Happy New Year! Around this past Thanksgiving, I decided to take a break from my Instagram account. It was refreshing not to be staring at the screen so much, and instead, looking at knife blades, branches, and even some finished spoons.
A week or two away from social media, the urge to pick up the phone was gone. And it felt pretty good!
The new year has come, and I decided to let myself experience social media again, but only in small doses. Mainly for the inspiration that I get from many spoon carvers whose work I so admire. So I plan to pop in and out on occasion.
A week or so ago, Craig Mod shared a few thoughts in an email, and I found myself agreeing with him:
“Instagram will only get more complex, less knowable, more algorithmic, more engagement-hungry in 2019. I want to have a place very far apart from that, where I can post photos on my own terms. Not have an algorithm decide which of my posts is best (have you noticed Instagram making the second photo in series appear first in the carousel?). And I don’t want to be rewarded for being anodyne, which is what these general algorithms seem to optimize for: things that are easily digestible, firmly on the scale of “fine, just fine.” It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the more boring stuff we shove into our eyeballs, the more boring our taste becomes.”
So with that thought, I want to post more photos here on my website.
I poached (naw, completely stole) an idea from Ben Strano, who carved 52 spoons in 2018. I was inspired to do the same in 2019. Thanks, Ben, for the motivation! My first for the year was a small applewood spoon. I have a long way to go, but I feel like it’s the best spoon that I’ve made so far.
I went to the farm this month and loaded up the car with applewood. In the orchard, troubles fell away like old dry leaves. My second spoon for my 52 Spoons project. I carved my second spoon this month from applewood from the farm. Fifty more spoons to go, but no rush.
I’ve been pondering an idea that popped into my mind. I want to add a section to my website called My Favorite Spoon. It will feature your favorite spoon (or one the is meaningful to you) made by another spoon carver and one that you made that you really like, too, if you wish. Then tell us why you like it so much. My goal is to create a more permanent gallery that highlights beautiful spoons and why people like them.
I bought a new knife from Matt White. It’s simply incredible! Also, I finally got to use a draw knife for the first time on the spoon mule. Love it!
I finished my third spoon finished for my 52 Spoons project. I had to move my spoon carving up to the kitchen to stay warm this weekend.
I stayed up late to watch a video with a beautiful conversation between Deborah Schneebeli Morrell and Barn. At one point, Deborah dug deep into the idea of how spoon carving can improve mental health. It was good stuff, and I could definitely relate to how the simple act of carving wood can improve mood, mindfulness, and provide a powerful sense of accomplishment. Those are a few reasons why I pursue spoon carving and the ideas of sloyd.
At the end of the month, I finished my fourth spoon. I made this one from black cherry from the farm.