Spoon of the Season: Spring
Our American Made Copper Slotted Spoon
Happy Spring from your favorite American Spoon Makers! It's fitting that this experimental, new, creative endeavor of ours is coming to life in the season of birth and growth. Our spring design is a slotted copper spoon made with an egg-inspired copper bowl and a uniquely forged octagonal bronze handle. We love the copper spoon line that we have created, and branching off from it came naturally. It's a conversation-starting serving utensil as well as a functional kitchen tool.
We played with a few shapes and sizes for the spring bowl, but I wanted it to be oblong and have straining holes. The egg-like shape seemed appropriate for Spring, and something we’ve never tried before. Once the shape was decided, I cut 20 ovals out of soft, pure copper sheet by hand with tin snips. The oval is hammered down into a thick, carved wooden dish to give it the initial depth. The planishing step is next, where I strike the outer surface of the bowl with a light hammer over the entire surface. This is done on top of a hard steel dome custom made for the process, so that the copper is being sandwiched in between two surfaces of hard steel, causing the copper to spread and harden. A bowl this size takes between 500 and 600 hammer strikes to planish. After planishing, I hammer the bowls again into a hand-carved wooden form to reinforce the final shape, then grind the edges level all the way around. Using a master template with the holes arranged how I like, I marked every bowl and drilled the straining holes. After the edges of the bowl and holes, the whole bowl is cleaned thoroughly with copper polish, and it’s almost ready to be attached to the handle.
The handle is forged from quarter-inch bronze rod. I wanted a whimsical shape for the spring spoon, and so the design ended up looking something like a long leaf or even a feather. To accomplish the unique shape, I first forged the bowl-end of the rod into an octagon, which took two-to-three cycles of heating in the forge and hammering. Then the attachment part is forged using a very round, heavy hammer. Tilting the piece while forging with a rounding hammer gives the attachment a concave shape that mates to the bowl. Once the forging on that end is complete, it’s cooled by dunking in water and the other end can be forged. To accomplish the feather shape, I tapered the end so that the bronze would still be tapered after spreading, even though the material gets thinner towards the end. The final heating is done in the forge, and the bronze is widened by hard, accurate hammer blows on both sides of the surface, creating the ridge in the center and giving the handle a gentle upward curve. I drilled the three holes in my finished handles and ground off any extra material before finally polishing them with high grit sandpaper.
Each handle is mated individually to a bowl, and held against it to place the holes accurately since each piece is unique. Once the copper rivets are set by hand, the Spring Spoon of the Season is complete. Each spoon has over one thousand hammer blows involved in it’s creation.
This piece was created exclusively for our spoon of the season club, but we do plan on adding a slotted spoon to our shop later this year.
Thanks as always for supporting craft in America!
With Care, Leslie + Park