Phil and I spent a few hours in the woods just below the Castle near the river and yes, that’s a Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia, giant redwood, Sierra redwood, Sierran redwood, or Wellingtonia). There are many thriving here in the woods and up around Penrhyn Castle. Not too old, 150 years since they first were planted. This session is to help me to fill in the gaps in my blogs on spoon carving in more primitive climes. Now I choose my words carefully, primitive. Does that mean crude, undeveloped? Not at all, it means type, method, variance, diversity. It means matched to condition. Economy of material and time and other things. Carving outdoors on a log using mostly an axe is another way. It has value to any woodworker to spend time in the wood zone and listen to the hollow walls of a redwood resonate in response to an axe carving a spoon on a stump. I hear this and my wellbeing settles in. Phil and I talk as we work. The spoon emerges from a split half of a section of limb. The axe splits away the waste from the wanted and the chips return to the ground. Not really waste so much as organic, vibrant matter returning to its regenerative source. My axes weigh different weights. The heavier one is an old Brades. But the carver is a cheap £5 import I like greatly.The Bahco is an import too and it works well as a carver at three times the price of the other. A little regrind shaped the hatchet-look to a shape I worked into a shape I think works well for for carving spoons.
Phil left for home but I wanted to sit and carve for a while as the sun settled. One thing using knives gives to the process is that you don’t need a bench or a vise or even a shaving horse. You can sit at the foot of a big, big redwood and peel that potato.