a well-travelled spoon
For various reasons this spoon has crossed the Atlantic and returned to France twice so far. It's just about to cross over again, to be a part of an event that I am passionate about.
Starting on September 7th 2018, North House Folk School is hosting a special wooden spoon auction to help to fund The Wille Sundqvist and Bill Coperthwaite Slöjd Fellowship. Here's the link: Coperthwaite Sundqvist Slojd auction
Bill Coperthwaite established a homestead in northern Maine to live a simple life based on handcraft. He was the author of 'A Handmade Life'. Wille Sudqvist, who died earlier this year was a celebrated spoon carver and bowl turner, author of 'Swedish Carving Techniques' and other works. Both men were passionate about the importance of handcraft in a society used to buying everything from a shop.
I was immensely privileged to be awarded this Fellowhip in 2017, and to support their fundraising auction I am about to dispatch this spoon on its travels yet again - this afternoon it will start its journey to North House Folk School.
In fact, this spoon was the first really successful folding spoon that I ever made, back in late 2016. Having made a few trial runs, none of which were very good, I worked out some of the basic principles of hinge design and managed to get this one to work.
This spoon spent some months in the rarefied atmosphere of the Fuller Craft Museum's 2017 exhibition 'Living Traditions: The handwork of Plymouth Craft'
It is more-or less a copy of an old spoon in the archives of the Musée de Bretagne, at Rennes. I made the spoon from a photograph and description, before I had a chance to actually see and get my hands on the original spoon. I had received the spoon back from the exhibition by then and I was pleasantly surprised to see how close it came to its original...
However, there is a lot more decoration on the sides and back of the old spoon that had not been apparent from the photos I had used. There were also subtleties like the chamfer around the edges of the handle that I now carve routinely, but which were not on this first attempt.
So to bring things up to date. The spoon traveled home with me again after Greenwood Fest 2018 where we had learned the sad news of the very recent death of Wille Sundqvist. I decided to donate it to the auction, but to modify it a bit beforehand.
I have added-in the edge chamfer, carved patterns on each side of the hinge pieces and on the back of the handle. Not exactly the patterns of the original, but in that style. I have been astonished and pleased at what a transformation these small changes have made to this spoon. It has become much more graceful and comfortable in the hand, and I'm really rather pleased with it.