It’s an unusual treat for me to actually have the opportunity to hang out with a fellow woodworker. We’re a scarce bunch, I suppose. Rarer still is the elusive green woodworker – those who make spoons, bowls, chairs, chests, etc. starting from green logs rather than dried lumber. Actually, as of two weeks ago, I had never met another green woodworker.
A couple weeks ago, I joined a green woodworking Facebook group and took notice when one of the posters referred to Cumberland Island, GA as “right across the state line from me”. Cumberland Island is less than 3 miles from my home, just across the St. Mary’s River. Just where is this guy? I sent him a message and asked where he was from. Turns out there is a fellow green woodworker just 20 minutes down the road from me in Yulee, FL.
We made plans to meet up at my house to swap stories and carve spoons. He brought along some fine red maple and I picked out a great crook to work with. I got to try out some new spooncarving knives (I still don’t own a hook knife – just a couple of bent knives – but using Joey’s convinced me to put a hook knife on my Christmas list).
He brought along some of his own spoons to show me, as well as some from carvers all over the world. I have only seen my own spoons in person – most of what I’ve learned is from the internet – so it was a thrill to discuss the different styles and forms with someone who really understands hand-carved spoons. I also found a willing ear to talk about my Windsor chair. I know my wife is tired of my blathering about it.
I love this craft, but it has definitely been a lonely one for me. The irony of that statement is that spooncarving has the potential to be one of the most social woodcrafts of all – it doesn’t require a shop, the tools are few, and the materials are free. I find few things more enjoyable than to sit outside on a nice day and chat while carving, so I’m thankful to have made a green woodworking friend so close by. Thanks, Joey – let’s do it again soon!
Here are a few pictures of my spoon from the maple crook: