Carving a lovespoon, by hand and with serious affection from a single piece of thoughtfully selected timber, is an entrance into a long and worthy tradition.
Lovespoon carving is a tradition that is obscure in its origin, esoteric in its existence, but thoroughly and enthrallingly winsome according to its very nature. The tradition has an innate capacity to endure, evidenced by its persistance into our era. It is a tradition that had existed in many cultures but developed into a unique form in Wales over a few centuries or more.
This carving tradition displays some divergent particulars that have arisen according to the various whims of individual carvers as they lovingly fashioned what they would give. A burgeoning diversity of free unchanneled development has made it a broad and welcoming tradition with endless possibilities to explore. Welsh Lovespoon carving has waxed and wained over time until now achieving its arrival in the twenty first century as a living and fertile means of artistic expression. Artistic expression open to anyone who can see the value in this artform. Designing and making coming together in the crafting of a personal and meaningful gift.
The strength of the welsh lovespoon tradition and the probable reason for its endurance, is that it is a tradition with very few rules:
– One piece of timber sympathetic to the work, and or, work sympathetic to the one piece of timber used; this rule signifies the lovespoon carving craft as being one with an integrity of purpose, to lovingly make a gift for someone.
–The recognisible form of a spoon, this signifies the feeding and nourishing of the emotions by the crafting of an extravagently made gift.
–And much perseverence in the carver with the work at hand, expressing the quiet arder behind the sentiment to be conveyed and the story that is to be related quietly in the making.
From the outset the lovespoon was crafted as a labour of love, usually by an untrained or self-trained woodcarver who had little or no prior experience. Little experience perhaps, but nevertheless the ardent desire to produce, with affectionate care, an extravagent expression of personal feelings. The lovespoon carver would put into impractical service, whatever whim might be suggested by the slowly developing work at hand, all the skill available to them at the time and all the cunning craftsmanship the timber would yield to, all to produce a wooden artwork of a uniquely poetic and personal kind.
The giving of a Welsh lovespoons will always be a meaningful gift. Whether you personally carve a lovespoon yourself or commission one to be hand-crafted for you to give. A lovespoon will embody much more than the mere brute fact of what it is.
A lovespoon is a carved art work invested with unique personal meaning. Personal meaning that is especially evident in the result when the commisioning involves consultation and interaction with the carver, enabling a most appropriate and unique gift to be given.
If you wish to commission the carving of a lovespoon as a gift or for your own collection please contact me.
If you are wishing to carve your own welsh lovespoon, then I hope you can find help and inspiration on these pages.
I intend during the process of the design and carving of lovespoons, to document my progress on this site and in my blog. Eventually I will include patterns for carvers and some Step by Step eBooks for those wishing to do the carving of their own spoon but not the design.
Most commisioned designs will remain unique and unpublished as patterns unless they are sufficiently generic in nature and are likely to be of general interest.