The home of this big old apple tree that had one of its large branches yield to the powers of nature is at our local diary farm. This tree actually has a lot of meaning for the farmer who grew up on the farm, played in the pastures, climbed the apple trees with the cows looking on and then ultimately took over the farm from her parents and now carries the tradition forward.
When I heard that part of one of her apple trees went down, that tree hoarder in me instantly lite up. For one, apple wood has a gorgeous color and grain pattern to it and its one of my favorite types of wood to carve. The second was, I think its a really amazing way, to always have a part of someones favorite tree, carry on in someones life. This is a lady I have so much respect for and plays an important role in my children’s lives, so to have the opportunity to give her back her tree… makes me content and happy.
The cows looked on curiously as we finished cutting down the fractured side of the tree looking for just the right piece whispering to become something new. I love crooks because it enables a natural curve to your ladle as you follow the grain pattern. Instead of cutting through it. This is the chunk I chose…. yes I have another pile of crooks and nooks and chunks in my basement waiting for there turn also. The beginning stages I do solely with my sweat and axe then will move to knife.
The pictures above, the bark is removed completely, to expose all those hidden knots and bug holes and funky grain patterns that you have to consider when laying out the ladle. But you never know maybe in the end it wants to be a spatula…
I’m now able to give myself a rough pattern to go by. Listening to Pink Floyd and thinning it down all around as its much easier to move wood with an axe then a knife. The apple smell is golden as many wood chips are made, but many many more to go.