Woodland craft – spoon making

by | Inspiration, New Interests

Since buying a wood I’ve become more interested in woodland crafts. Coppicing was physically demanding, I loved basket making, and thought spoon making would be interesting. It is, but it was harder work than I’d expected.

Wasn’t helped as I’d only got home really late the night before after a week in Ireland and hadn’t slept well coming down with a sore throat and overall tiredness. And it was held outside and it was a cold day with a bitter wind.

This was my second day course at The Rewild Project in the Forest of Dean.

Spoon making lead by Ben from Bristol Tree Craft.

The wood we used came from a tree, obviously, and Ben had already divided the log into pieces, still with the bark in place. First job was to grab a piece, and remove the bark with an axe. We were told the bigger the piece the harder the work, but I didn’t bear that in mind when I randomly chose my piece of wood. Later I wished I’d looked for the smallest one.

Next step to draw a shape and to start removing the excess with the axe. I’ve used an axe before, so this wasn’t too bad.

We then moved on to the ‘scooping tool’. It can be hard for me to learn a new technique. I may be shown what to do but it doesn’t always register in my brain, and being left-handed doesn’t help.

My approach was wrong I was scrapping, not digging, but eventually, with tutor support I got there.

Then to use a knife to take off the excess, learning 4 different techniques, that I confused and merged but I got the excess off and the spoon was shaped.

On the plus side I didn’t cut myself and most of the others did. That could be because I was taking my time, and my approach was gentler.

At the end of the day, I’d made my spoon. Not perfect, but it is my first one. I’m interested in doing more.

As I age, I’m interested in more practical activities, to see which suits me best. I also need to be aware of my ageing body, what I hadn’t realised was that how I was meant to grip the handle of the tool was a bit difficult with the start of arthritis. What was helpful was in Ben finding a way to adapt the typical way of working to suit my body, and I’m very thankful for that.


Read moe about our wood here: https://www.facebook.com/WoodlandEncounters

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