Earlier this month I ran one of my Spoon Carving workshops with a great group, here they are at the end of a really fun weekend.
When I teach spoon carving, I want people to go away with more than just a wooden spoon that they’ve made over the weekend, I’m trying to teach them skills that they can go away with to carve more spoons, kuksas, bowls or whatever they want. The skills of understanding wood and carving with axe and knives is the most valuable thing to take away. I also believe that to learn to use these skills, they need to be practised until you really understand them and how they work. This all means that the emphasis is on learning to use the tools and we don’t make a spoon until the second day.
This is a bit of a surprise for some people but think of it like Daniels training in the classic ‘Karate Kid’ (the 80’s version, not the terrible remakes). Our first day of cutting sticks and making butter spreaders is my equivalent of the ‘Wax on, wax off’ sequence, training specific muscles and movements ready for the main event. It means that we build up the techniques progressively and, when we come to carve spoons on the second day the work goes much more easily.
Meanwhile, Alex had already done a spoon carving workshop with my friend Robin Wood who runs excellent courses on the same basis as me. My courses are suitable for complete beginners but people with experience also sign up and I can add in extra exercises to progress their skills and challenge them. Alex had a great eureka moment with the ‘chest expander’ cut which became his new favourite and worked on cutting long smooth facets, particularly on the underside of the spoon. His work was really nice as you can see below:
So sit back and reminisce a while then get to and practise.
ps I don’t subscribe to the ‘I say you do, no questions’ part, questions are really fun on a course and help me learn too.