The Happy New Year is here, and as usual it seems a lot like the old year. The sun is up, the sky is blue, ocean keeps making waves, and I hope you are as happy as I am to be a witness to the our eternal cycle.
In the shop on the other hand, things kinda stop and start, go then wait. The really cool little multi-colored table is almost done. Well, in fact the table is done and installed, the chairs are almost done. A little dab of nice red accent color and they will be ready for their new home. In spoon world I have several to get started and finished, the requests are coming in. So by tomorrow there will be spoon work once again. The table, car washing, rose pruning has been a nice diversion, now I am rejuvenated and ready to spoon. I think some nice middle sized ones this time. Big enough to really spoon, small enough scramble an egg. Yep, I think that is the way we will roll in January. February, ??? who knows watch and be surprised.
I can’t believe I haven’t been on here since Jan 9. I guess that is
because I got a new i-phone and started posting some stuff on Facebook and then Twitter. Also I’ve been on “caregiver” duty for the past 2 weeks, which slowed the shop production, but should have given me house time to compute. Sorry, humblest apologies, I promise to be more diligent here. I have a new friend in spoon world. It is Kate MacWilliamson. A very nice person who scooped up two or three of my spoons for gifts and personal use, and, even better, left two very nice bottles of wine in trade. Woo Hoo for Bruce.
This past Saturday my nephew Chris came over, he was in town from Santa Barbara and we played spoon maker in the shop for the day. He brought some nice pieces of lemon wood from a tree at his house, and left me with a terrific spatula he made. I’ll get a photo and post it here if I can. We both picked up a scrap of cherry and made a spoon. It was a good discussion of tools and techniques. We killed several soldiers in the process, as the shop was littered with “dead soldiers” the next day. Chris took home a nicely proportioned slim cherry spoon, and proclaimed it as the finest spoon he has yet made. He brought several of his spoons and I’m not sure the one he made here was his finest, even though it was quite nice. The crooked lemon tree has offered him many unusual shapes and he has a great eye for lines and proportions. Lots of radical shapes to stimulate your senses. He has developed several double ended utensils. Spoon on one end, spatula on the other, with curves and bends in the middle. The dark spalting in the middle make them very striking in color and contrast in addition to his very cool shapes.
This week will bring completion to the sword holder for grandson Noah. Over the past 2 years we built a roman type steel sword in the Tucson shop. Last trip we started a holder so it could be displayed on his wall. I brought it over hear and have finished it up. Next is completion to a larger project. a pair of standards to hold surfboards. Double sided, two boards per side. Made of oak these are big size departure from little spoons. They bring a whole different scale of complexity and size into the shop. Good diversion and I’m anxious to make more spoons.
Thanks for your patience,
I have reason to believe that more than half of the spoons purchased this fall were going to be a gift. Lucky cooks! Know this: All my spoons are lifetime guaranteed. Also know that some wood grains will raise after their first use. I do a hot water bath for them after sanding and before oiling. This takes care of most all of the grain that raises, but some species grain will raise again on the second washing. Completely normal. I will be glad to sand it for you. You can bring it over to the shop (I’ll do it while you wait when you have an appointment) and I’ll fix it or you can fix it yourself. It is easy to do. You need two items, one you may already have, the other likely will require a trip to the local hardware store. To re-oil your spoon with the same oil I use, get out your bottle of Sesame Oil. If you don’t have any, it is common at the grocery store. Other oils will go rancid and make your spoon smell bad. So use either the Sesame Oil or Walnut oil. Both are good. Next, from the hardware store one sheet of 600 grit “wet-or-dry” sand paper. We are going to split the sandpaper into little 2″ square chunks. I would split it length wise, then one half into quarters, eights and sixteenths. Leave as much of the paper as big as possible until needed. It may be useful for other purposes in a bigger piece. Take one of the pieces and move up and down WITH the grain direction, only. Going cross grain can make marks that show. Move the paper around in your fingers to use every little corner. It will become filled with the oil and wood paste quickly. Normal! That is why you have several pieces. Throw the loaded piece away and start again with a new one. You will soon see that you are getting results. The wood smooths, the white bleached wood begins to disappear. When your eyes and fingers are happy and the spoon looks like new, just add a few drops of the oil and rub it in with your fingers. Your spoon will be happy and so will your fingers. Any question or comments, give me a call. My number is on the website.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!
