October 2023

After a very long break, I’ve decided to occasionally share a few spoon carving thoughts here in my journal. I hope to eventually add back some older journal entries and interviews that weren’t lost in a website update a couple of years ago.

Recently, I reread Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the the Wild by Rob Cowen and Leo Critchley and found this passage:

“Carving is one of the most therapeutic pastimes. It is understandable why rehabilitation workshops treating people with trauma or physical injury will often use the process of reshaping and reorder wood; it is psychotherapy and physiotherapy, pulling us out of the everyday routines with a gentle focus. Tracing the minutiae of the grain, our minds immediately switch to the small scale and become entranced; our hands busy in the process of creating order. There is no room to think of anything else. Each sweep of the blade changes the form and has been carefully considered; we take part in the living, evolving process that roots us completely, also ordering our thoughts unconsciously as we work.”

I also purchased Emmet Van Driesche’s Greenwood Spoon Carving Course video. Emmet’s reputation as an exceptional teacher precedes him. His 2023 book, Greenwood Spoon Carving, is a very thorough exploration of the craft; however, as a visual learner, I really prefer this video series more.

The course is designed for individuals with no prior experience in spoon carving, yet it quickly delves into high-level techniques. Emmet’s approach to spoon design and carving prioritizes making it as easy as possible for you to succeed.

Emmet covers a wide range of topics in the lessons, including tool selection, sharpening techniques for slöjd knives, hook tools, and axes, processing green wood stock, spoon design, axing spoon blanks, rough and final carving, finishing touches, and proper spoon care. Throughout the nearly 5-hour course, Emmet offers valuable insights and information without overwhelming learners.

This course is a great option to becoming proficient in spoon carving. With Emmet as your guide, you’ll gain the confidence and skills needed to craft beautiful and functional spoons.