{ Spoonfest }

this year i will be running the ‘mimic a spoon’ again along with ‘how to take you axing further’

can’t wait to see all the online faces in reality.  come say hi


Dan Lawrence aka ‘Dan De Lion’

Dan’s Fine Art background has resulted in a creative and playful exploration of woodcarving with a unique style.

A full time spoon carver/ greenwood worker since 2014 has enabled a fascination with ergonomics, form and function to play a big roll.

Musician’s learn covers for an understanding of techniques and styles, with a similar approach to spoons, making copy’s and mimics of other makers spoons enabled me to discoverer in 3 dimensions my like’s and dislike’s about a variety of spoons.

Dan will run the ‘Mimic a spoon’ again along with ‘How to take you axing further’.

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{ It’s a matter of size } or is it?

Fundamental to most thinking is the notion of bigger is better and or harder, but often that’s not the case. when doing fine art at Leeds uni I saw many students being encouraged to ‘make it big’ like some how there original concept was lacking so one way to solve it quickly and usually easily was to scale up physically because there you can create the wow factor much quicker. The common phrase ‘ little things please little minds’ however when really looked at falls apart. eg. people who stare at massive screens filled with hollow content for most of there waking life and need huge theme parks to go to are broadly speaking those who think very little, where as those who can find pleasure in the small things in life could often be said to have great minds.

Along side this perhaps backwards notion of bigger is better is the idea that a wooden spoons will be easier and cheaper and less significant than say a wooden bowl or a chair, to a table, or to a house etc.

However this again is not consistent with the reality of it. often bigger things can be far easier to make than smaller things. An example is I found a carved wooden bowl far easier to make than a carved wooden spoon, and can often selling a bowl for more money easier than a wooden spoon even thought the spoons took far more work and skill to make. It doesn’t take much for a bowl to ‘work’ as intended however when I first started making spoons with out any guidance they would rarely function particularly well.

Preconceived ideas of scale are all around us, going unquestioned and often undealt with. everything around us makes ripples and affects things around it. something that starts small can grow to be massive (not meaning better).

One more example abut scale could be ‘it’s a small world’ it’s not a small world relatively speaking. No it’s a connected world.

Let’s challenge all notions that no longer serve us and connect more on a deeper level


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{ price, practice and packaging }

In our modern world packaging as all.

You could say it begins with xmas presents..? the incredible excitement of concealment and revealing which comes from opening boxes not just any old box however, one that compliments it’s contents.  In a similar way the frame for a picture elevates and enhances the object of focus. Therefore how important is the frame compared to the object I wonder.

When pricing work I think about several things; the time it’s taken to make, not only per hour but how many years of practice it took to get to a certain skill, the collecting of materials (all foraged), the grain pattern and how intricate of a design it is. Although packaging is often thought about I seem to rarely follow through with those ideas. Perhaps Its because I’m a strong believer in ‘reduce,reuse,recycle’ motto of the environmental movement. unfortunately this to my mind seems to be what sets me apart and maybe even back from other designer makers. I feel compelled to reuse old postage bags to send items out. I wonder if this creates some kind of illusion that perhaps i don’t value what i’ve made enough spend more time, money or effort creating packaging which reflects the price, practice and …skill of the object itself.? This also seem true of the website (the electronic packaging). Having friends tell me that ”Your website isn’t as beautiful as your spoons and bowls” would suggest there is a high value places upon packaging. Being dyslexic means spending time on a computer is incredibly difficult and draining which is almost certainly a major reason for the imbalance of product and packaging when it comes to the website.

So then is what’s really being said that for customers to feel confident when buying online they need all the signifiers of a slick looking website etc… And without some kind of slick website for the work to sit in, I’m giving off the impression that I don’t value what I do or believe in it enough to invest more time and money into a more professional online presents. However there is one thing I do believe in and value  and that is the ability to make wooden ware to a high standard.  Like many other creative people in the world, the business aspect does not match the standard of the handmade objects.

