OneOak spoon travels to the USA

posted on September 2, 2011

OneOak spoon (left) and cherry plum spoon (right) made by Martin Damen

Earlier in the year Martin Damen was invited by Norman Stevens, an American collector of wooden spoons, to contribute a spoon to his “Gathering of Spoons” .  After much discussion he wanted one in Cherry Plum.  However, he also appreciates spoons made from wood/trees with some provenance.  Consequently, Martin decided to send a spoon made from the OneOak tree and included the following description in an accompanying letter:

“The second spoon is made of Oak.  From your initial email and latest update, I know that you like spoons made with wood of some provenance.  I am involved in an educational project called “The OneOak Project” (see  The project centres around a 222 year old oak tree felled in January 2010 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and about 25 miles from where I live.  Blenheim is the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. The second spoon is made from this OneOak tree.  Although oak is not normally used for spoon making due to its grain and tannic acid content I was aware that the Welsh spoon carvers of old boiled their sycamore spoons to remove the sap.  With this in mind your spoon was boiled for two hours with several changes of water and then left to dry thoroughly.  This process made the spoon the dark brown you see.  You may be aware that oak was historically used in the tanning industry and it would appear that in effect your spoon has been “tanned”!  I have used this process in a number of pieces as I like the effect and hope you do too.  Once dry, the spoon was sanded by hand finishing with 1500 grit paper and again sealed with food grade linseed oil.”

As always, the spoons were carved using only an ax, a straight knife and a hook knife.  Both spoons were dispatched to the USA on Friday.  Read more about Martin Damen’s work in the OneOak project

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Category: OneOak project, Wood

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