What I have learned from carving wooden spoons

Hubby and I took a spoon-carving class at Perennial St Louis last December. I’ve been carving on my own and using the Perennial woodshop as a member when I need the big power tools. This is what I’ve learned from ten months of spoon carving:

Spoon, scoop, and branch.

You can burn wood on a belt sander if you leave it in one place too long, or press too hard. It smells fantastic!
Your mouth is smaller than you think when making an eating spoon. A lot smaller
It’s hard to measure the size of your own mouth, just measure a metal spoon instead
Cherry wood is forgiving, walnut is hard, apple is a granite monolith that will resist all assault
Go with the grain when sanding by hand. If you go across the grain, you have to spend a bunch of time sanding out those marks later. By going with the grain
Band saws don’t go in straight lines by themselves
You can’t eyeball a straight line either
Even if you have a straight line marked out, you’re not always going to be able to follow it
Just use a guide to make the band saw go roughly straight and fix it later
Apple wood shavings smell sweet
If you have those knuckle and fingertip plasters/band-aids around, you won’t need them.
You can sand blood off wood, it doesn’t soak in much
That Kevlar knitted glove the store insisted you get with your first carving knife is why you still have a functional left hand
Close the laptop before you start sandpapering anything
Perfect symmetry is for machines, embrace some imperfection
Maple wood smells like syrup when you saw it
Hand-sawing in a straight line isn’t guaranteed either, even with a line to follow
Most mistakes, glitches, and bad cuts are fixable with some improvisation