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.