Frequently Asked Questions
About my woodcarving
How long have you been carving?
I started carving in early 2015
How did you learn to carve?
I'm completely self taught so have learned to carve through trial and error (a lot of errors and painful mistakes!). As a result I have developed my own techniques, methods and approach, many of which are quite different to conventional woodcarving and those that are traditionally taught.
What tools do you use?
I work with just four tools; a Gransfor Bruks Small Forest Axe, a Morakniv 120 Carving Knife, a Hans Karlsson Hook Knife and a Silky Gomboy 210 folding saw. I use the saw when foraging and for cutting the wood to length; the axe for splitting and roughly shaping the wood; the carving knife for refining, carving and detailing my work and the hook knife to hollow out the bowl when carving spoons.
Do you use any power tools?
No. My decision not to use any powered tools in my carving is based on two key factors that sit at the heart of my approach to wood carving. Firstly, because I started carving through my love of being in and working in the woods, if I were to be reliant on power tools, and therefore an electric power supply, I would be more restricted in terms of where I could work. Secondly, my methods and approach to woodcarving is to work in harmony with the wood as my material; power tools rip and tear at the wood fibres which damages the wood far more than the hand tools that I use.
Why do you carve spoons?
The spoon is one of the oldest, most fundamental and most basic tools in human history. Its proliferation has resulted in it being largely taken for granted by most people; most people will use a spoon every day and never give any thought to its design or how essential it is in our lives. In carving my spoons I seek to jar people's preconceptions and cause them to question the other things, material or otherwise, that we are surrounded by and use on a daily basis. I like the idea of seeing and creating beauty in the mundane.
Are your spoons purely decorative or can they be used?
They are both, usable and decorative. Each one is designed to be a functioning spoon and most are treated with a food-safe Tung Oil so they can definitely be used. The choice as to whether they will be used or simply kept and displayed as works of art really isn't down to me; it is entirely the choice of the spoon's owner. I'm happy either way.
Are they Love Spoons?
No. Traditional Love Spoons (in the Welsh tradition at least) are defined as decorative objects that are carved by someone as a gift to a loved one to demonstrate their skills and their intentions or commitment to that person. Love Spoons will usually feature elements and motifs from a traditional, well defined set of symbols to convey meaning including love, longevity, security and faith. My spoon carvings don't adhere to any tradition or pre-defined symbolism and are intended as sculptural, functional pieces of art through which I express my personal creative interpretations of nature (and occasionally mythology). Any connection to or similarities between my spoon carvings and traditional Love Spoons is entirely accidental and most often down to the individual viewers perceptions.