I’m doing something a bit different here today and sharing photographs and words by someone else – my friend Emily Smith who I have known for more than twenty years (and in more than one life and location, our lives have wound around each other’s in different ways and I hope one day she ends up on Gabriola). Last week she mailed me a beautiful, hand-carved spoon made from cherry wood and included a note to go with it. Both her beautiful hand-work and the note touched me very much, and exemplify the reasons I believe re-learning our historic arts are so important to reconnecting with the life around us and our humanity.
I hope you enjoy this spoon and get many years of use out of it. I designed it to be small enough to serve you and Brian, but envision it being large enough to serve at one of your wonderful dinner parties once the pandemic is behind us.
It is spalted cherry from a boulevard tree at East 52nd and Doman Street in Vancouver. The fungus that caused the tree to rot also made extra strips of colour in the wood, causing it to become even more beautiful. This piece of wood also has some unusual pressure lines – although the grain runs top to bottom, if you look in the bowl you will see horizontal stripes. The tree endured a lot of stress at some point which caused the wood fibres to compress and wrinkle. I encourage you to look at the spoon in the sun to enjoy the incredible colours and patterns in this wood!
The spoon is coated with a layer of organic safflower oil. To care for it, wash by hand only. If it becomes dull and you want it shiny again, apply a thin layer of safflower, walnut, linseed, or hemp oil, wipe the excess, and let dry in an airy, sunny spot for a day or two until the surface is dry.
I made this spoon with an axe and knife and no sandpaper. It is not perfect, but it was really good practise, and probably my best spoon to date. There are so many wonderful things about making items one can use – as you well know – and it brings me great pleasure to gift this to you despite its small imperfections.
Happy Springtime! EmilyEmily Smith – Spoonmaker