Showing posts from May, 2018

Multi-strand spoons

In the museum at Rennes is a collection of 72 Breton decorated spoons, all from the Pays Vannetais, the area around the city of Vannes in the South of Brittany.  They are all fairly distinctive in style, and are often decorated with elaborate chip-carving and piercing. However none have the coloured wax inlay so prevalent in spoons from further west in Finistère.

Within this collection are a group of spoons that are mainly from around the town of Auray, just to the west of Vannes. These are all one-piece spoons made of boxwood, but are distinguished by having their spoon-necks carved in multiple strands, to look like separate pieces of rope. Some have three strands, some have five, one has nine and one has ten strands!  This rope-like motif is seen on other spoons from the Vannetais area, but always further up the handle, often outlining the flat part of the handle.

Spoon number 955.1.46 is probably the crudest of these spoons. It has a 5-strand neck, and a very simple shaped handle,…

teaching how to make folding spoons

It’s that time of the year again, the summer round of green woodworking festivals is about to kick off. I shall be going to the Spoon gathering at Milan, Minnesota, where I’ll be teaching a pre-fest course making and decorating Breton-style one-piece spoons. Then back to Greenwood Fest in Massachusetts the following week. It’s here I’ll be teaching making a folding spoon for the pre-fest course. This is going to be the only time i teach this course this year.

The two presentations of the same course that I gave last year were great fun, if a little shattering for me! The skills needed by course participants are not particularly high, but there is a great deal of precise detail for me to to explain, so I don’t get any let-up for the two and a half days of each course. I quickly learnt which processes needed lots more explanation, or just needed to be described differently. However, both courses went very well, with everyone managing to successfully make their own folding spoon. Some …