To get hold of my Spoons please visit my Shop at 260 Hackney Rd London.

Monday, 27 December 2010

New Spoons!

Well i promised i would post some spoon photos i know you don't really want to hear about nutmeg and aftershave. These three spoons were given as christmas presents to my family. They are three different solutions to the same problem of how to get the food from your bowl to your mouth, on the grand scheme of things they are all very similar. They are made from Hawthorn, Field Maple, Hawthorn. In the New year i will post photos of spoons more regularly and would enjoy any feedback.

Old Spoons!

 I made this spatula around 7 years ago from an ash log, which i always tell people is not a great wood for this kind of thing, it was actually made when i was camping to scrape baked beans from a mess tin, i liked it and took it back worked on it further and sanded it before giving it to my Mum, she uses it daily.
 These are spoons i made from Cherry last december they have been used regularly, they have a carved finish at the time i was reasonably pleased with them but they now seem quite crude.

 These are spoons i made a couple of years ago the nicer ones have been sanded, it is very easy to get the desired shape with sand paper but it is a slow process and not as enjoyable.

the scoop with the leather thonging is one of the first spoons that i made following Green Woodwork (11 years ago), it was turned on a pole lathe, you split the turned billet in half before hollowing the bowl, the spoons were very functional as scoops but weren't very pretty, in those days i was very much into using abrasives these days i feel abrasives take the life out of hand carved objects.

Fire by Friction Sets

Whilst doing my assistantship with MIke Abbott i was making and selling these Friction Fire sets, they sold very well but are not so viable when travelling around, the packaging made them sell much better than by themselves and also turned them into a nice looking gift. I got some of these going for the Wye Wood Project in Herefordshire.

Stuff i made

Well i'm at my parents and taking the oppurtunity to quickly use their camera and take some photos of some things i've made. The bowl in the back is the first bowl i ever made, it was made of green cherry and i can still remember the sweet smell it had, i remember carrying it back to show my mum after school. You probably can't see from here but it's got a massive crack in it where it dried too quick, it was made from a half log and i now know could have done with the first few tight growth rings removed to relieved tension in  it. There is an olivewood (i now only use native woods sourced by me) shot glass on the left which made the vodka at uni taste bad. In front of that is a little ash surf board that could be a key ring or pendent i made one for each of the kids at the school when i left. Amongst the rest is a bit of eccentric turning to make a queen for a chess set, some heads, a couple of pendents and a candlestick. The Bowl and candlestick are now my parents and the rest hang around in boxes as nicknaks and half finished projects waiting to be resurrected.


Little me, or at least littler i'm around 12/13 yr old in this photo, the man is Roger Jones who gave me my woodworking beginnings. He was my CDT teacher at school and was very much into his woodwork, he taught me to turn and in my teens i was very much into turning bowls. skip forward 7 years and i'm working as his assistant in the school, by this time he had a plan to build a timber framed building in the school grounds this is now affectionately known as the Tudor House it's a simple cruck design with wattle and daub, those bit's of green oak were heavy! Whilst working for Roger he had Mike Abbott's book Green Woodwork and from that book we built some pole lathes and shaving horses.

Sunday, 26 December 2010


I received some aftershave as a present from my parents and realised i have not used aftershave for several years now, in the past i have spent considerable amounts of cash on luxury soaps and aftershaves, but they became less relevent in my life. The whole concept of aftershave and smells i think is quite interesting. When at Living Wood i got quite used to only showering weekly being outdoors and around fires stopped me from being conscious of my smell and it was a hassle to boil up a big pan of water and hoist it up the tree for a shower. When i was travelling around earlier this year i just had one change of clothes and trying to maintain cleanliness was harder work, i wore natural fibres (cotton and wooll) which i reckon don't smell as bad as synthetics. The pants and socks i wore were thin which meant they were quick to clean and dry, walking a long canals there was plenty of water to wash the underwear i wasn't wearing just with the soap and nail brush i used to wash my body, i would let them dry on my backpack, i had a very thin cotton cloth that i used as a flannel/towel and that dried in an instant and was a lot cheaper than the special antibacterial towels i've seen. When in towns and cities i would wash in toilets at places such as starbucks and tesco, i felt much more comfortable in these big shops than a small independents where those that work there are much more likely to notice and disapprove of your actions, incidentally i also found this with asking for water and charging my mobile phone. To cover up my bad smell i would stand over the fire and smoke myself a little and when walking past gardens with lavendar or rosemary i would pinch a bit and stuff it in my pocket.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Love Spoons?

I got an answerphone message a few days ago from Anthony he had got hold of my number from someone on the internet, he wanted a love spoon and was fairly abrupt and demanding in his message. I'm not a fan of love spoons, modern ones tend to be cut out of thin boards with a fretsaw and are never used as spoons. And the whole concept of paying someone to carve a lovespoon does not sit well with me. I was planning to call the man back but kept putting it off mainly because i didn't want to have to explain over the phone why i don't carve "lovespoons". Before i managed the return call i had recieved two more messages with increasing obstinancy, he came across as a man who is used to getting what he wants. This of course has stopped any desire to call him back. i have done some postal orders of spoons but only to people i know or have at least met before. i was selling spoons through a gallery in Bristol but i have now stopped as they don't buy them up front and i sell all the spoons i make anyway so why give them 20%. That said i do sell spoons to Douggie, i like him and he is willing to buy in bulk which makes it just about worth my while and though he makes very little from the spoons they do add to his stand at fayres.