Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY woodburning spoons project

I happen to own a soldering iron, and since I don't have room or the set up to do some real stained glass work and don't know how to do electronic work, I figured I should put it to some other use.

I've been itching for a craft recently, and I remembered my days of using a woodburning tool in 4th grade to make a sign for my door, and thought that the soldering iron might be the right shape.
So I googled around and it looks like indeed there are many of us out there who are using soldering irons and woodburning pens interchangeably.
Some people say one is hotter, some say the other. I say who cares, let's burn stuff!

What is wood around here?
Well, the floors and the furniture but I don't think that would be an excellent place to start. Nor would NYU appreciate it.

I do have a bunch of wooden kitchen utensils, though. And while I use my flat wooden spatulas often, I use my wooden spoons less. So if I screwed them up I wouldn't be too upset.
Also they came from Ikea for $1 so I could easily get new ones.

Here are my utensils before:

Here is my soldering iron:

Here is my first spoon during:


Close up with neck band added:

Here are all 3 spoons after. (front)

(and back)


My hand got crampy from holding the tool, so I decided to do the flat ones later.

As you can tell, I went geometric for the first design, then on the second spoon I started with more lines and added dots, then tried for a bluebell flower on the back.
The third design was inspired by henna patterns. I am least happy with the way that one came out.
 I think I like the first one best.
What do you think?

The first thing I did to each spoon was draw lines around the edge of the head of the spoon. This helped  me steady my hand and also think about what I was going to draw.
I freehanded all the designs but I bet you could use a ruler and even draw pencil lines ahead of time if you wanted. You definitely can't erase the wood burning.
Well, maybe if you had a lot of sandpaper and a lot of time. And you didn't mind a skinnier utensil.

Going with the grain of the wood was much easier than crossing it. It was hard to drag the tool straight without it getting caught on the wood and burning holes deeper in some places than others.

One unexpected bonus of doing this burning was that my spoons had been chipped and not quite round anymore, and I used the soldering iron to burn off some of the rough parts and reshape them a little.

I am keeping my little experiments here, but I think in the future these would be great gifts. You could burn people's initials on them or helpfully label them as spoons (cooking is confusing).

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