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News from Stark Raven Studios: Dan and Saga's blog about blacksmithing, art, and daily life and  work on their tiny Wisconsin Northwoods homestead.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

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In June 2013, I went to my first spoon gathering, in Milan, Minnesota. The previous year, my husband, Dan Roesinger,went with another spoon carver Jarrod Stone-Dahl from Woodspirit Gallery and absolutely raved about the experience and all the cool people he'd met. So, I went with Dan this year to see what it was all about.

Dan brought a lot of his spoons to display and a couple of adzes he'd designed for spoon carvers. One of our Scandinavian Carving Hatchet customers, Phil Steele, had his new hatchet, Jolene, with him and several people had a chance to see just what it can do for the green woodworker. I brought brooms of all sorts as well as a few of my pot-scrubbers. 

At one point, Phil borrowed one of my whisk brooms or pot-scrubbers, and tried using the handle end as a burnisher on one of his spoons. It worked pretty well! This led to several experiments in designing burnishers specifically for this purpose. Dan gave them a try and we had Phil "test drive" a few of them, before deciding on a couple of sizes that work really well.  

With a little research, we found our new burnisher was not an entirely unique product after all. Andre Roubo described something similar in the eighteenth century, calling it a polissoir. as we learned from this article by Chris Schwartz. There are others out there making these as well, as you'll read in Chris's article, and we're also linking his great demonstration video on how to use one. 

Phil Steele tested several models of our burnisher and as a result, we've decided to carry two sizes of the burnisher a 3/4" diameter model and an 1 1/4" diameter model and offer it pre-waxed as well as un-waxed. We look forward to getting feedback on how folks like them.