Its been a bit of a slow week as kids were off school Monday and Tuesday and everyone is full of flu. I have managed to get up to the workshop for a bit of therapeutic turning every now and then though. Yesterday I turned a ladle for the Mary Rose Trust, I first visited the Mary Rose to study the wooden bowls there more than 10 years ago and have made many replicas over the years for use by school groups visiting the museum.

Here is the replica made from alder and below is the original.



These are quite a challenge to make, when I first cut a blank to make one and mounted on the lathe the weight of the handle had the lathe literally lifting off the ground. I learned to leave a short heavy piece opposite the handle to balance things out, this is trimmed off with an axe after turning. During turning the handle spins so fast it becomes invisible so you have to keep your hands well out of the way.


Edit, just adding a picture of a Mary Rose bowl and spoon.

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6 Responses to

  1. miss rika March 30, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Sorry your kids are down with the flu; that’s no fun at all:( The ladle doesn’t look as if it would be very efficient to use . . . but then most of the Mary Rose things seem as if they weren’t made for ease of use but for some standard of uniformity. What’s it like to hold?

  2. Robin Wood March 31, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks Rika, all on the mend now.To be honest I have not used the ladle, it feels good and well balanced in the hand and I am told by folk that have used them with the big replica cauldrons that they work OK. They are on the chunky/robust side.Interesting comment about uniformity. In fact one of the things that I find interesting about the Mary Rose assemblage is the lack of uniformity. There are objects which are clearly military requisitions but without a tight specification. The ram rods for instance, not only vary considerably in the shape of the turned ends but in the timbers used for head and shaft. 100 years later that diversity is gone. The Mary Rose for me is the latest example of the sort of free workmanship on a large scale that I associate with the medieval period.

  3. miss rika March 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Hmm! I don’t know anything about ram rods and am only speaking from observation of smaller artifacts that I’ve seen only online, so you’ve definitely got the better view of it all. From a cook’s perspective, the spoons and that ladle are not very efficient. Such a chunky ladle would surely waste at least a full helping of food if used in a cauldron. I’d love to get to the actual museum to get a better picture in my head.I’m not sure what I’d do with a Mary Rose spoon instead of my Swedish one; are they better than they look at holding food?

  4. Robin Wood March 31, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    The Mary Rose spoon is not my favorite design as the handle is directly in line with the bowl, the crank in the stem of old Swedish spoons or medieval German ones makes them nicer to use for me. Having said that we don’t know how these were used, it is clear that you took the food from the edge not the end as that is where it’s thinned, could be that the bowl was hand held and the spoon simply scroped food into the mouth. Anyway here is a picture of a Mary Rose spoon in one of the fe small bowls (most bowls were 8-10″)[IMG]http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb176/thewoods_album/CRW_1392_JFR.jpg[/IMG]The cauldrons are huge, more than 1m across big enough to cook for 200 men I am told they boiled food in muslin baga and used the ladle to fish the bags out.

  5. miss rika March 31, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

    BAH!!! Of course! I am a medievalist: I should be ashamed! I take it all back. Blush blush blush.

  6. TREEWRIGHT April 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Rob – can you go on Wikipedia and say something about David Pye to bolster up what I put. They’re looking for verification or whatever even though I put in the ISBN’s for both his books. I find it really galling that muppets like Vanessa Feltz or wanabee celebrities had an entry but he didn’t !!!Word verification here is gsexiiy? What’s that all about

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