Spoonfest 2013, Presenters

Steve Tomlin is inspired by the elegant simplicity of the Shakers. He aims to make practical spoons with inner balance and harmony for everyday use. At Spoonfest 2013, Steve donned the cap of the Spoon Doctor: help and advice for the most common carving complaints. He looked at the areas of spoon carving which cause the most problems: the curve between bowl and neck, achieving a knife finish, symmetry, smooth bowls and more. We were invited to bring our personal problems for professional help.

Fritiof Runhall is one of Sweden’s best spoon carvers though not as well known as he should be. He taught two courses in Edale last year. Steve Tomlin summed the experience up well on his blog, “I arrived expecting to be inspired by beautiful craftsmanship and to spend a few days enjoying carving spoons in good company but what I hadn’t expected was to learn so much from Fritiof and his spoons. Right from the start there were new ideas and techniques that surprised, impressed and inspired me. It was very interesting just to watch him work, spot similarities in our techniques and try to emulate and learn from the differences.”

JoJo Wood has been carving from a very young age, grown up with “wood culture” and learnt from most of the best carvers internationally, Wille and Jogge Sundqvist, Fritiof Runhall and Jarrod Stone Dahl, to name just a few. She carves very precisely balanced spoons and is highly proficient with axe and knife. At Spoonfest 2013, JoJo taught axe use, helping you get the best spoon blank that saves time and effort on knife work.

Sean Hellman plays with wood as well as earning a full time living from his craft, both making and teaching. Making his first spoon at the age of 15 he now finds it hard to stop whittling. At Spoonfest 2013, Sean shared his knowledge and passion for carved decoration and sharpening tools, amongst other things.

Jarrod Stone Dahl is an American green woodworker. He makes a living making and teaching handcrafts. Jarrod and his wife April run a business called Woodspirit http://woodspiritgallery.com which is dedicated to the preservation and use of items that were used in earlier and ancient times through day to day living; with their design being shaped by their use, the materials, and techniques used to make them. Last year Jarrod’s workshops on bark knife sheaths were inspirational. At Spoonfest 2013, Jarrod taught chip carving, kolrossing and preparing hand made paints.

Sue Holden made her first spoon in 1989, simply because she needed one. It wasn’t very beautiful or very functional but it was a start. She discovered a copy of Wille Sundqvist’s 1990 book, Swedish Carving Techniques, and later studied with Wille both in England and at his home in Sweden which, amongst many other things, showed up the weakness and poor design of that first spoon. Inspired by Wille’s ideas on spoon design, she began to produce spoons that she actually liked: light and easy to use, beautiful to look at, but very strong. She’s still pursuing her “ideal” spoon, and she still keeps her first one, as a reminder of how far she’s come in spoon-making. At Spoonfest 2013, Sue gave workshops on axing, paying particular attention to fine, close axe work.

JanHarm ter Brugge teaches furniture design at the Royal Academy in the Hague, and carving spoons in the woods. He was heavily influenced by Wille Sundqvist in Sweden and carves beautiful spoons in the Scandinavian style. His engraved spoons are particularly special. At Spoonfest 2013, JanHarm taught Swedish style carved engraving.

Fred Livesay is from Minesota. Last year he brought his wonderful spoons to Spoonfest. With his experience of teaching children and young people in the Waldorf School system, amongst many other wood working professions, he was able to teach younger spoon carvers here at Spoonfest 2013. Here is a short video of a project he worked on teaching kids sloyd carving techniques.

Owen Thomas has been a professional woodworker for the last 10 years. He discovered a love for green woodworking 4 years ago and subsequently spent a season with Mike Abbott. Alongside making his own green wood products, he is currently working as apprentice to Barn Carder ‘Barn the Spoon’ in London, developing skills and refining techniques. At Spoonfest 2013, he taught the use of the large production spoon carving knife, the twca cam, among other things.