This being said the business is slowly growing and people are being able to look beyond the slightly less than perfect exterior of the website etc.. to discover someone who values the objects made with skill and a eager sense of discovery. But first impressions can be make or break in every aspect of our lives… so expect a new website and *gasp, business name at some point this year. fingers crossed.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment

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{ motivation, depression & distraction }

A common theme for me has been trying to create some kind of balance between them all.


A week, day or sometimes even a whole month i’ll be focused on making and nothing else. my mind a river of make make make, form form form, material material material, experiment. etc… an expression of creativity personified, Ideas flowing freely. Then theirs the flip side, more like a trickle  as if all the energy , motivation and ideas to make are all but dried up. my mind, body and spirit parched of it’s once surging river teeming with life.

This is why somethings are late being posted, why some ideas are only taken to a few stages of development. Another factor that cannot be ignored is the internet, like all drugs it can be misused, whenever access to the internet has been limited, ive found the balance of productivity and depression seem to become less like mountain and ocean floor and more like the surrounding rolling hills of the Yorkshire dales. and yet like any drug there is an immense lure, the battle is sometimes won, sometimes lost. so i often wonder, should i somehow be drastic in my approach and create the environment in which limited access to the internet is limited.? will this help restore a balance? ultimately I think depression and the internet can be a bad mix, making the transition from the valleys of depression to the peaks of creative energy that much slower.

seeing other makers from the outside can make me envious of  there shear productivity. Making me Curse my depression like the black dog it is and yet in a way perhaps it’s played an important part in making me someone who questions deeply almost anything I become involved in i wonder?

so what am i trying to say….?

i guess i’m wondering if other makers have these issues or anything similar? and if so how do they move towards the balance of undulating rolling hills and away from the peaks and sea beds.?

perhaps i’m just trying to share and get these thoughts out. Or maybe its because i’ve recently been involved in an attack whilst riding my bike and i’m unable to get out and make or even collect wood that’s prompted this blog post. What I do know is it’s feels right to be writing it and sharing and that’s more than enough of a reason and no more of an analysis is required at this point.

Finally if any other maker has any tips or tools which help lift them from stagnation to flowing stream, please do leave me a comment and I will happily take them on board in the future. Because a problem shared is a problem halved right?

Thank you for taking the time to read

big luv to everyone….

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I will be updating the site with new spoons on Thursday  8th December for everyone wanting that handmade, unique gift.

plus for an extra £5 i can engrave that special someones name into the handle of the spoon.

whats not to like huh!?

support you local crafts person this crimbo


big luv


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limited edition set of Bowls { autumn }

Now in stock!

NEW limited edition set of 7 sycamore bowls all turned on a foot powered lathe, then carved to create a unique piece of rustic and wholesome tableware.

These bowls speak of tradition in a contemporary world ever removed from the natural colours and textures experienced when walking through a British woodland.

Enjoy a soft,slow and peaceful eating experience with one of these bowls, all finished with sharp tools, no sanding. This I believe connects us to the maker and material far more than sanded item are able to.


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Woodland toast tongs!

No longer do you need to be worried about burning your fingers or getting an electric shock.

Now in stock are these rustic looking tongs made from a single piece of birch. ideal for delicately and effortlessly retrieving toast, crumpets and the like from deep within your toaster.

only £7 each


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MADE London, wooden spoons next year perhaps?

Fresh from a trip to MADE London this weekend, head teeming with ideas of how to take my business a step further. One such step would be to take my spoons, bowls and other woodenware to this fantastic show next year.

The way my girlfriend and I go about making the most out of these shows now is to have a look at all the stalls at a glance, marking down as we go who we would like to take our time and see more closely and chat to the maker. It mean we spend time with everyone who grabbed our attention on all the floors.

Situated in what used to be and old church there were 4 floors with a selection of high quality designer makers.

It was the perfect opportunity to chat to makers about there work and the show itself . I received some first hand advise from makers who were showing for the first time and who have entered every year.

One such maker was Dove St Pottery who bought some of my spoons for his displays a couple of years ago, and they still look great together. David of Dove St Pottery met me at one of my early craft fairs which only had about 20 stalls. His work has come along way, and I’m very grateful for his help along the way.

