I’ve started up the Lovespoon carving again and I’m surprised how relaxing it is just to sit down during the lunch break and whittle away at a chunk of wood. The design that I stumbled upon was during the Valentine day week when I was thinking about what to get for my wife. I had a piece of mahogany that was six inches by two inches by one and a half inches and thought I would design a Lovespoon with two hearts staged one on top of the other. As the design evolved I thought I would split the hearts and carve the spoon bowl inside the heart shape and have the two halves joined together with a link. Continue reading A Linking of Hearts
After some eighteen months I decided to try my luck again and sell the Welsh Lovespoon that I had made on eBay. The previous two or three attempts had resulted in a no sale but then again I had placed a reserve or too high a price to start with but I was hoping to get a little return for the amount of effort that I had placed into the carving. This particular spoon had taken me about four weeks of my lunch hour to complete, some 28 to 30 hours in total time, I would guess. It was a theme that I had designed around the Welsh dragon, the Welsh language and a Celtic cross, a theme that I had seen in seperate carvings on other sites. My goal was to incorporate all three items into one carving and see how it would turn out.
Looking back, it’s still probably the most intricate of all my carvings to date because of the lettering and the detailing of the dragon. This carving was also the biggest to date, some fourteen inches in length. I felt after completing the carving it gave a good representation of a Lovespoon that you would expect to purchase from Wales if you were to go there for a visit. Continue reading The Traditional Welsh Lovespoon has Sold
This is one of the questions that has been nagging me for quite a considerable amount of time, “How do you determine the age of a Welsh Lovespoon that is up for sale?”
I have done a lot of research on the subject but not one website has mentioned determining the age of a Lovespoon, they all point to the earliest example being dated 1667 and displayed at the National Folk Museum of Wales. My main concern is how would you determine a Lovespoons age without carbon dating it. In this instance, they probably did, making sure this National Treasure had full authenticity but what if you were to come across a Lovespoon that was advertised as being a vintage Lovespoon without a date carved on or any paperwork to support the claim. A word of mouth from the seller to the buyer or vice-versa.
I suppose you could rely on the patina that had developed over the years but how much build up per year, would it indicate that the piece was fifty, sixty or one hundred years old. With an item such as a Lovespoon the age would determine the price to be paid but for me I would still have that nagging feeling of, is it really that old. There are many modern day methods of aging wood and much of the time these items are being purchased online rather than at a local antiquity shop so you have no real way of making a determination until you acually have the piece. Continue reading Welsh Lovespoons, How do you Determine its Age?
It is very rare that I have the opportunity to make a duplicate Welsh Lovespoon after I have sold one on ebay. I tend to use ebay purely as a feedback engine and rely on the amount of hits and possible bids on the carving to see how the design is received. The last carving that I put up was received quite well with a reasonable amount of hits, about fifty. My own assessment of the carving was that it may appeal to people who would like to offer it as a unique gift to friends or family who are getting married. As in a previous post, “Two Hearts Equals One” it was a small carving of 6″ x 2″ made from Popular, a hard timber that is readily available from Home Depot.
Continue reading The Beauty of a Commissioned Piece
In the interim of carving a couple of large Welsh Lovespoons, I’ve had a small piece of Poplar that I wanted to use to produce a carving of 6 inches by 2 inches, this size carving is always enjoyable because the carving is smaller and more manageable. It can comfortably be worked by sitting down at a bench and carving with smaller palm held tools that are easily available through Ashley Iles and Pfeil. With this type of tool you can easily manipulate with control one handed but be careful, do not slip as they are razor sharp.
While this project has just finished I thought I might share the methods that I used in producing this latest Welsh Lovespoon.
In this particular carving I wanted to convey togetherness, so what better to have in a carving than hearts and vines. Yes, it is a simple design but it can also be elegant in execution. I would have a heart shaped spoon bowl with vines twining to a pair of hearts and the vine continuing beyond into a clover shape. When you decide on a design for a carving it doesn’t have to be the most intricate in the world, simplicity allows for better self expression. To give you a better idea I have some images of the work. Continue reading Two Hearts Equal One
I spoke in detail about my notion of carving a Welsh Lovespoon from the seed pod of a Queen Palm, well that notion has transpired into action. Sketching out on the actual dried pod with a 2B pencil to formulate the outline, the overall length turned out to be about eighteen inches in length with a width of five inches. I decided to try carving the bowl first to see if the material was of any substance and I was quite surprised to find that carving it was very rewarding. The wood (for a better word) cut crisply with my Ashley Iles carving gouges with no ripping of the material. With that knowledge I now know it is a valid material with a reasonable density, I can now press on and give the carving the attention that it fully deserves. Continue reading Lovespoon From a Queen
In a previous post I was talking about the philosophy behind the design for the Welsh lovespoon that was going to adorn the kitchen or family room wall. I’ve reached that stage where the two dimensional design is complete, at least to a point where I can spray mount the pencilled design to the wood board. From here on in it’s manual labor for 80 percent and 20 percent machine work.
Many people ask why so much hand work, why so labor intensive. My answer is, when you look at an old masters painting or a classic car from the forties or fifties does it look as though it’s been totally automated. Of course not, the sculptors have created the master clay car in the first instance putting their touch and personality into the three dimensional object and given it an identity of its own, the master painter has created his master piece, brush stroke by brush stroke. Each of these hold an aura, a beauty that cannot always be easily described but people gravitate towards them. By the same token I feel that by carving the Lovespoon by hand I am injecting my own personality into the carving, giving it its own sense of being.
OK, enough said, let me show you the stage where I’m at. Continue reading Poplar Timepiece
Over the past few months I have been thinking of ways to complement a family room or kitchen. When I think of the rooms that are most frequented in, I immediately think of the kitchen first then family room, these are the two most used placed in anyone’s home. They are the hub of activity for home cooked meals, to the take out meal, it is here that most people congregate for day to day conversation. I know in my own home this tends to be the case.
For the purpose of displaying a Welsh Lovespoon in one of these rooms, I thought that the best solution would be to design something that would have a dual purpose and be substantial enough to be noticed without looking grotesque. When you think of the nature of these two rooms and the amount of traffic that they have, an invaluable item is the wall clock. Most wall clocks as we know them are just what they are, a wall clock, usually round in nature with very little appeal but if I could intergrate a Lovespoon design with a four inch battery operated clock face incorporated, then the appearance may be more integral to the room. Continue reading Timeless Lovespoon
The hardest part in any Welsh Lovespoon creation is to come up with somewhat of a unique design. With the multitude of websites that are available most have a common likeness in design pulling from the tradition of Celtic art. There may be hearts, crosses, doves and knots adorning the carving and it’s an individual taste that eventually sways you as a potential customer to purchase or not to purchase that item that is offered, therefore it is important to create a Welsh Lovespoon that you yourself would purchase. Continue reading Creating Your Own Unique Lovespoon Design
In recent weeks deciding on what type of carving to attempt next has been quite challenging and during the interim I decided to go with a classic design to fill in the void. The carving that is now on eBay is a small Celtic design with a couple of main elements, namely a Celtic cross with hearts. The total dimensions are seven inches by two inches and carved from a nice cream to green colored timber called Poplar. Continue reading Poplar by Demand