Sylva Spoon

Meeting Fellow Makers

Thomas BartlettComment

or Real vs Digital

Amy Umbel recently wrote an interesting post, entitled Why Carve? In the first paragraph she wrote: 

"In fact, I think most spoon carvers are kind of introverted. We all scurry home and go to the basement alone and carve, right?"

When did I read that post? While sitting in the basement sharpening my tools. She might be onto something. 

(On a side note, I'd recommend reading 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain. We introverts aren't shy, we just recharge our batteries through solitude).

Most of us green woodworkers practice our craft in solitude. This is nothing new. The craftspeople of the UK that went out into the forests to turn chair legs from green wood were (and still are) referred to as Bodgers. One theory into the etymology of the word is that the term is a corruption of the word 'badger', a woodland animal whose habits of dwelling in the woods and only emerging at dusk mirrored those of the woodworkers. 

We've been able to reach out and connect with fellow makers through the wonders of the internet. It's great to read thought provoking articles, watch creative videos and see inspiring photos. All from the comfort of our woodchip strewn basements. 

However there is a magic in getting together a load of green woodworkers for a big event. The rhythmic thunking of axes, the gentle rasp of handsaws and the quiet scrape of knives create a soothing hum of creativity we can't find alone in our basements.  

Our craft has everything to do with our hands. We use handmade hand-tools to handcraft items for use by hand. We can't truly appreciate each others' work through a tweet, Instagram photo or Facebook post.

We need to hold, fondle and caress these shaped pieces of wood to gain a proper understanding of the decisions we made through the process of creation. Where has material been left? Where has it been removed? How have the lines been made to flow together? Is that pleasing shape comfortable to hold? None of those questions can be answered over the internet.