It seemed it might not be easy to crowd fund for only £90 and I was right. The minimum it was possible to CF is £500, so i thought why not cut out the middle man and do a DIY fund on FB. Only having three days to raise the funds I was nervous, however after the sun had set on the first day the idea was well received and all seemed well on its way to making the money I needed to get a place at The original re-enactors market. This particular market would be my first three day event and would see hundreds of people come through there doors. In return for a £5 donation was a spatula engraved with ‘thank you’. for £10 was a long handled yoghurt/ice-cream spoon, both these were discounted prices for this DIY CF.
After the three days were up I feel very honoured to have such wonderful friends who were so ready to support me, along with a few I had not met also donated. Now I had enough money to sign up for the fair along with some extra to pay for travel and food! woohoo!
Inspired by the support I squirreled away in the workshop and MADE MADE MADE!
big box of wooden ware!
I decided to stay with a Couch Surfer Mathieu from France, he helped me from where my bus landed to his flat. The first day setting up I was very excited, so many traders and everything looked great. It’s always a bit tense the first hour of any event but after the first sale I told myself to relax and enjoy the people and simply learn from whatever happens. Traders and customer alike were all so kind and generous. Some of the other regular traders mentioned that Robin Wood used to be a trader at this event many moons ago which was encouraging. I hope to do it again in November if if possible. good times!
off we go all tuck in and ready
set up on day one
the final day
Thanks to all who gave donations, you’re amazing!
other fairs I’d like to attend as a trader are MADE London and MADE Brighton however these are £350 and £500 to have a stand. so perhaps I’ll be calling on the kindness of folk once again 😀
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Tagged carving, craft, craft person, display, hand carved, hand made, local, MAD London, MADE Brighton, supportlocalbusinesses, TORM, wooden spoons
As some will already know the name 2carvedspoons derives from a line in a beautiful song called ‘two wooden spoons’ by ‘This is the kit’. when first starting out as a full time crafts person a little over four years ago I made two cooking spoons from one birch log just before hearing this song. Then about a year later feeling my spoons might be of a quality to be able to sell I decided on 2carvedspoons as the business name.
Over the last couple of years I’ve seen them play and gotten to know Kate the lead singer, so when I heard she would be coming to Leeds I thought I’d ask Kate if she would be into selling small batch of limited edition spoons at the gig. She seemed totally up for it! A special twist was that a friend of mine along with my Girlfriend Emma would be one of the support acts. How exciting!
The finished spoons, along with Kate taking a cheeky Instagram of them.
I’ll just instagram these!
Not normally someone who engraves spoons these were great fun to do and like my spoons the engraving had a function as well as an aesthetic. The final one was sold on the French leg of there tour. They all sold at only £18 each.
A few weekends ago myself and about 9 others went down to the Hockerton Housing project near Nottingham to help out with planting a new hedge, making a living willow hedge and some thatching. If you’re driving past the site it would be almost impossible to even know it was there, like a hidden haven HHP is built into the ground so it can’t be seen from he road. Not being seen from the road was one of many conditions for the build. This is a brief over view about the place and my time there.
A friend Luke who grew up at HHP and still often returns to help out and visit his parents. Luke gave a talk about a lot of the sustainable elements to the project which have been going since the late 90’s. Here’s a nice short video on there site giving an overview of what there about.
It is such an exciting place to be, we were lucky enough to have beautiful weather for the weekend which was helping to warm the house because its so well insulated all heating comes from sun,body heat and cooking heat so had to make sure all the doors were shut asap after entering or leaving rooms but once all 10 of us were in the house it soon got very toasty and warm. Any other energy come from solar or wind and all the water is taken care of on-site as well. To better understand exactly how I recommend a visit as they run tours for people interested.
the living willow hedge
planting a new hedge
a toatal natural, one of the Hockerton boys
were in no rush.
photo voltaic panels on the roof
growing up here seems to have given Luke a natural drive to explore his surroundings by playing with things in his environment like building a thatched round house. If only more children and adults had the time and space to play and explore like the people living in Hockerton Housing Project. I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to see and help out with what there doing.
I’m now hoping to stock some HHP spoons for the project, made from trees going on the site then sold in the visitors centre which I’m very excited about as it’s such a pleasure to make spoons from a specific place esp one as beautiful and environmentally educational as this one. Then to sell them there just seems to complete the cycle from Tree to spoon,bowl or anything else.