There was the usual, jewellery, ceramics and fabrics. However it was encouraging to see woodwork there along with willow and cane weaving, mosaics and leather work. Also something which i thought was a nice touch, a small cinema showing short film of makers and there processes. For Ruth Glasheen this was her first MADE London show and she had all the nerves and excitement I know I will have if I get accepted for next years show. One element to her space, which only caught my eye after we’d been catting for a bit was the cardboard display, which was also the boxes she carried the work in one the train. It certainly doesn’t look out of place and gives the work all the focus. Transport is often considered when going to shows as I’m usually on a bicycle. So Like Ruth everything you carry for display has to be light and fit in panniers and a backpack. Up on the ground floor was Anne marrie O’sulivan’s willow work. she was the final person we had made a specific effort to chat with as her work is not only beautiful and well made but we especial liked her willow ladles. she also had some great advise after having done many of the MADE’s before.

Making a living from craft is not easy, needing to be the marketing department, manager, and creative director along with everything else. So i’m very grateful to all the people who have believed and invested  in someone perusing there passion. And perhaps I’ll be one of the makers at MADE London next year. fingers crossed.

finally thank you Tutton & Young for a great show and great crafts.


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Woodland Pioneers

A few weeks ago I spent a week camping in a lush little woodland in Cumbria as part of the four one day workshops For my first trip to Woodland pioneers. I’ve had many friends attend and some who run workshops, so it was great to see what why everyone liked it so much.

Day 1 for our group of 6 was round wood stool making with Lorna Singleton. Although I’ve made stalls before there were still many new things I picked up, like weaving with sisal for the seat.

Day 2. riven oak panel with with Owen Jones. There were more things to lean on this day than any other, but now our group had gotten to know each other better so were able to have a good laugh among all the work and learning.

Day 3. Treen with Twiggy. Treen is something I do all the time however I knew there would be much to learn from someone as experienced and lovely as Twiggy. Like perfecting my gypsy rose techniques and how to store the wood to be able to get really strong petals.

Day 4. Coppicing with James Benson from leeds coppice group and Sam Ansel.

didn’t manage to take any pictures for this one unfortunately as it was a really lovely site.

The final day we had the option to choice from a list of different half day workshops, which included blacksmithing, besom brooms, rope making, willow weaving, spoon carving and sharpening. i had a go at the blacksmithing and willow weaving which was great fun and learnt a lot.

I shall certainly be back next year for one of the other courses!





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Spoonfest 2015

As with last year it seems I have come away from Spoonfest with ever more excitement about new ideas for spoon carving.  Just seeing all the other carvers work up close is incredibly more valuable than images on the net. For me, buying spoons with certain aspects that I would like to try out on my spoons, can sometimes be as valuable as booking onto one of the festival short courses. That way I’m able to constantly refer to any part of the spoon and if I don’t understand how a certain cut was achieved then it’s fun to discover through practice and experimentation.

Something else I’m excited to try more of is Magnus Sundelin’s freestyle chip carving. He did a great demo on the weekend and although I’m not so into the geometric style, (it’s a little dry for me) the more natural and free styles of Magnus, Jane and Anja look like fun. I’ve just bought a hand forged blade from Magnus so I can have a knife designed for the job as although my mora is adequate, it has limitations. I’ve got some ideas that could be really good fun, like chip carving little animation scenes into the handles of large spoons. so once the knife arrives I’ll be experimenting lots!

Not only was there spoon carving, but we were also treated to April Stone Dahl’s demo of ash splint baskets. From gathering and pounding, to prepping and weaving. I have tried it once before but after chatting with April discovered my mistakes. So, you know what else I’ll be doing in the coming weeks ;D..

Returning back from the site to Leeds after all the raking of wood chips and dismantling the fires I certainly had the post-festival blues of not being surrounded by all the lovely woodworking folk, but what this year has stirred in me again is to connect with as many people who are interested in carving as possible.



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