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Blog

Wooden Spoons

jarrod

     It's been a whirlwind of a month! I've been trying hard to get in front of this computer and get some writing done. Preparing for winter and attending holiday shows, our big Julbord (winter solstice party) and of coarse Christmas has kept me pretty busy, but I can't put it off any longer, so here it is.
    
     Many of you may know that I make my living working with wood and in some of the more recent posts, my concentration on spoons, bowls, and boxes.  I love wooden spoons and I think they're great! There is a lot too them for me, a whole story of history, culture, and economics. 

     The cheap and readily available metal spoons we have today are something fairly new that has come about in the past few hundred years with the advent of sheet steel and drop forging. Before all that it was a smith, of some type, making them with an anvil and hammer, this of coarse was something that most folks wouldn't bother with, why? expensive and you could make them yourself, out of wood. So the tides changed, when once local wood was used and the spoon carved by the owner or a neighbor or bought at the open air market is now replaced by cheap metal ones. Where ore is mined and refined in countries far away. The metal is shipped across the world to be shaped into spoons by the 1,000's then sent all over the world again for people to buy and use. Then after a year or two replace with another style after that set of table ware is out of fashion. We can also go down to the "thrift stores" where we can find used goods for sale and get a unmatched set for a couple of dollars. This scenario is troubling to me. I can't help but think that both buying new or the used/recycled metal spoons are part of the same system. When I'm out selling at craft/art shows and folks ask "can I use this?" it just goes to show that we don't know the history of the spoon and it's our history as well. It's a sensitive issue for me even though we have said metal spoons in our house like you. I do have two traditional spoon racks with eating spoons out ready to be used. Why don't we use them? Well...I use them, but my kids don't. Why? I have my theories. 

     They need to be well designed, well made, especially eating spoons. They were made by an axe and knife. Generation upon generation of our ancestors made them and used them daily. They are quite something, with a fairly demanding purpose.

Wooden spoons as well as wooden bowls and plates really remind me of of the past, when people gathered locally sourced materials and local labor/skill to create the items they used for their daily needs. Or is this the future?

    I believe that there is nothing like using one, and after you do it's hard to use a metal spoon afterwards. You get hooked on using them.  I've recently redesigned my website and I am offering hand carved wooden spoons for sale here.

There is a growing interest in carving and using wooden spoons world wide. If you are on facebook you can see great spoons here.

eating spoon inspired from an old Swedish form
another eating spoon with a slightly longer handle
my spoon rack with eating spoons I use eveyday



the axe is used to "rough out" the spoon
using a straight knife to carve the profile