dumped on the table
prior to setting up to sell. (Cherry, Walnut,
Maple (spalted and birdseye), Bradford Pear, Osage Orange,
Red Elm and Elm).
The spoons as they are drying after applying the walnut
oil to them. (Cherry, Walnut, Osage orange, and elm)

Below is a set of spoons that are all walnut and it was my attempt to make a set of spoons that look like they were carved years apart. The wood came from an old timber frame barn erected in approximately 1860. The walnut beam was 10 inches wide in places and I saved a few pieces of it that were good from the firewood pile. Then I made about 20 pieces out of it. The walnut could be 200 to 250 years old. The grain is very fine and you can feel the difference.

A large array of spoons.

You can email Robert at rbwagenseller@hotmail.com .

Would you like to see your carvings in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your favorite woodcarving projects along with captions and a brief history of your woodcarving. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store gift card if we show your carving work in a future issue!

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