Sylva Spoon


London's Carving Workshops

Tom Bartlett1 Comment
I recently held a couple of carving workshops in London. One near Old Street and another in Victoria Park. Both of them were great fun and they kind of surprised me with how eager people were to learn crafts.

Both of the workshops were a part of Keep Britain Tidy's Waste less, Live more Week. The week was themed 'Be Resourceful' with daily challenges. The first challenge was 'Make it' and that was where my workshops came in.

While I spend most of my time making spoons, butter spreaders are a better project to start with as they only need a knife and are less complicated objects to make.

I split billets of cherry ready for the event.

I also brought along some thin sticks for people to practice the various cuts with. 

For the workshop in Old Street, I took bookings and the seven spaces available filled up very quickly. 

Very impressed by some of the work they were able to produce in the short time available to them.

The Victoria Park workshop was slightly different. There's a patch of land currently being turned into an outdoor classroom/community garden. I was there to help encourage people to get involved in that project. 

I was set up next to one of the park's entrances and sat there whittling away to get peoples interest. 

Over the course of about three hours I had seven people take part in some carving. Three of them were children, whose behaviour and attention to instruction I was very impressed with. 

It did feel a little strange to be in east London handing out knives to people! Fortunately we didn't have any accidents, just several happy folk who now know a little more about woodwork!

The workshops in Victoria Park might become a regular, monthly event, so if you live near there, let me know and I'll send you the details of the next workshop once the details have been sorted out. 

Rainy weekend

Tom Bartlett2 Comments
The weather has been rather unpredictable over the weekend. Fortunately I've managed to axe out the spoons before the weather got really bad, before retreating indoors to finish them off. All of the spoons have been carved from purple plum that was a street tree felled due to ill health. I've got a fair amount of it in my wood pile and am really liking the wavy grain and contrast between the heartwood and sapwood.

By splitting the wood radially I can display this contrast nicely. I've also been trying to get the bowls as thin as possible, something I can't really display in the photos. 

If you have a favourite, I'd love to hear which one it is.

Plum Travel Spoons

Tom BartlettComment
Here are a couple of short handled eating spoons that have recently emerged from their linseed oil bath. They're loosely based on my rowan travel spoon.

Rowan travel spoon

Need to work on the symmetry of the back of the bowl and the neck of the spoon.

 I was inspired to make more little spoons after a fellow spoon carver Don Nazlezyty revealed his latest 'pocket spoon'.