Hooks above are made of these woods: SQUIRREL= Aussie cypress. GREMLIN:= Cypress. LEMUR = Manzanita. CAT = Manzanita. OWL TRIO = Holly, Apple, Yew.
All spinning wheels have an accompanying hook tool. Whether it’s called a Spinning Wheel Hook, an Orifice Hook, or a Fetch Hook, it is an essential companion to every wheel. The hook is used to bring the bobbin string thru the hole ~ seen above where wire is inserted~ and forward into to the spinners lap, where we connect the wool fiber and begin to spin it into yarn. If we pause, then return later to our spinning, we may fetch the spun fiber end again and reconnect to resume spinning.
Here is an opportunity to treat yourself to a special, hand-carved piece of folk art. Why not choose a beautiful little treasure for your own wheel?
Glass Eyes: Nearly all the carvings have German glass eyes on a wire backing. These are not just glued on beads. I carve a divot for the eye, then drill a tiny hole inside it. The glass eye wire super-glued into this eye slot. I love the extra expressive result. And, recently….I found clear glass eyes which I can paint (using hard glass paint) to suit my whim (I have lots of whims). Several color attempts later and I’m liking green the best because it really ‘pops.’
Bat. This was a slender slice of walnut burl was just too pretty to throw away. I had to think: what shape could be carved in a minimal amount of detail and space, yet still convey the imagery intended? Sometimes the wood just speaks to you, letting you know what it wants to be. This bat was a grand idea, and I simply adore the look of his clingy wing membrane, hunched shoulders and gleaming eyes. Okay, the bat is an example of bead eyes, since I wanted glowing red reflective look. A sweet friend now owns this hook, so I’ll get to see it once in awhile. PS – this was a case of using beads for eyes, the only way to get the gleaming red color. Later I noticed & fixed the eye misalignment.
(below) Rabbit hook, in progress. Here’s a small block of Pink Ivory, showing the initial cut for the rabbit shape, which is now “blocked out” (partially carved). The limitations of the wood block affect subsequent size & placement of the rabbits ears.
Note that all these carvings are meant to be the handle of a tool the spinner uses. It must have a comfortable grip; a crucial factor affecting the final shape of each carving.
Hook prices vary according to the cost of the wood and complexity of the carving. A simple leaf requires less time than I’d spend on more detailed designs like a rabbit or yak. The Bleeding Heart may seem costlier than a leaf, given it’s simple shape, but a customer probably wouldn’t know it took many wood shop visits to find Pink Ivory wood at all / to find the right color in an affordable small size (pink ivory is spendy wood) / or how exceedingly hard some wood is, making carving a real chore. I make very few pink ivory carvings for those reasons. Why use it at all? Well…isn’t it magical there is such a thing as – PINK wood! That said… there are such a variety of beautiful wood colors and grains that I am always eager to play at carving the next piece.
P.s. All my hooks are made with piano wire, which has superior strength and flexibility.