Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy New Year!

I have been remiss with my blog and website! It's not that I haven't been busy - quite the contrary! I actually had an especially productive year last year. But that's no excuse, so I'll be better about reporting on my projects and adventures this year!
Meanwhile, here's a little bit of a recap.
First, through the summer, I worked very hard to build up my inventory, including several fun new designs, to attend my first ever North American Festival of Wales on Labor Day weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. I went with a total of 25 spoons, along with several pens and keychains (small turned items). Here's a picture of my table:
Not only did my spoons enjoy a wonderful reception, but I thoroughly enjoyed the festival whenever I ventured away from the marketplace. I also had the distinct pleasure of sitting across the aisle from Ceri and Gaabi, and their Americymru table. Americymru is the group that organizes the West Coast Eisteddfod, for which some may recall, David Western and I co-created a spoon in 2010. This year, David did the spoon on his own again, and Ceri and Gaabi had it with them in Cleveland, and I had a great view. It was very beautiful, as Dave's spoons always are!
I actually shared two tables with fellow lovespoon carver Chris Watkins. Chris and his family weren't there on the first day of the festival, so my table overflowed a little. Chris is Welsh-born, but lives in Wooster, Ohio now. I actually did my very first show as a guest carver at his booth a few years ago. He was actually one of the first people to encourage me to make and offer lovespoons to the public. It was a treat to get to show with him again!

The 2012 North American Festival of Wales (aka. NAFOW) will be held in Scranton, PA on Labor Day weekend. I'll be spending most of this year replenishing my inventory for that event, along with finishing up a few remaining commissions from 2011.

After the 2011 NAFOW event, I had a few prior commissions to finish, some of which were a little different, and very fun. One, for example, was commissioned by the Welsh Society of Central Ohio for a couple of retiring long-time board members. It turned out to be among my favorite spoons.

It's made from cherry, and has a Daffodil and a Thistle to represent their Welsh and Scottish backgrounds, with a base of Leeks, also representing the Welsh.

There were so many other spoons and adventures, but I've already rambled for quite long enough, so I'll just show you a few of the more interesting new designs from later last year...

 The spoon above was a commission from a mother to her graduating daughter, with cardinals, stylized cherry blossoms, and hearts. It's made from cherry.

 This is another spoon from Mother to Daughter, who is especially fond of mermaids. This was the first time I've ever really attempted a face. I had a lot of fun with the hands, especially - they are quite detailed. This spoon is also made of cherry.

 Yet another cherry spoon, this one wasn't a commission, but rather, was just a fun design for me - with my first attempt at a swivel. Swivels are definitely a challenge! But I think this one came out pretty well. :)

 This spoon was made from a remarkably hard, very old, dark piece of mahogany. It was 1.5" thick. It took me 8 hours JUST to rough-carve out the bowl... if that gives  you any idea of the time that went into it. I think I'd been working on this spoon off and on for almost 2 years, so it was quite an accomplishment to finish it. It was also one of the only spoons I've been a little sad to part with. But, it went to someone I know, so I know it has a good home, at least!

 This spoon is stylized leeks, formed into celtic knotwork. I was inspired by the looseness of David Western's knotwork, so this was my attempt to loosen up a little. :) I think it came out quite nicely, especially considering that it was made from the stringiest, yuckiest piece of mahogany I've ever had.

This spoon was made from one of my last boards of that lovely English Yew I received for Christmas a couple years ago. I still have a little left, but I don't know what kind of inspired design it will take to get me to use it. I just love that yew!

Well, I think that's enough for now. I think I'll be back in a few days, to talk about a spoon I'm just finishing up now. For once, I've been trying to remember to take pictures throughout the process (well, I remembered to start doing that about half-way through, anyway). I know I've been asked about the process many times, so.... this should be a good one for illustrating that.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some beautiful spoons, Laura. I've always admired the delicacy of your designs. For some reason my design sense just doesn't run toward delicate. :) I'm looking forward to seeing more of your designs.