Saturday, 10 September 2011

Liriodendron tulipifera spoon (Tulip tree)

We did some work on a couple of tulip trees last week and as I have never carved any before I gathered some bits to make some spoons.

Its very nice wood to carve, very much like Birch and slices well. Its wood has very little pattern but what you do get is strips of colour and also blue ink like marks. When it is cut it has a very fruity smell like citrus fruit.
As the wood was pretty pale I wanted to have a go at painting the spoon, I read a few ways of making homemade paint and ended up using one by Robin Wood. only I used Green tea with some Coffee to darken it up a bit for a green colour which is a little bit washy.
I also used some Tumeric to make a nice yellow colour, I wanted to get some colours that resembled to colours on the leaf.

I did some chip carving decoration and rubbed some Coffee into the pattern which highlights it from the paint.
I am looking at getting some ground earth pigments for a better colour but for what I had in the cupboard I think its worked quite well.


  1. Most of us call it "tulip poplar" in this country, though it's not a poplar at all. I love working with the wood in any way. The vertical board siding on my house is mostly "poplar." That's a very pretty piece of work!

  2. Thanks Gorges, Its actualy related to the Magnolia family, and when you see the buds and flowers and how big they are it makes sense.

    All the best.

  3. I have a few pieces that came down in Hurricane Irene that I am saving for a kuksa and a few spoons. I, like Gorges, always called it Tulip Poplar as well. There is no mistaking it though. Lovely work Simon, I wish you hadn't made home made paint many projects so litle time! Well, winter is coming I guess, plenty of time then I reckon.