In this article we will talk about the importance of understanding the grain direction in wood for Spoon Carving and designing your own spoon.
A common characteristic in many types of spoons isthe crank. For example, eating spoons must have a slight curvature / crank so it makes it easier to scoop the food out of a plate, we can identify this crank by observing the spoons in our kitchen.
As we had previously determined, the ideal wood for spoon carving is straight grain wood, so how do we get a curved profile spoon design or a cranked spoon without compromising the its strength?
The ideal scenario would be to use a branch that has already a natural curve to it, like this one:
This way, we have straight grain structure and a naturally curved profile that allows us to have a cranked but very strong spoon.
In most cases we start from a straight grain piece of wood that we get out of a log. We must understand that there is a limit to the curvature or crank we can get from straight grain wood without creating weak spots of short grain like we can see in the next illustration:
What if we want to carve a very cranked spoon like a Ladle? A ladle has a very pronounced crank, almost perpendicular, and to accomplish this we must use a part of the tree that allows us this type of shape. We can find this in a branch junction which has fibers in almost perpendicular directions.
The importance of understanding the grain direction
This way we can incorporate the natural shapes of trees and it fiber structure in our spoon designs.
Understanding this we can not only create strong and lasting pieces but it will make the whole carving process much more easy and fluid.