Monday, 7 January 2013

Welsh Love Spoons

Carved spoons are a tradition in many cultures but the Welsh, for whatever reason, are particularly well known for their mastery of the craft.  Wooden spoons were originally carved for purely utilitarian reason, but somewhere along the line more decorative versions came onto the scene.  The specific history of love spoons is somewhat lost to time and many theories abound about how they emerged including that young men used them to demonstrate their manual skills to the women they were trying to woo or carving them was a simple inexpensive way for rural men to spend time between growing seasons.  My own feeling is that carved spoons were probably to young men before the industrial revolution what mixed tapes were to my generation:  a thoughtful and romantic token of affection.

Whatever their romantic origins,  they are today often carved to mark a wide range of special occasions - retirements, births, anniversaries and graduations to name a few.  In fact, I have started a semi-tradition by carving my daughter a spoon for Christmas - not every Christmas mind you, but I have managed three over the past five years or so.  She is a grateful recipient and I hope they continue to be special mementos of my love for her.  I hope to expand the tradition to include my wife Kate and to encompass more milestones for both of them.  Below are some pictures of my efforts.


I have two very good books on the subject of carving spoons which have guideed me, Celtic Carved Lovespoons by Sharon Lintley and Clive Griffin, and Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons, by David Western.

This is the first spoon I carved for the Bean.  Pattern from Lintley and Griffin.

This was my second effort.  Pattern from Western.

This was the spoon I gave to the Bean this Christmas, also from Western.


  1. Geoff, those are gorgeous! Such talent!

  2. I love the spoon as mix tape! Wooing takes all forms, huh?

    Your spoons are lovely!

  3. Well done Geoff! You've done a nice job of them!
    Thank you too for the acknowledgement, it is appreciated!
    Dave Western

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Dave! I am humbled. I love your book and your work - very inspiring and the best instruction on technique I've come across. Your spoons are a revelation - very fresh designs and wonderfully complex. Thanks again - your taking the time to leave a comment means a lot.