Dressing your beautiful new hand carved spoon up is a personal thing; some people like a raw spoon that ages and develops a beautiful patina through years of use, and others like a sleek and shiny little number that sits pride of place on the spoon rack.
Whatever your choice, there are some basic things you can do that will see you and your spoon growing old together. Put simply, wash it after you use it by running it under a tap and then leave it to air dry. Don’t soak it as this may cause the wood to split, and don’t pop it in the dishwasher!
Now if you want to treat it, a really good thing to use is a homemade oil and beeswax blend. It’s super easy to make, completely food safe and is handy for adding a bit of shine to any bit of wood lying around the house.
This is what you do: mix four parts organic coconut oil with one part beeswax by heating gently in a water bath (the same gentle way you melt chocolate). Stir until everything is a clear liquid. Pour into a jar and set aside to cool where it will turn into a beautiful smelling white paste. Pop the lid on the jar and Bob’s your uncle, you have your own home made wood treatment that is so food safe it’s actually edible!
Now all you need to do is slather your spoon in the paste, really massage it into the pores, and then buff off the excess with a cloth. You’ll end up with a spoon that likes to show off its lustre and vibrant grain to all its mass produced stainless steel compatriots.
Keep what’s left over and reapply whenever the wood is looking a little dry and tired.
If you don’t have coconut oil you can use other oils like food grade flax/linseed seed oil (can spontaneously combust if left on cotton rags, and your spoon will smell like a cricket bat!), or nut oils, but be wary of sharing the spoon with people who may have a nut allergy. Try to avoid olive oil as it can go rancid, and never use mineral oil or boiled linseed oil as they contain nasties.
Here what you do if you really want to soak the oil into the inner part of the spoon (handy for cooking spoons that spend a lot of time in hot stuff). Before applying the wax and oil blend, pour some warm oil into a ziplock bag big enough for your spoon, pop in your spoon, close the bag and leave your spoon wallowing in it’s oil bath overnight. The oil will then soak deep into the wood and in the morning, wipe it off, give it a buff with the oil and wax and the you have a super protected and lustrous spoon! Mind you, I rarely bother with this, I’m all for applying the wax and oil finish and then reapplying the oil when it needs a refresh…it’s a good excuse to feel all those tool marks and angles you carved into your spoon. Yes it’s spoon fondling…if you’re a spoonerd you’ll understand 🙂
And that’s it…enjoy your beautiful new spoon!
Peace & whittles,