FFK Journal

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The Character Of Spoon Carving

This year, we have begun hosting a variety of woodworking courses, from birdhouses to yoga stools, with the intention of offering individuals the opportunity to get to grips with traditional tools and a variety of woods, as well as also allowing our enthusiastic artisan, Robbie Ryder, a chance to share his enthusiasm for carpentry.

In April, we are focusing on the spoon, with a woodworking course introducing this heritage craft being held at our Horsepool education centre and apiary in Cornwall. A great entry into the world of woodworking for beginners and one that has been an integral part of culinary culture and folklore, spoon carving is a rewarding practice that requires only a few traditional blades and a single piece of wood, even a fallen branch. As such, it has been practised across the world and in a variety of ways, being easily performed by individuals, such as sailors, who can carry everything they might need to begin shaping wood in just a small pouch.

Beyond simply shaping a length of wood, practitioners are encouraged to read the material’s grain and cooperate with each piece they handle, reading its signature shape and character, a process that leads to the final creation, be it a ladle or a love spoon, being unique and with the personality of both the wood and carver. In fact, many spoon carvers won’t design their spoon beforehand, waiting to see the wood first and see what it might want to look like.

A wide variety of woods have been used for spoon carving throughout history and a great deal of excitement comes from the fact that individuals can salvage or forage for their own local resources, claiming branches from local trees or ones with a particularly personal meaning. Doing so also ensures that the spoon that is carved carries significance and sentimental value. Some will keep an eye out for fallen branches following strong winds in their area while others might request a few from their neighbour who might happen to be trimming their trees. However you choose to source your wood, the best pieces often have a great story behind them.

Our course takes place on April 22nd and is open to both adults and children alike. We have all the tools needed, as well as a selection of woods, and will ensure you leave not only with your own spoon but also the know-how to distinguish and use your scorp and your adze. If you’d like to join us, your place can be booked via the Family Foraging Kitchen website.

Our other woodworking courses are also listed, with days dedicated to various types of wood and craft projects, and can be booked via our website. If there’s a particular woodworking project that you don’t see listed and would like to learn, please do let us know as classes can be created with significant demand!