Spoon Carving: Three Books To Get You Started

Towards the end of last year Alastair & I spent a very enjoyable evening learning the basics of spoon carving with the lovely Sophie from Grain & Knot. The workshop was a fun way to spend a night getting involved in a skill neither of us had previously experienced. What we both enjoyed most was the satisfaction of producing something physical by the end of the evening. We often hear from makers that one of the most satisfying aspects of doing a craft is the sense of achievement and satisfaction they feel when they have something physical to show for their work. While our spoons may not have blown anyone away in terms of design or style, we were personally rather pleased with our efforts and we got a brief insight into the work and skill needed by some of our makers.

So if you fancy giving spoon carving a go then our three book recommendations below, will have you inspired to start right away. Each book gives an introduction into spoon carving and wood carving in general and all three makers have different approaches to their individual craft and their books reflect this, read on to work out which one is for you...and happy spoon carving.

[caption id="attachment_8278" align="alignnone" width="760"]A Guide To Spoon Carving And The New Wood Culture by Barn The Spoon. Image Via Barn The Spoon A Guide To Spoon Carving And The New Wood Culture by Barn The Spoon[/caption]

Barnaby Carder, also known as Barn the Spoon whittles spoons from fresh green wood, at the weekends he sits in the window of his shop in Hackney Road, London. He co-founded Spoonfest, an annual event for Whittlers held in Derbyshire, as well as running a woodwork school in Stepney City Farm. His book, above, is released this month and is a practical and beautifully illustrated guide to spoon carving.

"Barn shares his unique philosophy and exceptional level of experience through this beautiful book. With a chapter on the tools and basic techniques, and four more chapters on 16 different styles of spoons, there’s plenty to keep the beginner or professional busy."

Image via Barn the Spoon: www.barnthespoon.com

[caption id="attachment_8280" align="alignnone" width="760"]The Urban Woodsman A Guide to Carving Spoons, Bowls and Boards. Image via Forest + Found The Urban Woodsman A Guide to Carving Spoons, Bowls and Boards[/caption] We got to know Max Bainbridge when we first took part in the BBC series Money For Nothing. Max and his partner Abigail Booth set up Forest + Found together, Max works with wood while Abigail focuses on quilt making. Max published The Urban Woodsman in October 2016, a guide to the art of carving simple and functional objects from locally sourced wood. "Hand carving is easy, satisfying and therapeutic when guided by Max Bainbridge. Create your own unique pieces and carve with confidence thanks to detailed information on tools, cutting techniques and clear step-by-step photography accompanying each project. Start with basic spoons, cooking spoons and spatulas, before moving on to butter knives, chopping boards and small bowls, with only a few simple tools required. Max also advises on the perfect finish for your projects - how to sand, ebonise, scorch and texture surfaces as well as waxing and oiling your new creations. Whether you are a novice or experienced carver, this book will inspire you to make something that you will be proud of." Image via Forest + Found: www.forest-and-found.com [caption id="attachment_8282" align="alignnone" width="760"]Spoon Carving by E J Osbourne of Hatchet + Bear Spoon Carving by E J Osbourne of Hatchet + Bear[/caption] Having stocked Hatchet + Bear products for a while now we were excited to find out that E J Osbourne had recently brought out his own spoon carving book. EJ Osbourne, founded Hatchet + Bear to showcase his beautiful products and when not spending time on his own work he runs wood workshops teaching his skills to other interested carvers. "In this book I show you how to use an axe, a knife and a crook knife to carve a variety of wooden spoons and utensils, with wood straight from the tree! Skills, projects, photos and good vibes! 'Hatchet + Bear's Spoon Carving demonstrates how with three basic tools - an axe and two knives - you can shape a small tree branch into a simple, honest utensil. But while the process is relatively simple, the effects of this craft are profound. EJ describes the experience of carving a spoon as 'medicinal'. With every group of students, he has witnessed how the act of whittling, peeling and shaving wood is absorbing and meditative; minutes turn into hours while the spoon carver becomes absorbed in the making process and surrenders themselves to the joy of slow living. As well as information on tree identification to ensure that you are working with the recommended fresh green wood from hardwood species, EJ gives advice on harvesting and storing wood. He explains the few tools that are needed for spoon carving and how to use them safely when working the key techniques - including chopping, splitting, planing, shaving, cutting. Once you are confident with the woodworking skills, you can progress to the projects chapter where full instructions are given for making five different utensil types, starting with the simplest spatula, cooking spoon and hanging jar spoon, before moving on to a coffee scoop and then finally graduating on to the bent-branch spoon.' Image via Hatchet + Bear: www.hatchetandbear.co.uk