AND THIS IS THE FIRST HHP SPOON! made from a discarded bit of Hazel.
P.s there is a wonderful house for sale atm. check out there site for details.
Before winter arrived I felt like a floating seed in the air, reaching out to other spoon makers in the UK and further afield. One reason was because I felt a in need of something different, something out of my comfort zone. This I hoped would be what I needed to push me further in my skills as a spoon maker. Another was I felt i’d almost been working in a vacuum and just needed to see lots of different work and to explore other ways of making so as to be more in accordance with my own. The idea came after Spoonfest 2014, SPOON SWAPS! I had seen some of the great spoons people were swapping but at the time needed to sell as much as I could to pay bills. Each person chosen had something I liked and something I was unsure about in there work but pictures aren’t good enough when exploring 3 dimensions. I’ve learnt loads from carving my own versions of each spoon, non of which are intended as a direct copy. Tom LB from Essex. (beech) This has a fantastic bowl for eating cereal, it glides through what ever i’m eating and has the lolly-pop feel in the mouth. however the handle doesn’t fit so comfortably in my hand.
my version in cherry
Amy Woodmungler in Sussex (blackthorn) wonderful overall balance to this one and like Tom’s had a great bowl this time for eating pasta although it’s not so dynamic in the profile. Also the cheeky little face on the handle is great fun.
my version of this has been sold so no images. next up is Yoav Elkayam from Israel (birch) it works a treat for cooking and small serve-ups, similar to a welsh crawl spoon, the octagonal handle makes it very light and easy to use but the bowl could be a bit thin and may even end up cracking in a few years time (I hope not).
my version in alder
Last up Jane Mickelborough from Brittany (cherry) bags of style and experience here, great piece of cherry and comes with a fan in the handle to help cool down the food. my favourite aspect is the profile which has some very swarve curves and facets going on. for me the handle is a little to wide and does tend to slip from my and when eating.
my version in spalted hawthon
I could say so much more about this little project and the spoons features but if anyone is interested then leave a comment. keep on spoonin!
the green is tamperer paint
These are some of the experiments with natural dyes that i did this summer. At spoonfest this year a lot of the focus was on painted spoons however i decided to look towards what the trees themselves have to offer, such as walnut husks and elderberry amongst some others of which were less successful i found using mordants (alum and iron) could improve the depth of colour or would brighten the colour.
Elderberry with Alum
Elderberry with Alum
Elderberry with iron mordant
elderberry with iron mordant
I leave the handles in a warm dye bath over night and that seems to give a good strong colour which lasts after many washes. i prefer the results to a lot of the painted handles it seems to be a more natural finish. im still very much in the experimentation phase of these and only have one spoon of which ive been using regularly to observe how the colour fades over time which is natural for both painted and dyed spoons.
I’ve often wondered what would happen if i were to leave one of my regular eating spoons to travel into the unseen realms of a café’s kitchen. would they even notice this little stow away, would they take delight in it presents or would perhaps steal it for whatever reason.
my plan was to simply leave it on my clean plate after we had finishes our meal, (bear in mind the cafe chosen is quite the cool trendy place with a children’s play/dining area). it was interesting when our waitress came and cleared our table, it seemed clear the little stow away spoons was there but even so she took all the plates back to the kitchen where oh no! it might even be casually put it in ‘hell’ (the dishwasher)! or would they keep it and perhaps wonder why it was there, who left it and how or why was it made or would they not even really notice, would someone sneak it away and really enjoy using it.
i left it for about 2 weeks before i went on a rescue mission, i asked one of the assistants if they had come across a little carved wooden spoon, she went into the kitchen to ask around then a few moments later revealed old faithful safe and sound! It turned out one of the kitchen staff HAD noticed the it and had been enjoying its company to use and admire. this made me rather happy,then she asked if she could have it but i couldn’t let go of him now he’d been on such an adventure. so she asked if i could make he one similar of which i replied “of course”, then came the question of money value, how much? “oh just £15 for one like this”. wow that’s a lot i cant afford that for a spoon she said. i gave a quick mention of how it was made and that the wood was sourced from a small park not far and how long it took to make but she still wasn’t prepared to pay for a new one. oh well and that was that old faithful and i left wondering if and where would i do this experiment again.
