It feels like forever since I have carved a spoon. Forever since I have done anything related to woodworking other than read websites and watch videos, actually. But that isn't to say that the last few weeks have been a total waste from a woodworking perspective. I was able to get Jögge Sundqvist's video and watch it a few times. Kari Hultman posted a review on it and there isn't much more that I can say. If you haven't seen it yet, it is well worth the money.
Things changed in a hurry a few days ago when a small overnight storm brought down half of a Bradford pear tree in my neighbor's yard. I offered to help clean it up in exchange for a few sticks of wood. Within 12 hours of it coming down, the first spoon was drying in the kitchen, less than 24 hours after it was downed, the second spoon was done, followed closely by a third.
Bradford pear has a very dense wood, it is some of the hardest wood that I have carved to date. The water almost runs out of it when you cut it. At some points it felt like I was carving rubber. The knife felt dull in my hand and my arms and hands are still sore from working with it. All in all, I am happy. I plan to carve a few more spoons out of the supply that I have, but honestly I need to wait a few days to recover! I could tell that I was out of practice, my shape and form are a bit off and they are certainly not as refined as they could be. No matter! Sitting outside on the back patio, a hot cup of coffee steaming in the afternoon sun surrounded in the colors of fall, carving a spoon, is the best medicine I can think of. It feels good to be back!