Coming into the workshop can be a bit overwhelming, so it is very important that we foster an environment that is comfortable and open for learners. Every person that comes in to the workshop has a unique experience with making, a community of learners and makers who can share their experiences with the group and develop new skills within the space. We also like to share warm drinks and biscuits, which is always nice.
The act of spoon carving is meditative as it involves simple, repetitive motions with focused attention. By carving, we calm the body and the mind, slow down, and immerse ourselves in the basic act of making. The end goal is not necessarily the spoon-- it is to develop the foundational skills of making to be applied to other natural crafts, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the materials used in the craft.
The spoon is the perfect functional object to make when beginning to woodwork. Because we all have an understanding of its form, it is an approachable object for learning woodworking techniques and building an understanding of the material. The wood will have a variety of densities and textures within a single piece, so it is important to become familiar with the medium before launching into more ambitious projects.
The spoon carving workshop begins by picking out a piece of raw green willow wood, which has been sourced sustainably and locally from wood cut by London tree surgeons. We use this because it has a high moisture content, making it soft for easy hand carving. The branch is then split by hand using a mallet and a froe, which is an l-shaped tool used for cleaving. We mark out the basic shape of the spoon on the flat side and begin to form it with a small hand-held axe. Carving the bowl is done with a curved blade called a crook knife.
During and after our workshops, we often hear about how relaxing carving feels and how inspired people feel to continue making after the class has ended. This is ultimately what we hope you achieve!
Come join us at Creative nature HQ to experience the joys of making with one of our workshops. Book a spot for a class here. Thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you very soon!