Heirloom Wood

A delightful guide to a patient and rewarding craft.

Heirloom Wood

Heirloom Wood: A Modern Guide to Carving Spoons, Bowls, Boards, and other Homewares

PUBLISHER:Abrams Books
AUTHOR:Max Bainbridge
FORMAT:Hardcover, 144 pages

Carving, whether it be of spoons, bowls, birds, or abstract sculptures, is a time honoured craft that has been practiced since Adam left the Garden. While a few folks will want to mechanize and electrify the craft, for many of us it's a quiet, solitary pursuit, done largely by hand with a few sharp tools. I've always thought of it as Zen woodworking. It's also a great way to reduce stress in your life. You don't need to have any specific training in woodworking to enjoy the craft – the basic techniques are easy to learn and master, and you don't need a shop full of tools. With appropriate supervision it's just as suitable for pre-teen folks as it is for anyone.

Perhaps you're wondering whether functional carving is right for you? Maybe you've recently taken up the craft, but need a bit more in the way of instruction? Or, maybe you know someone who could do with something new and enriching. If so, then Max Bainbridge's book just might be the ticket. He clearly has a love for the craft, and the projects he's chosen for the book are perfect for the beginner – none are difficult to undertake, and all are highly functional. They consist of two types of spoons, a spatula, a butter knife, a coffee scoop, two cutting boards, and a small bowl.

Max writes in a conversational tone that makes the book sound much like a chinwag between you and the author. And, he covers all the basics to set you on the right track – where to get pieces of wood suitable for carving, the basic tools you'll need and how to use and care for them, and how to finish your projects. The copious photos in the book are very well done, and help to amplify the instructions.

The section on how to properly grip and use straight and hooked knives is most welcome. Without knowing how to effectively use these tools, your foray into carving is likely to be frustrating and unproductive. Understanding these essential hand techniques will make your first experience with the craft significantly more enjoyable.

List of the tools you need.

Detailed steps guide you through the projects.
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