Norwegian designer Stian Korntved Ruud has committed to carving one spoon per day for a year to explore the forms that are possible using different types of wood (+ slideshow).
Stian Korntved Ruud coupled the niche but growing pastime of traditional spoon carving with the recent trend for "365 projects" – where participants do something every day for a year and share the results through social media channels.
He has already carved 135 spoons from 20 types of wood over 19 weeks. "365 seemed like a reasonable number of days and spoons if I really wanted to immerse myself in something like this," Korntved Ruud told Dezeen.
Having spent a year exploring the organic qualities of wood and investigating how hand-carving can work with those qualities – as opposed to machine carving – the project seemed like a logical next step for the designer.
"I have always worked a lot with my hands, but my fascination with wood probably comes from my family of wood lovers – my Danish woodcarving grandfather and my nature-loving father," he said.
"I carved my first spoons a couple of months ago and thought it would be a nice object to use to experiment with different wood species and shapes."
Each spoon starts with an idea or sketch, followed by the hunt for a suitable piece of wood. "I start to carve with a suitable tool," Korntved Ruud explained.
"If there is a lot of wood to remove I use a big tool like an axe. For more refined shaping I use spoon knifes, gouges and Japanese kogatana knives."
"It does not always succeed on the first attempt, so a sketch often results in several spoons," he continued. "I also use twisted pieces of wood that make themselves – I just follow the grains and patterns inherent in the wood."
Using traditional techniques, each spoon takes between half an hour and three hours to carve, depending on the complexity of the design and the type of wood.
"I use all the types of wood I get hold of," said Korntved Ruud. "Much of it is gathered from the nearby woods or when I'm traveling around the world. I usually have my folding saw in my backpack ready."
He still has 230 spoons and over seven months to go.
"There are a lot of highs, like when I get hold of a new kind of wood I have newer carved before, or I get a new tool or restore an old one so I can make new shapes," he said. "So far there have been no lows, besides some stitches in my left hand."
Korntved Ruud is currently looking for a gallery where he can show the final 365 spoons together when the collection is complete and hopes to make a book about the project.
"At the end of the year, I expect to have sore fingers and a big bunch of spoons which I hope will show a evolution of forms and techniques," he added.