Friday, December 18, 2009

Offseason Entry II: The Bane of the Woods...

...made good. Or at least useful and marginally pretty.
I won't insult the craft by calling myself a carver, but I've been goofing around with a few local woods - started after we had a carving clinic in the BWCA. Products have not been professional, but somewhat interesting nonetheless. My angle on this is that it's waste to use. A two for one: a guy cuts a buckthorn, and thus frees the heretofore occupied understory of his local woods... and also extracts some useful raw material to be added to his own good.

Find European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Cut down with sierra saw or maybe a bow saw
Dissect into usable/storable bolts
Freeze usable/storable bolts
Take one out at night
Start fire outside or maybe open beer at kitchen table
Shuck off big chunks of wood with old knife
Set aside for a few months
Pick up again later on and shape further
Set on top of fridge or other appliance
Keep knives away from kids
Pick up some night and shape a little more
Maybe sand with rough paper now
Set aside
Final shaping with smaller knife
Sand with rough paper
Then sand with ultra fine paper
Sit down a minute to admire orange grain and beauty
Rub in some oil - maybe walnut
Watch grain jump out even more
Set aside
Sand and oil several more times as beer or other situations allow
When baby's butt is apparent, add to kitchen utensils
An onion-pusher
Or maybe a crepe-flipper
Dirge of the woods thus becomes sweet melody


Blogger Trout Caviar said...

I really like that recipe, Wendy. It has a certain...authenticity to it! That onion pusher/crepe flipper looks great; I think you underrate your carving skills. You've inspired me to try a little rustic woodshaping of my own to pass these long winter evenings. Happy solstice and all best in the New Year~ Brett

9:23 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Thanks Brett. Working on another tonight - this one from a BWCA alder.

Do give it a shot - easy, interesting and satisfying. Makes some usable utensils too.

Happy solstice indeed - mainly happy because days get longer starting now. Tilting toward spring...

10:29 PM  
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