The Thousand Spoon Project

1000 Spoons from one tree

Big changes and exciting times ahead! Our new epic project to turn one tree into one thousand beautiful limited edition spoons.

The Mission 

I want to take the heart of my business back to the woods where it belongs. Taking the wood from one tree, and carving it into spoons, we’re turning it into 1000 trees in a small woodland.

The Spoon 

I’m sourcing a single tree, which i will carve with axes and knives into a limited edition run of spoons to be sold individually here on my site. These spoons will be made to a new design created especially for this project.

Swedish Eating Spoon

£48 + postage

  • Alder
  • Hand carved with axes and Knives
  • + Handmade risographed wood print - A5

I will be making a Swedish Eating spoon (similar to the one shown here). Once the tree is felled I will post pictures of the actual spoons and my progress throughout the project.

(Exclusive to the Barn The Spoon online shop)

 

Unique Wood Print

Each spoon will come with it’s own beautiful artwork - a risographed wood print - every print numbered 1 - 1000 to record it’s authenticity.

Photographer - © Patricia Niven

Photographer - © Patricia Niven

Turning spoons into Woodland 

At the heart of this project is my love of woodlands and a desire to get back to a closer relationship with nature. 

The funds from the spoons will go directly towards creating a sustainably managed woodland. I believe small scale managed woodland is fundamental to bettering our relationship with the planet. Being close to trees is the most beautiful way of connecting with the earth.

Through managing trees, you’re not only creating diversity, and doing useful physical work but also you’re getting back that connection which is so good for your soul, and creating a fantastic site for sharing that with others. 

And, we’ll be growing the perfect materials for the craft, not only for me but for the next generation of spoon carvers!

Support us! 

Get involved and support Barn in his mission to turn 1000 spoons into a beautiful patch of woodland for green wood workers to enjoy.

 

See me in action 

This summer the project will be my companion, on my travels whilst promoting my book - carving the spoons as i go. If you’d like to meet me and see these spoons being carved, look out for me at your local bookshop.

Barn's Book Tour details available soon! Sign up to the mailing list below to find out more.

Barnaby Carder
Gift Vouchers!
 

 

These vouchers are still available for Christmas, the voucher is emailed over and can be printed at your leisure, allowing you to gift your loved-ones a day of carving with axes and knives, and the chance to make some beautiful wooden spoons of their own!

 

To buy one of these or find out more, visit the Green Wood Guild web page here!

Or click here to check out my classes.

 
Barnaby Carder
Spinning Spoon
An awesome eating spoon made from a bent branch of sycamore, cut during seasonal thinning to increase biodiversity in the old Bow Cemetery London (now a beautiful park).
Barnaby Carder
New Spoons for Sale

 

What was once a solution to a problem has now become a project in it’s own right!

Spoons that I particularly liked I used to increase the price so that they’d stay on the shelf for longer. The problem was despite the increased price they kept selling first , and I felt embarrassed to just keep increasing the price, so I started carving words on them to put people off, such as “plank” or “battery”, it seems a bit silly but I really like it.

So these spoons are now going to be offered online in an attempt to encourage me to use my website!! I expect them to be around once a week. Each spoon will be a one off in as much as I consider them particularly special and that each one will have a different word or phrase which I won’t carve onto another spoon again, that along with the videos should create a nice archive of my work.

Barnaby Carder
Spoons from the Woods

Woohoo I’m now taking Bookings for the next two “SPOONS FROM THE WOODS” June 2nd-7th and August 31- Sept 5th. Below is some weird ramblings I wrote on our return last year and is a good example of how affective a week in the woods can be! Essentially it’s an awesome week i’m really looking forward to, if you have any questions please feel free to email barnthespoon@hotmail.co.uk or call 07950 751 811. 

I’ve just come back from a wonderful week teaching in Herefordshire, the woods are so alive right now. Bathed in a world of green and birdsong, the weather was perfect, just enough rain to make sure we made the most of the sunshine when it blazed, and the trees there shelter you from both if needs be.

I couldn’t help get my feet muddy, i love the feeling of being grounded like that, like being planted. This place really is a home from home for me, and this chair is an old friend. It’s called Tillman. Tilman was the apprentice that made this chair under the tutorage  of Mike Abbott whose course centre I use for my 6 day course. There is a giant round oak table that seats twelve each sat on a different apprentices chair. For me the trees resonate through this simple functional object, made from a tree coppiced probably no more than 50 metres away then turned on a pole lathe and now aging beautifully in its surroundings. I’ve never met Tilman, though i feel connected with him through the use of the chair and a common understanding of wood.

