From the Yard to the Hook: Actually, this motif was inspired by an Aesthetic Movement Sterling Silver Spoon by Whiting. Worked in Size 20 thread with a #10 hook. Elements are made separately and sewn together. The patterns are a mix of vintage crochet available at Antique Pattern Library.
- Fuchsia [Priscilla IC Book 2 c. 1912 Fig. 39 Fuchsia Tie ]
- Large Leaf [Royal Society Crochet Lessons Vol 1 Bk 4 c. 1914 Mary Card Venetian Crochet Opera Bag No 1044 ]
- Small Leaves [Old & New Designs in Crochet Work, Vol 2 c. 1900 Sophie LaCroix IC No 278 Dress Trimming]
- Vine to connect the pieces.
The 19th Century had its own Renaissance called The Aesthetic Movement. In the U.S., it’s marked by the end of the Civil War and reaching a pinnacle in the 1870s. Money made it possible, mainly an increase in the Middle Class. This boom is documented by a surge of US Patent filings for designs and manufacturing processes of household goods.
Where the Aesthetic Movement began and by whom is a matter of debate. That it’s unique and reflective of a stylistic period ought to be enough to call it an Era. Movement is a better fit, spreading like fire, it drew in all manner of crafts: woodworkers, iron and brass foundries, glass makers, tapestry, etc… until everything had this stick and ball look.
The style is mainly artistic though functional and often collapsible for easy storage. Each piece whether furniture or decor, wood or brass combines balls, knobs or levers with fencing, lattice or fretwork and a splash floral elements. There is something almost mechanical or pre-Steampunk about the finished pieces. One of my favorite designers of this period is George Hunzinger, a German-born furniture maker who launched a shop in New York, 1855. Though best known for his chairs, he made a variety of furnishings.
With often limited living space, decor was carefully chosen to create a theme of richly decorative conversation pieces with lots of character. The French called it ‘bonheur du jour’ (happiness of the day) and the British warmed to it, for it was so unlike anything that had come before.
During this period, Whiting introduced their Sterling Fuchsia line. I love the three-dimensional spray of leaves and the intricacy of the flower. Although I tend to visualize things in crochet, I think it would look lovely as a wooden spoon… and speaking of spoons; Have you seen Giles Newman? Can we just say, “Wow!” I love all his work, especially the carved horse spoon breaking away from the ropes that bind it, still tethered at the hind legs. I can almost hear its determination.
Modern Aesthetic Wood Carved Spoons
by Artist Giles Newman
These aesthetic hand carved spoons are made from naturally fallen wood. The Northern England and Wales Artist, Giles Newman, has a background in photography and graphic design. He began teaching himself how to carve in 2015. In just three short years and with only a few tools, he’s managed to produce a wide range of skillfully crafted pieces; each a future museum piece.
- Visit Giles at:
I was so inspired by Giles’ work that I decided to try carving an ashwood spoon. Using one of his designs, I made this:
It took about 2 months to complete as I had never carved anything before and had to watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube and read articles posted online. I invested about $35 into tools; a set of chisels and a bowl scoop. I also used a pocket knife with serrated edge, small handsaw for jewelry making, small handheld drill and made my own sharpening stone using an old pizza brick and leather strop from my bookbinding material. The one thing I didn’t have and which I think is needed is a vice or clamp to hold the carving down. Instead, I used a cookie sheet and wedged it in the corner. In the end, I created a food stain using tea, onion skin and walnuts for the bowl, black and blueberries for the flower with a pinch of RIT fabric dye and the green is pretty much everything in the crisper plus some grass from the front yard. All this topped with a coat of mineral oil to protect it. After everything dried, I gave it a good washing with a paper towel to see if any stain would come off but it appears to be set in. I dried it and added a coat of coconut oil, then hung it on the kitchen wall.