It’s not often I find myself bright-eyed and full of energy at 10am on a Saturday morning in Homerton, despite having celebrated life with a few sherbets the night before. More unusual still, do I find myself clutching an off-cut of wood in one hand, whilst wielding a knife in the other, in between asking for tips regarding how best to make the deepest cuts. This was never going to be your run-of-the-mill Saturday morning coffee stop, but that’s what I loved about it. Well, that and a million-and-one other things.
It was certainly one of the more unusual courses I’d done lately, but I will rue the day when I hear someone say it sounds ‘dead easy’. Mainly because …that’s what I said when I first arrived. Spoon carving: shaving bits of wood into the shape of cutlery. How testing can that be? Turns out, very. Also, add to that, ‘massively therapeutic’, ‘wholly engrossing’ and ‘seriously addictive’.
Sophie was our tutor – also known as Grain & Knot – the spoon carving company-of-one with an Instagram audience of over 10,000. After a brief introduction regarding how best to hold the wood so you won’t lose a finger, we started and made our first cut – after which I realised how easy it was to lose a finger.
I mean, not quite. It’s not like spoon carving involves mini chain saws, but it’s certainly easy to take some skin off, if you’re not careful.
What a lovely course to learn a new skill and make new friends! I’d thought. Fast-forward twenty minutes and I was totally absorbed, brow furrowed, spell-bound. I wasn’t saying a word to anyone. So, not as social as I’d hoped. The spoon was my only friend now.
Of course a few mistakes were made along the way. I say ‘a few’ – as I neared the end of my spoon-shaping journey and was adding some ‘finishing touches’, I got a bit gauge-heavy and carved a hole right through the middle of it. So, in terms of my wooden stick fulfilling all of its spoon-themed dreams …well, it wasn’t going to. However, a bit of improvisation later meant that I’d created a very romantic olive spoon, as my accidental gauge now resembled a purposeful heart-shaped drainage hole. YES, universe!
Check out the upcoming workshops here.