I carved this serving spoon/ladle from a red maple branch a friend of mine had cut. It had a beautiful curve to it which I followed with the spoons shape. Red Maple is sometimes called soft maple, and it is when compared to Sugar Maple, though its still pretty hard. Red Maple can get brown streaks in it as you see here. Sometime they occur throughout a section of wood and is referred to as ambrosia maple by woodworkers.
I made these two little eating spoons out of the same black birch log. It’s amazing to me how complex a thing trees are. The darker of the two was from the heart wood and the lighter the sapwood. And they are quite thin, not much more than a millimeter in the bowl and end of the handle, and still plenty strong enough to do their job. Birches are flexible, strong trees that can bend a great deal under the weight of snow and not break. I often see small birches with their tops bent all the way to the ground under a heavy snow.
These spoons are the smallest I have made and took just as long as the biggest ladle due to the complexity of the design necessary for a good eating spoon (the picture does not show this well as you cannot see the profile, I’ll do better next time) and their thinness.
Working with natural material that are harvested personally is one of the best ways I know to connect with ones local landscape.