I prepared this guide as a helpful tool for aspiring spoon makers and instructional guide for collectors. You can, when your carving is finished, clean it up a little by judicious use of your blade eraser (your knife) and then finish it off with a light toothbrush scrub with laundry detergent (I find laundry detergent works better than dish). A log in the sun that has had it’s outer layers removed is like kiln drying wood. CHERRY: Cherry is grown in the Eastern half of the U.S.. It is sometimes called fruitwood.
I have no real reasons I can give you for selecting one method or style of carving over another. To go back to hunter gatherer nomadic culture in the UK is a long way and not as much survives but there is stuff, more from early farming cultures. In any case, when the band sawing is complete the piece of wood looks very much like a spoon, albeit somewhat rough.
Lime (Tilia vulgaris) is an excellent starter wood for carvers because it is so small grained and easy to carve that it is very forgiving of many mistakes that might ruin carvings in other woods. The wood she used was appropriately English Yew and she adapted the logo of a well known beer company for her design, carved it in relief and finished it with wax polish. By lengthening the grind they make very sharp edges but these tools are not ready to use.
Chip carving, Scandinavian flat plane, Relief carving…anything you see in old buildings around the world, furniture , doors panels etc. If you are going to get your wood from the shores of storm swept lakes, streams, or rivers; make sure you dry it well, clean it well (silicon from the shores are tough on blades) and do not use wood gathered from the ocean beaches (the salt in these woods will ruin your blades). This wood is highly recommended for any purpose combating illness or promoting good health.
Just a personal feeling on the splitting issue – I kind of think that wood splits and checks filled in with a filler give a feel of a real biomorfic material. Melt the wax in a shallow tray and dip the ends of the piece of wood in it. If it is a disc of wood for a bowl, roll the disc in the molten wax to coat the entire periphery of the disc. If only a woodturner would intercept the process and cut the wood into discs and rough turn the material before it dries!
The best wooden cutting boards and wood end grain cutting board are made from premium Maple, Cherry hardwoods NOT generic North American hardwood. Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a semi-forgotten wood that is useful for a ton of things, is best used quartersawn (it’s not particularly stable in its flat sawn form), and has a really lovely lacey ray pattern when quartersawn.