It has been my GREAT pleasure to be one of Santa’s helpers this year. Lots of the many many spoons sold were going to be gifts. What fun for me to give joy to you and the joy you share when you give them as a gift. They have brouiht me several new friends and many visits with returning friends. All I have to do is sit in my garage with some favorite tools and beautiful wood, then just rub them together and voila! a beautiful spoon and happy people. Does that make me a Geni? Not exactly. To keep things interesting, after the first of the year I’m going to start in on the boxes and boxes of scraps and make things that I haven’t made before. The shapes may be similar, but they will each be different and they will be one of a kind. This is my time to make lemonade from the boxes of lemons. Not really lemons, just pieces that have not yet had an opportunity to show what they have in them. Mixed in will be some replenishment of some depleted stock. You can look for some familiar roles being filled by different looking utensils. (I hope) I know I have several scraps of Mesquite that I want to make into business card holders for desks. It’s OK for a card holder to have a big ole beetle hole, not so good in a coffee scoop. We’ll just have to take that one as it comes.
Here is to a Joyous Holiday Season to YOU! May the New Year be HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS TO US ALL!!!
Your Friend and Neighbor,
I’m Uncertain whether to be happy, sad, or scared at the current state of the inventory of spoons in my box of completed items. Since I’m an optimist I think I’m really the first of the three choices. Many many thanks to the nice people have shared their smiles and occasional stories of the joy that using my spoons brings to them. I must say that there has to be more people using them because of the 110 items that I took to the sale on Nov. 12, I now have only 44 left in stock. That means that about 60 new people are making their food taste better with my spoons. What a nice way to touch people in a positive way. I am humbled by the way that they are received and appreciated. I am sad to see old friends leave me and go to new homes. I know they will be well taken care of and appreciated so it is really better this way, but I do feel a little sad when they go home with someone else. When I look at all the things that are not in my box and I need to make new I feel a little scared at the work that lies ahead and the high expectations that are being set. I don’t know whether to make new shapes that roll around in my empty head or make more of the shapes that people love and carry home with them. I guess I’ll do what I have done before, just go out in the shop and make what I feel like making. That is right after I make the items that have been ordered and are not yet done. I have an order for 3 large spoons, and 4 large salad tongs. I have 9 spoons and 6 pair of a new shape salad tosser, serving spoons in process that I need to finish and then get the salad tongs done, all before Christmas.
Not only was Thanksgiving a good time with both of our sons, one of our daughters in law and all 5 of our grandchildren, I was able to work with my grandson Noah in the shop. He made a spatula from wood that my Dad took to Arizona in the early ’60′s. A special piece of cherry that he did real justice to it’s heritage. Now (after Christmas) it will be in use in his Grannies kitchen. What fun to work with him in the shop. He has a good eye and a steady hand. He isn’t intimidated by the tools and did a great job. I couldn’t have done it any better myself. Good Job Noah!! Keep it up!
I’m not quite sure, but I think the earth is standing still and people in hell are asking for jackets. Yep Fine Wood Spoons has a Facebook page and may soon even have a twitter account. Scary isn’t it. That is what really scares me. Bruce, Mr. anti Facebook, actually has a page. That I have looked at, and uploaded some photos unassisted. Thanks Angela for your patience training me!! Thanks Ramon for the great photos here and there and giving Angela the time and inclination to get me going.
I better go sand now. Lots to do for Santa’s helpers.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and YOURS! Lucky me, my two sons, one with his wife and their combined 5 children will be here in San Diego with us. Woo Hoo It doesn’t get any better than this! Tomorrow (Wednesday) the pandemonium begins. No Turkey here! This is a real celebration and giving of thanks meal. My wife’s special from her childhood, maniccotti. With the all the trimmins! meatballs, sausage, cooked in home made sauce. This is one of the reasons we are married. She cooked this for me when we were in high school. . . . I could go on about this for pages and pages, but I won’t.
In the shop . . . I hope that is why you have read down this far. After the show I was without stock on several shapes of “spoons”. Also, I have a special request for more large spoons, a phone in order for more salad tongs and some ideas for some new itirations of previous shapes. Most important was the deficiency pointed out to me that I had sold the last pie server shape at the sale and had none for the holiday. Oops. Gotta take care of numero uno. Cut out two yesterday and completed today were two pie servers. Cut out but not yet finished are several large spoons and 9 small salad tossers / serving spoons. So, there is work going on and the kids will be here in less than 24 hrs. House to clean, sauce to cook, maniccotti to make . . . spoons will wait.
Many loving blessings to you and many many thanks for a wonderful year to you all.
A big THANK YOU to all the Mission Hills Artists who staged the 3rd Annual Holiday Sale Saturday the 12th. The overnight rain combined with the rains off and on all day gave the room a feeling of warm camaraderie among both the artists and the surprisingly large number of patrons. Everyone said it was a good day. It was my pleasure to talk to one very nice woman who said she was driving by and saw the signs. WOO HOO I said “Thank You Very Much for Stopping, I put those signs up my self last evening” If you were brave enough to come out in the rain, Thank You.
