Owing to deteriorating weather and lighting conditions we decided to run The Sponcarver workshop indoors. It is a testament to the attendees that they exhibited disappointment over not working outdoors…. at least until the wind picked up and the temperature outside dropped considerably.
Despite a terrible dose of tonsillitis, Lisa managed to make cake and lunch for everyone. As one attendees said ”Isn’t it a bit early for cake” By the time I got my camera out there was only one piece left! So not too early then I guess.
Following an introduction to spoon carving, tools and knife safety, the group worked with scrap wood to get to grips with carving holds and gain an appreciation of the difference between the more powerful methods of removing material and the subtler techniques required to finish their work. Regular breaks for drinks and to rest the body were enforced with a leisurely lunch of paella followed by apple crumble.
It seems that each group that makes spoons takes on its own character. For this session the blanks I prepared were larger than before so encouraging a rash of chilli, curry and soup serving spoons. Some chose to draw out their spoons with draughtsman like precision before committing to the design on the blank, others made rudimentary marks on the blank before going where the mood took them.
It is apparent that when some people carve for the first time, they are less concerned with the final product and lose themselves in the pleasure of the carving process. That said, and despite admonishment that the skills learned are more valuable than the spoon, the majority of spoon course attendees come along to make a spoon.
While I make every attempt to offer them a template towards ensuring success in my aims i.e. safe and joyful carving, and theirs, to make a spoon, human nature will out and “first spoons” may have dips and curves, wobbles and idiosyncrasies, a bit like my first spoons, a bit like people in general, and that is how it should be.