I started carving spoons in 2014. I was working in conservation, leading volunteer groups on practical tasks like coppicing, scrub clearance and hedge-laying at local nature reserves.
I initially bought a small axe to take out on work days, but a friend of mine had told me about spoon carving and it sounded like something I'd enjoy so I thought I'd give it a go. Needless to say, I haven't looked back!
I use only four hand tools to collect and carve my spoons; a foldable saw, an axe, a straight-bladed carving knife and a crook knife for hollowing the spoon bowl.
By keeping these tools as sharp as possible and using good technique, I can leave a lovely tool finish on the wood that is smoother than could be achieved with sandpaper.
All of the wood I use comes from within 10 miles of my home in Bristol, UK and is ethically and sustainably sourced, being a by-product of conservation work that would otherwise be burned or left to rot. I use hardwoods native to the British Isles, predominantly cherry, birch, elm and beech, but really anything I can get my hands on!