Bob Tinsley



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Category: Lovespoons

A Commissioned Lovespoon Part 03

By Bob Tinsley, 2014-06-29

Now I have a really sore left thumb. Well, you know what THEY say (you know who THEY are, don't you), one must suffer for one's art. ;) I got the front of the stem relieved to about where I want it and flattened.

Again, nothing fancy, just cut, strop, cut, strop. The back of the stem I decided to carve into a ridge. I don't know what it is about ridged stems, but I can't seem to stay away from them.

In any case it allows me to play a little and still stay within the budget (about which, more later). I began shaping the outside of the bowl, and my feeling about the wood has been borne out. This is going to be a seriously good-looking piece.

Even though it is not yet apparent in the photos, there is a good, strong figure working through the bowl. I had to be careful to make sure I was smoothing out an actual facet instead of trying to erase a grain line.

Ah, to have more such problems!

A stray thought about commissions occurred to me today as I was working on the spoon. If you buy a lovespoon from a website or store, mine or anyone else's, you get a beautiful piece of art at a price that is what it is without room for negotiation. A lovespoon doesn't have to be fancy or intricate, especially if it holds meaning specifically for you. When you commission a lovespoon you are not locked into a high price. You can decide on a budget, and between you and the carver work out a design that meets that budget. Lovespoons aren't just for the well-heeled collector, everyone can have one. And what's better, everyone can have one that has a special meaning just for you.

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A Commissioned Lovespoon Part 02

By Bob Tinsley, 2014-06-27

Today was another day of donkey work -- removing wood. Nothing fancy, no special techniques needed. Just strop, knife, hog off wood, repeat. I now have a sore left thumb. Probably 98% of the cuts I made today were what I call lever cuts (some call it a scissors cut): put your left thumb (non-dominant hand) on the back of the blade just above the handle, then move your right hand using your left thumb as a fulcrum. That produces a very powerful, very controlable shearing cut. It also produces a sore left thumb. The more I cut on this piece of wood, the prettier I think it's going to be when it's oiled. The medallion at the top has a lot of good figure running through it, and the bowl, with that dark stripe running slant-wise through it, should be pretty spectacular. Tomorrow more wood removal as I relieve the surface of the spoon's stem. After that, the bowl. The major decision I have to make regards how the stem will blend into the back of the bowl. That's going to take some thought.

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A Commissioned Lovespoon Part 01

By Bob Tinsley, 2014-06-26

My client has very generously allowed me to post progress on their spoon and show the commissioning process from beginning to end. The process begins with a discussion about influences in the client's life and things they enjoy. The client is an adoptee, something that, understandably, has been a major influence in their life. The client also loves horses and cats (who wouldn't?). I decided to use the Adoption Triad as the dominant feature of the spoon. The Adoption Triad is represented by a triangle and a heart. The sides of the triangle represent the adoptee, the adoptive family and the birth family. The triangle is interwoven with a heart that symbolizes the love that binds the triangle together. As you can see in the first photo I came up with two designs based on the older, simpler forms of the Welsh lovespoon.

The one on the bottom used a more standard version of the Triad, the one on top, a more stylized version I came up with consisting of three stylized hearts surrounding a smaller triangle. I also incorporated horses and a cat. The client chose the design on the bottom. My next step was to produce a full size drawing so I could adjust proportions if need be.

I next traced the design onto tracing paper.

After choosing a piece of wood (poplar) for the spoon I needed to transfer the drawing to the wood using transfer paper (available at most hobby and art stores).

I put the transfer paper against the wood and taped the drawing over it.

I used a stylus to trace over the lines on the drawing. Using a hand coping saw I roughed out the outline of the spoon and smoothed out the saw cuts with a knife.

I purposely didn't photograph the saw cuts because I didn't want any photographic proof that my skills as a sawyer are so poor. ;) You might notice that I didn't transfer the design for the spoon's stem at this time. The surface of the stem is going to be lower than the surface of the crown of the spoon and the rim of the bowl, so why transfer the design now when I'm only going to be cutting it away before I do any work on it. When I get the surface of the stem where I want it, then I'll transfer the design onto it.

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