The nicest thing I heard from more than one person was that “I have one of your spoons, I use it every day and love it”. Those words make my heart soar like an eagle. It is why I sit and sand by the hour . . . and hour . . . and hour. My reply was thank you and you can have more than one, they are not rationed.
A total of 30 items were purchased, a new high. Items that we thought were a sure fire hit, were . . . and some stayed on the table. Lots of smiles that make the whole day and months of preparation worth while. Thank you Thank you one and all.
So now what? Come find me in the shop making more sawdust. Actually I make a lot of sander dust, not much saw dust.
Don’t forget our standing offer. If your spoon needs a little restoration or TLC, just bring it over and I will make it look like new again. No cost or obligation.
Thank you for your support, it is appreciated.
Check this out! Fine Wood Spoons are now in use in: Switzerland, England, Canada, and Mexico. You are not alone in your enjoyment of the nicest spoon made.
My Sweetie Pie has recovered sufficiently to return to work, so now I have to make up for lost shop time. Mi amigo, Clay was here for the weekend and helped make sure my front porch didn’t jump up and go running away. We were described as “worse than 2 old women, maybe six”. Hey we were just catching up. We don’t get to do that very often. Ahhhh, Good times!
So, now it is out to the shop. 2 button scoops and one regular coffee scoop in progress to get finished up. Then on to the list of items to have ready for the Nov. 12 show. Lots to do, not much time. We will be visiting the grand kids in Tucson for long weekend, so I have to make up that time this week too.
Thanks for the support from all of you. It is what keeps me going. My nice friends in the MH Artists are very supportive and appreciative. The support of all of you is humbling.
Out to da Chop
This once in some weeks rumination is slow and small. (after getting started I found lots to say and it isn’t very small) We have been providing nursing care to our mate, who is recovering from a surgical procedure. Her improvement has been steady and there has been enough shop work going on to make the ends of my fingers very sore and tender. Scoops tend to do that. In progress are 3 small button scoops and 3 regular coffee scoops. One of the regular scoops is from a piece of black wallnut (that is very light and tan colored) the other two are acacia. My acacia limb is getting pretty short. Only about 14″ left to yield scoops and spoons. In addition to the two coffee scoops the last piece had in it a “Sharon” shaped stir paddle and a wedge paddle. They are both outstanding in grain color. The wedge shaped paddle has some unusual characteristics. The limb was curved so it is curved, . . . sideways. The worms had eaten much of the yellow sap, so I needed to sand off most of the yellow, which left a fun and interesting paddle. Definitely unique. Sometimes when I make spoons or paddles they are hard for me to allow them to go to new homes. They become friends and I want to keep them close. I rub them occasionally and remember them coming out of their original limb or board and how I can see them in their old shape and how they like being their new useful shape. They seem to take on a personality, some seem to glow and give back as you hold them and feel them. . . .
Completed before the surgery were 3 salad tossers. A new shape that jumped out a piece of maple with great figureing. How you toss a salad with 3 tossers I’m not sure. Maybe one is a serving spoon. Neighbor Mike likes the feel of them for stirring risotto, so maybe there is one pair of tossers and a risotto spoon. Also 4 new sauce spoons are done. One is promised to our CPA in Tucson, 3 will make it to the November 12 sale. Check the events page of the website for details of the sale. I’m trying to build some inventory for that sale. I have a list of things to make before them that is longer than the time remaining. Come over and help!
Thank you to my neighbor Linda. Tuesday evening the neighborhood convened in the street, at the corner where two cars had become intimately acquainted with the all the accompanying thump and screeching. In the conversation Linda mentioned that Bruce likes to be called Sandy Spoon. For her mention of that she was given a choice of either a nice little stir stick that is great for little scrambled eggs or small dishes or a nice serpentine handled spoon good for sauces and soups. Thanks for letting me know that you actually read my musings. You may be the only one.
The thumb is improving. The stitches are gone and skin is growing over the bare side. The end is still numb, but occasionally will give a tingle when bumped hard enough. Ouch!
The shop work seem way to slow to suit me. My 8 pair of appetizer tongs are close to done. I have an internal need to make several large ladle type spoons (with one customer waiting for one) and at least one customer wanting a pair of the large salad tongs. So I will make several pair of them. Also I have dancing around in my head a pair of wide, short handled salad tossers. And Form and Function still wants more candle sticks. Back to the shop! A “product shoot” should happen in the next few days. Ramon has some time here in town, but trying to get him to stand still here at the house and hold a camera is not that easy. But that is why I don’t have new shot up on the site. I keep sanding and he keep traveling and photographing hotels.
That’s all for now, back to the shop