Happy New Year!
There were some gloriously sunny days street selling spoons last month, and then there has been the last few days! Sorry i haven't posted for a while I have been busy with wood, and since the weather has been bad i have been in doors and feeling very grateful to have a home. I am pleased i finally came round to the idea of selling online and though i am definitely happiest selling sat on the street, i have very much enjoyed parcelling up spoons and sending them off. Thank you all for the kind messages you sent back.
The two handsome men above are me and Paul Wylde of Grounded Ecotherapy, put this in because i have discovered that although i had been telling everyone the hat was the black bit from a Panda Bear fur, turns out it's Rabbit, i definitely don't condone causing extinctions but can't see what's wrong with wearing fur next they'll be saying you can't shit in the woods.
December was busy i ran two courses - a beginners in Bristol and also a developers in London, i only had one day selling in London and it rained till lunchtime but it was a fantastic afternoon at a new location (London streets really are paved in Gold). Although i very much enjoy teaching beginners, it has been great getting people coming back on the developers workshops. I never take photos when i should but here are some of George's spoons who has been on two of my workshops (thanks for sending me these George).
An amazing year 2011, my favourite time was spent in Oxford, I had a couple of weeks there and was very productive, it was nice to see so many people i had met there the year before and even better when they came back for more spoons. I also had a fantastic time At Mr Abbott's Living Wood, I missed the old man and was very pleased to be asked back to teach, i'll be heading back for one of his development weeks as a holiday sometime in Spring.
I am currently making the spoons I dreamed of making, this is hugely rewarding, and is made possible because you buy them all. Having worked my head around a couple of new styles, I am now looking forward to making several new designs and offering these online.
I am very grateful to all of those that have helped me towards my goals, Mike Abbott who gave me my foundation in working green wood his general philosophy permeates my work, Ben Orford who was the first person I saw skillfully carve a spoon with an axe and a knife, and Robin Wood who has given me much help over the last couple of years and is the only person who seems to be happy to put up with me talking endlessly about spoons and spoon design without these people I would be scratching around with blunt chisels and sandpaper. There are many more people that have helped me along my way thank you.
I definitely made the right decision living in a city this winter, the last few years of my life have just seemed to get better and better but the winters have been less good, this year i have broken that habit! Those of you that know me will have heard me talk about my "new young friends" who have been extremely supportive of my endeavours, not least putting up with wood shavings all over their houses every time I turn up unexpected and do my washing.
Something to get off my chest, this is my little sugar spoon I've been making a few of these recently, it's stained with coffee, an interesting phenomenom i have discovered is how people love the look of dirty/stained spoons, if ever I have an old spoon out selling (which i sometimes do if I'm copying one) people want it straight away. Ironically many of my spoons end up not being used because they are too precious! this is ridiculous and I find it very frustrating.
I do not regret turning down the offer of having a book published, the stuff which I would have wanted to write about is personal and deserves to stay that way, i can understand peoples interest in my way of life but this blog is a good outlet for anything i have to say and is free! I do regret not getting to all of the people I had hoped to carve spoons for, and would be happy to send a spoon free of charge to any of those people I did not make it to. The only other regret of 2011 is that I did not dance, maybe that will change in 2012.