Tuesday, 20 August 2013


I find that my spoon-carving is like many things in life. My enthusiasm for it comes and goes for no particularly obvious reason, but I find myself having times of almost no carving, followed by periods of intense whittling and playing around with forms and ideas.
All sorts of things might prompt a period of carving, a new tool, finding some interesting wood, or even just sitting round a fire.

Spoon-carving is in a way a kind of sculpture, a playing with shape and form, but it is also in essence a practical thing, a prosaic and practical work of art perhaps (if that is possible...)? It involves making decisions about form, aesthetics, usability, practicality, use of material and probably lots of other things.
 Making a spoon is on one hand a simple process, and yet it involves decision making on many different levels, a bit like life in general really..

Because of its size, humble nature, and relative (deceptive) simplicity, spooning condenses the act of making and allows the attention to focus most satisfactorily on the basic equation of craft - object, hand, and tool - perhaps this is why it is such an enjoyable thing to do; for a short while nothing much else is happening but the simplicity of making a spoon. Because there is little on the periphery to distract, the mind is able to relax into the process.

Craft in general has, or can have this pleasing aspect of being focused on the basic and the physical, taking us out of the realm of the intellect and the world of electronic information. Or in other words, a great excuse to turn off the telly and do something creative with your own two hands.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

July courses

We have recently completed our first 9 day run of courses in Crenver grove. The whole thing went like a dream, blessed as we were with beautiful sunshine every day, plus a steady stream of the nicest folk we could have wished for.

Lin ran three different basketry courses, and I ran the spoon-carving course.

Here are some images of the various things we were doing.

We are resuming the courses in September. See the website for dates, prices and availability.