When you cook together on an open fire, when you chop and split wood and lay a fire together, when it’s your source of warmth and light, you understand why Wood Culture is more nurturing than Oil Culture.

It is important to make time to think about an insect. The intricate and delicate functional beauty striving on through time, it’s perched on a Spoon Made by Anna Casserley I wonder if she knows how important what she does is? the ferocity with which her axe swings in her little hands, Wood Culture is back and striving onwards!

Barnaby Carder
Upcoming Events

 

UCL’s Festival of Stuff, brought to you by the brilliant Institute of making 19th/20th June

Great people and great idea, this institute is all about making! and is super popular with the public, seriously busy last time i was there. This time I’ll be joined by Jim Steele Windsor chair maker and we’ll be having a log to leg race! also my Blacksmith neighbour Richard. Perfect venue to spread the word on Knife Carving.

 

 

Spoon Carving at the Tate 5th/6th July

Knife carving is undoubtedly one of the greatest Folk crafts and has been seriously under-represented as such, fantastic that an institution such as the Tate is willing to change that.

 

 

Spoonfest 1st/2nd/3rd August

Me and my Mate Robin Wood set up and run SPOONFEST the international celebration of the carved wooden spoon, all the tickets sold out in the first week, it’s so fantastic that spoons have such a draw!

 

 

Skedfest 29th August

Awesome Swedish festival inspired by Spoonfest, this is going to be great. Being invited to another internation Spoon Conference is one of the cooler aspects of being a Spooner.

Barnaby Carder
Learn to carve

A perfect introduction to knife carving, no previous woodworking experience is necessary, that said even an experienced carpenter or cabinet maker would gain much from carving a spoon. Learn more over on the learn to carve page

Barnaby Carder
What am I?
Carver? Whittler? Artisan? Master Craftsman? I genuinely couldn't care less, there are a tiny handful of people who get the kind of relationship I have nurtured with my work, I do not need my customers to buy into or understand where I am coming from. 

My customers tend to like buying something functional, that it is locally made with local materials sustainably resourced, they like the closeness to the maker, I hope that this enhances their experience when they cook/eat, I know my collection of utensils gives me a more enjoyable and nourishing experience. My shop provides all this information with the blink of an eye, perhaps you can tell how dirty a corporation is by how expensive their marketing needs to be, imagine if they just played you a live feed from their factory! that's all i do.

I am a specialist, I have chosen to focus on one product, and I have found deepening this relationship has enhanced my understanding and feelings for all other things I do. 

I am bored of marketing teams jumping on the craft band wagon, it seems you cannot escape the hand crafted propaganda these days! I distance myself from craft, I barely know what it means anymore. As a sole trader i am in charge of all aspects of my business - marketing, PR, sales, finance etc and I do all i can within this to subsidise the maker this is why my customer service is lacking and why you probably won't get a reply to your email. But it is also the reason why I enjoy my job....does that matter to you as a customer?


Am I a Master Craftsman? well no, there isn't a guild of "Spooners" with some protectionist racket that I could pay to label me as such, sometimes I think protectionism is perhaps a good thing, but i certainly can't be bothered to set up a guild.

Artisan? no not really.

Am I a whittler? 

I just make functional spoons from Trees that have been felled in London that would have otherwise been chipped, I make these spoons in my little "Spoon shop" where people come and buy them to take home and use.

If I need a label just use barn.




Barn the Spoon
I am "on the Make"
I got accused of this the other day.....lol....it should be very obvious this is exactly what i'm up to, if you've got a problem with it please explain in the comments below what you do that is so special.


Barn the Spoon
Carving Set

 

I’ve been working on a great beginners kit with the lovely people at Saturday Market Project. They had asked a while ago if I could design them a set, and I thought it was a great idea. This set allows me to reach a wider audience, and adds to the classes I already run in London and of course Spoonfest.

We made a short instructional video to go with the set, as well as an illustrated instruction manual that comes with the kit, as seen above. The set comes nicely packaged and would make a great gift.

Barnaby Carder
Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!