So SPOONFEST happened again!
i decided to volunteer for the first time as im lucky enough to work with wood everyday and so thought it could be a good opportunity to pass on skills and knowledge to others.
i was sharing the task of managing the wood pile with Paul Atkins which involved keeping the area tidy, helping folks choose wood and cleave larger bits for radial cleaved spoons. however i was a little saddened at all the great wood which had been discarded, so for a little break in volunteering duty’s i set about making several blanks out of cherry,blackthorn,birch,rowan,plum, and aspen of which i wrote a note reading ‘free blank’ 😀 this felt important for me as someone who works in the woods a lot i really value the raw material. that’s not to say other don’t but perhaps the shear amount of wood on offer s overwhelming.
unfortunately the caterers for this year had there trailer broken into so were unable to attend,this was an opportunity to get your eyes and hands on some of robin fantastic collection of wooden bowls being used with some of his extensive spoon collection. and also JoJo wood did a superb job feeding the masses.
i always relish the opportunity to get my new spoons out in the big playground of the ‘spoonshop’ which provides a unique chance to view my work amongst some of the best spoon makers on the planet! this year i noticed one subtle difference in the final finish of others work compared to my own which was the oiled finish, i had not been oiling mine after having some unoiled spoons for several years in shared housing with no issue. so once home i oiled up a few new spoons to see what the oiled surface did to the final look and sure enough it was like a chef who adds lots of butter and cream to create a rich and glossy appearance to the food and that’s what the oil did for my spoons. Also it was a pleasure when i discovered Sue Holden had bought some of my spoons as hers were some of the first great quality spoons i was inspired by after spoonfest 2012
some of the highlights for me this year have to be
- forward roll for beginners workshop, but with somewhat sincere undertones as Fritoff and i had mentioned the value in play as an antidote to the intense focus and concentration of carving.
- Keith ‘sheath’ Mattews talk on preparing bark was well attended and inspiring.
- round the camp fir with Robin, Jogge and crew belting out the spoon blues and generally all the mad signing round the fires!
Some thoughts for next year:
- what a pleasure it would be for a group to take a spoon blank up the hill and carve surrounded by the beautiful site of spoonfest.
- i think more mini spoon clubs throughout the festival could be great fun.
and now for some choice shots managed to take.
(click images to enlarge)
recently i went to see one of my favourite folk bands ‘This is the kit’, they have a song ‘two wooden spoons’ and this is where the name for my business originates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FY2EO9wjiw
after the show i spoke to Kate and told her about her song and how it had become the name for my business i asked her if i could perhaps send her a wooden spoon of my own, at which point she pulled out of her bag a wonderful wooden spoon! so this is the one I’m sending her today! i hope she likes it.
So after almost 3 years being mostly self taught and having some success at selling my wares at the 2013 Spoonfest. I decided to book some 1-1 time with an already established green wood carver whose spoons I have a high regard for. http://stevetomlincrafts.wordpress.com/wooden-spoons/
Last month I began receiving funding to pursue my dream of green wood carving every day and making a living from it. After careful consideration and contemplation of what I needed to do to progress, I felt Steve’s course would push me to up my game. His idea of what makes not just a good spoon but a fantastic one really resonates with me.
After the course it took me a whole day and a long walk through the countryside to let all I had learnt to sink in and making lots of notes really helped solidify them. How I go about making has changed only slightly however the changes I’ve made have had a significant impact on the finished items, I’m now making less quantity but higher quality.
Now after almost a month my making has begun to move to a new level and along with a renewed focus I have a yearning to make the best greenwood items I can.
I shall have my whole new set of wooden spoons and wooden bowls along with a few other greenwood items I’ve been making becoming available to purchase on this site very soon, so please do watch this space!
Here’s the Serving spoon made after only a few days of the course which is available to buy now.
Sycamore serving spoon. £30
i unfortunately had my camera stolen last summer so have struggled updating the site. however after a 1-1 with Steve tomlin who his and experienced and talented green wood carver ive been making some fantastic new pieces with new ideas and skills. so all new items will be up to see and buy directly from me in the next coming weeks.