I've done my fair share of DIY, and I've split a bit of fire wood, too, but I've never done anything like carving before. My Dad is something of a crafting genius and I was proud to tell him that I was going to make a spoon. EJ starts by demonstrating how to split a round of Birch in to two halves. A few firm knocks with the Beetle on the back of the hatchet blade and the birch splits in two. We learn how to select the best piece, with fewest inclusions and defects, and then we take it in turns splitting our own rounds until we have a 1" thick billet for a spoon.
EJ served a delicious and wholesome lunch of vegetarian Chilli, with a side of Chorizo, excellent bread and local cheeses. We ate using some of EJ's own carved eating spoons, a great reminder of her skill. Each spoon was unique, each was very beautiful and each was utterly practical.
I love Dan's spoon. It's wobbly, hand crafted and perfect in my eyes. If you fancy spending a day learning to shape wood, then please visit Hatchet + Bear for more details on EJ's workshops. Or if you'd rather buy something handcrafted EJ sells wonderful spoons, bowls and other lovely things in her online shop. (she will also be stocking a small range in the new Anthropologie in Bath when it opens at the end of the month).
all words and images by Dan Taylor.