As usual I have written another weird post and not posted it, but then I thought sod it I'm just going to post it. It's about Christmas trees...got home last night and ours has gone already! (what about tradition and the 12th night! oh well).


Well I've been in bed with Flu the last few days! but it has been good to rest and gather some strength for the coming new year. In case you didn't notice it's Christmas!! I have always been a big fan of Christmas, I think it's a lovely thing. How cool is it that we all bring trees into our houses!?

I am not a Neo Paganist...

But I do think it's natural in the depths of winter that people use evergreen trees, mistletoe and wreaths as symbols of eternal life. Or perhaps more simply life enduring and the hope of new growth in Spring. For obvious reasons Tree worship used to be common and as you can see by the image above it has definitely survived our conversion to Christianity!

For many the word worship is aligned with the Abrahamic gods, but for me practicing worship of a patriarchal figure just felt like practicing doing as I'm told. Tree Worship is not difficult as they mean so much to me, the word worship has been etymologised as "worthiness or worth-ship" so it means: to give worth to something, what do you worship? It doesn't need to be other worldly, and of course this world is much more wondrous than those written down. I definitely see the spoons I carve as a form of Tree worship.


It is very difficult for a child growing up in central London to gain a wider perspective of their place in the natural world, you cannot even see stars in the sky, let alone have an understanding of how an individual can exist outside the grand institutions that consume our land, our efforts, and our minds. That is not to say I do not value the diverse cultural endeavours we all work on. I put much value on them, but not many people value the Wood Cultures that to me are our species most beautiful interaction with the planet.

Instead of swinging a real Axe in the intended way we teach our children about them on machines. These machines mean that in London every 14 yr old has had the opportunity to experience hacking people to death with a hatchet, if you think this is ok or that it isn't your child you are very much mistaken. Maybe the powers that be think this is the best way to train drone pilots, and of course it is all just a game. Anyway conspiracy theories are a waste of my energy.

That said I do believe the powers that be have a vested interest in our fear of individuals and maintaining that the only narrative of progress is through increased complexity and passing our power upwards.

One of the beautiful things about an ancient Oak tree is the biodiversity that it supports, as such perhaps London could be seen as one of the greatest and diverse institutions on the planet. But what concerns me is that as individuals we have given up the ability to control them. Or perhaps we have forgotten or been persuaded that we can't. Sometimes a tree needs to come down when it has outgrown it's use, that it may give others the chance to thrive that will benefit all of us.

Anyway we all have stories to tell, why should mine be any more useful than those told to you by the Church or Tescos. How can I sit here and ask you to love yourselves more than a corporation that promises eternal life or an organisation that provided your Christmas feast.

I've lived in london for a while now, admittedly I often think about running away. The streets of London are paved with golden fried chicken shops, coffee shops, bet shops and Tesco. There is a constant barrage of corporations trying to implant ideas in your head. It's easy to feel clostrophobic, like in a dense forest there is that desire to let light in through the canopy, there are giant structures I wish I could drag down.

If you feel like me then maybe it's time to sharpen your Axe, don't worry that your neighbour will chop off your head like in the video games you play. You need to stop believing their lies, it's time to let some light through the canopy...chop chop chop.


















Barn the Spoon
Spoons from the Woods

Green Wood (Preview) from Elliott Forge on Vimeo.

Little video about Mike Abbott and the woodland he uses for his chair making courses, this is where I will be running my 6 day Spoon carving course 3-9th June, it is one of my favourite places on the planet and i am already getting excited about it! that woodland has changed many lives and that is down to Mike.

Mike has been running courses for years and his prices are stuck in the stone age! If I am fortunate enough to get up there in 2015 I will not be able to afford to run the course so cheaply. And I have told Mike he should be increasing his prices too, he will retire at some point! so get in while the going is good!

If you would like any more information about Spoons from the woods please get in contact.
Barn the Spoon
What's that then?
Oh hi spoon nerds what's this i found amongst the detritus of my bedroom floor? possible explanations for how it was created and why please.
Barn the Spoon
Part-Time Apprenticeship
I am looking for someone who wants to work in exchange for learning with the opportunity to have access to tools and materials on a regular basis. I am thinking particularly of Product design students but anyone can apply. You need to be passionate about form and function, you need to be able to commit to at least a couple of days a week for  6 months probably Friday/Saturday.
Barn the Spoon