I teach spooncarving, that my part

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.

Spoon carving course group

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.

spoon carving axe practise practising knife power cuts

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:
Alex spoon carving Carved greenwood spoons by Alex Nicholson

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.

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About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
This entry was posted in greenwood courses, spoon carving, SteveTomlinCrafts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I teach spooncarving, that my part

  1. Thanks for an excellent course, Steve. Every aspect of my carving has improved, from drawing on the blank, axing to the line with confidence, and getting longer knife cuts. Carving is even more enjoyable, and with better results 😀

  2. Deni Riach says:

    The course gave me the opportunity to unpick my bad habits and develop the confidence to work through all the best processes in creating a spoon. Steve’s no nonsense and logical approach made complete sense. The course was well paced, fun, purposeful and challenging. Everything a course should be! Steve as a teacher was excellent in several ways… knowledgeable and detailed, warm and chatty, very skilled, eager to meet the needs of the students and approachable when questioned. The thoughtful presentation and reasoned teaching approach was a huge part of the learning for me and something I will take back as an adult learning tutor.
    Thanks Steve for making us feel comfortable and relaxed. Best course I have done in many years!

  3. Melanie Pepper says:

    This was a fantastic course and I enjoyed every second. Not only that but I learnt a huge amount and produced a spoon to be proud of. The different cuts that Steve showed us helped give a lovely finish to the spoon and made carving far easier and safer.
    Steve was a great tutor – very patient and helpful! Sprint Mill is a wonderful setting , so calm and peaceful. I had a fantastic weekend, I learnt loads, and I have been recommending this course to anyone who will listen! Thanks again Steve.

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