I spent this weekend teaching a spoon carving workshop for London Green Woodworkers based in Abney Park, Stoke Newington. Abney is a beautiful old cemetery full of headstones and monuments which has reverted to woodland over the years and is very atmospheric.
The group had all carved wooden spoons before but wanted some additional tuition to develop their skills and improve their spoons. Spoon design, sharpening, carving technique, ergonomics and finishing all made for a full and busy couple of days which I enjoyed a lot. One of the things I wanted to put over was to look more at their work as they carved and we made one of my eating spoons the focus of the weekend with everyone aiming to produce copies of it. This is a great way to learn and develop new shapes and techniques and the results all came out different and individual which represented each carvers own style. On the course was Joseph Bloor who is currently carving a spoon a day for a year and was keen to learn to improve his skills as part of that project.
We finished the weekend with a session of a Spoon Club game in which each person carves a spoon for 5mins before passing it to the person to their left who continues the work. This can be a challenging and exciting way to work as you’re faced each time with a completely new spoon and can’t get too attached to a piece. After an hour we each got our own spoons back, carved as a collaboration of the group.
It’s great to find such a fun and keen bunch doing greenwood work in the middle of London and sharing what they do through free drop in sessions