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

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Spoon Carving Courses

At last new dates for London! I apologise for the delay, it has been difficult to decide which days I can commit to so that I can work on Spoonfest and also make a visit to Scandinavia. For now I am Just putting in dates for London, those of you keen to come on a few days please book early because I may not be able to put more courses on until the winter.

Saturday 24th March Beginners 
Sunday   25th March Developers 

Saturday 26th May Beginners 
Sunday   27th May Developers 

Saturday 23rd June Beginners 
Sunday   24th June Developers 

The idea being that you can come on developers courses once you have been on a beginners, many of you will prefer to do these concurrently, but you can also then go away and practice before you come back on a 3rd and 4th day, this is an extremely efficient way of learning and though perhaps harder work for me allows you to get great teaching value for your money.

I very much enjoy teaching and look forward to welcoming new carvers as well as those coming back to perfect their techniques. These courses are unique because as far as I am aware I am the only Artisan in Britain making a living from carving spoons using just folk tools (axe/knife) to create practical utensils. I am also passionate about teaching and have extensive teaching experience (I was a professional teacher before I was a professional woodworker).

I am increasing the cost of the courses to £65 for the day, and if I move to London next winter there will be a further increase to at least £75. To soften the blow I'm giving a discount for early bookers this will be available until 14th February 2012, and will remain at last years prices £50/day.

For more information have have a look at my London Courses Page

If you would like to chat about my courses feel free to email or give me a call 07950 751 811.

Bristol Spoon carving courses

31st   March  Beginners
5th     May     Beginners
9th     June     Developers

Sorry to those I had to turn away for the last workshop, hopefully these dates will work for you if not you might be able to persuade me to do some personal tuition (but probably not now i think about it).

I now have a much larger room at the Quaker house which is turning out to be the best place ever for courses (clean, light, large and well organised) I might be able to put some photos up as some customers took photos last time. I really have been very lucky to find this venue, you've got to love a quaker! i am much more comfortable renting a space in a place like this than arty workshopy places.

Please take advantage of the early booking discount, it is much more convenient for me and saves you money. I do know what it's like i often get the coach up to my London courses and if only i would be organised and book them early i'd save £15 each time!

There's more information on the Bristol Courses Page

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year!

There were some gloriously sunny days street selling spoons last month, and then there has been the last few days! Sorry i haven't posted for a while I have been busy with wood, and since the weather has been bad i have been in doors and feeling very grateful to have a home. I am pleased i finally came round to the idea of selling online and though i am definitely happiest selling sat on the street, i have very much enjoyed parcelling up spoons and sending them off. Thank you all for the kind messages you sent back.

The two handsome men above are me and Paul Wylde of Grounded Ecotherapy, put this in because i have discovered that although i had been telling everyone the hat was the black bit from a Panda Bear fur, turns out it's Rabbit, i definitely don't condone causing extinctions but can't see what's wrong with wearing fur next they'll be saying you can't shit in the woods.

December was busy i ran two courses - a beginners in Bristol and also a developers in London, i only had one day selling in London and it rained till lunchtime but it was a fantastic afternoon at a new location  (London streets really are paved in Gold). Although i very much enjoy teaching beginners, it has been great getting people coming back on the developers workshops. I never take photos when i should but here are some of George's spoons who has been on two of my workshops (thanks for sending me these George).

An amazing year 2011, my favourite time was spent in Oxford, I had a couple of weeks there and was very productive, it was nice to see so many people i had met there the year before and even better when they came back for more spoons. I also had a fantastic time At Mr Abbott's Living Wood, I missed the old man and was very pleased to be asked back to teach, i'll be heading back for one of his development weeks as a holiday sometime in Spring.  

I am currently making the spoons I dreamed of making, this is hugely rewarding, and is made possible because you buy them all. Having worked my head around a couple of new styles, I am now looking forward to making several new designs and offering these online.

I am very grateful to all of those that have helped me towards my goals, Mike Abbott who gave me my foundation in working green wood his general philosophy permeates my work, Ben Orford who was the first person I saw  skillfully carve a spoon with an axe and a knife, and Robin Wood who has given me much help over the last couple of years and is the only person who seems to be happy to put up with me talking endlessly about spoons and spoon design without these people I would be scratching around with blunt chisels and sandpaper. There are many more people that have helped me along my way thank you.

I definitely made the right decision living in a city this winter, the last few years of my life have just seemed to get better and better but the winters have been less good, this year i have broken that habit! Those of you that know me will have heard me talk about my "new young friends" who have been extremely supportive of my endeavours, not least putting up with wood shavings all over their houses every time I turn up unexpected and do my washing.

Something to get off my chest, this is my little sugar spoon I've been making a few of these recently,  it's stained with coffee, an interesting phenomenom i have discovered is how people love the look of dirty/stained spoons, if ever I have an old spoon out selling (which i sometimes do if I'm copying one) people want it straight away. Ironically many of my spoons end up not being used because they are too precious! this is ridiculous and  I find it very frustrating.

I do not regret turning down the offer of having a book published, the stuff which I would have wanted to write about is personal and deserves to stay that way, i can understand peoples interest in my way of life but this blog is a good outlet for anything i have to say and is free! I do regret not getting to all of the people I had hoped to carve spoons for, and would be happy to send a spoon free of charge to any of those people I did not make it to. The only other regret of 2011 is that I did not dance, maybe that will change in 2012.

Spoon On!