Spoonfest!

SAMSUNG CSCPhew!  Where to start?  Maybe in the morning (as above).

I took the role of morning hot water monitor:

SAMSUNG CSCEarly morning is my favourite time of day – a whole day ahead to spoil, and not many people about.

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The fire ring was big and usually had embers in from the revels of the previous night, so it was easy to rekindle it and race the gallon kettle against the Kelly Kettle.

The festival is a great meet up place, OK currently only two continents, but I can’t see that lasting for long.  People carve spoons all together, all the time (the first axes start at about 7am):

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Check out how concentrated everyone is.

But spoonfest is not just spoon-carving alone, it is about learning and meeting people.

Here is  Fritiof Runhall explaining the development of wooden spoon styles as living traditions changed and associated ergonomics.  So cranked handles are hypothesised to go back to a communal bowl and straight handles can only work with individual bowls (i.e. when the standards of living changed).

SAMSUNG CSCThis is JanHarm ter Brugge.  Jan excels at teaching spoon decoration amongst other things.

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He is an excellent disseminator of techniques, principles and design.  This is his illustration of a Sami maze decoration:
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I learnt a lot from him, and I’m aiming to copy this style:
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There’s a mistake in one spoon – can you see it? Jan explained that mistakes are fine as they reinforce the hand-made quality.

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This is Jarrod  Stonedahl explaining how to make and use ‘natural’ paints, oil paint, milk paint, egg tempura with earth pigments for colouring.  I learnt why my paint wasn’t working – missed out the lime!

SAMSUNG CSCNic Westerman’s rather neat blacksmithy.  He demonstrated in full forging an axe, the crowds were rather deeper when that was happening!

Not all hard work and learning.  2013 saw the premier of The Spoonfest Athletics.  Here is the start of the race to stir a cup of tea with a wooden spoon no-handed.
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There were a handful of races in the championship including The maker who looks most like their spoon.  Fritiof that afternoon had made a spoon with a statue of himself as the handle, it was topped off with a bunch of his own hair!  Steve Tomlin was overall winner, and I should really have taken a vid of his extraordinary victory tour.

Great weekend, great people, great location,

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and I learned quite a bit too – my spoon knife is now pretty damn sharp, and I should be able to stitch leather neatly, I’ve got the basics of playing the spoons (thanks Jo) and I’ve already got the first stage of a moulded hook knife sheath.

The finale again was spoon club with around 200 people all doing 5 minutes carving a spoon and then passing it on.  Although not a race, it was hard concentration, as you can see the moment after the hour was up:

SAMSUNG CSCThis is the output from out group

SAMSUNG CSCA big thank you to these two guys who put so much effort into the production of Spoonfest.

SAMSUNG CSCRobin Wood & Barn The Spoon in very uncharacteristic reflective mode.

 

 

Damson Day

Just back from a smashing day out at Damson Day in the Lyth Valley. It is small scale, just what we like and we arrived first thing before it got too busy on a lovely sunny day

We were told several times that this was the first time they had held Damson Day with NO BLOSSOM! They reckon it has been delayed at least two weeks by the hard Winter weather. But just after lunch something started to happen …

Yeah! The buds started bursting in the sunshine:

There was a lot going on, including Owen Jones bashing away at making oak swill baskets:

His baskets really are beauties:

There were several other green wood workers there and I had a good chat with Edward Acland about tenon joints in hurdles and gates. He has a natty design in stripped ash poles – goats’ teeth finish, apparently his goats love to eat the bark!

We moved on when it started to get really busy after we’d had our picnic, but not before buying a young damson sapling to partly replace the silver birch at home.

Some glorious views over Lake Windermere:

Rounding off our trip to The Lake District with a cuppa from the Kelly Kettle amongs some clear(ish) felling.