Experience / Events / Small Spoon Fundamentals

Small Spoon Fundamentals

This class runs over six Wednesdays, February 7-March 20, from 9 am-12 pm each week, with no class on March 13. An additional session is offered on Tuesday evenings.

Ready to carve your own smaller wooden spoons? This six session class with spoon carver Liesl Chatman gives students foundational spoon carving skills that can be applied to spoon carving projects of all shapes and sizes as they work on two Scandinavian style eating spoons. Designed for both new spoon carvers and intermediate spoon carvers who want to hone the basics, this class focuses on methodically understanding spoon layout and design, as well as proper axe and knife techniques.

Students start with two sessions on spoon layout and basic axe work to efficiently and safely shape their spoon blanks. Four further sessions allow students to build skills using sloyd and hook knives to work with a specific spoon pattern while focusing on working in facets and symmetry. All tools and materials are provided by the instructor, although students are also welcome to bring favorite carving tools from home. Ample time for discussion around tool options, acquiring or making spoon blanks, using and adapting pattern templates, and spoon finishing options is included throughout the class sections. Spoon carving does require moderate hand strength and flexibility and the ability to sit and stand for extended periods. While some previous carving experience is recommended (such as ASI’s Green Wood Carving 101 or 102 classes), new spoon carvers are welcome in this class. Intermediate students who want a methodical approach to carving smaller spoons will also benefit from this class.

Please note: this class uses basswood billets, so there is no need to concentrate on keeping greenwood moist and hands won’t become fatigued—but the techniques covered also transfer well to green wood. Students will work simultaneously to make two 5-6” pocket spoons using this unconventional double-blank technique. Called the “gullwing” method, it was created by instructor Liesl Chatman and is designed for safety, minimum wood waste, and carving with reduced hand strength. The method starts with simultaneously profiling two 5” spoons, laid end-to-end in one billet of wood, forming a “gullwing” shape. The spoon bowls are worked while still connected, and then after additional shaping with the axe, the spoons can be separated and finished.

A $50 materials fee includes two basswood billets and use of all required tools. If desired, students may also provide their own carving axes, sloyd knives, hook knives, and/or small folding saws.