Spoon Camp: weekend of carving and woodland living


Date: 6-8 May 2022

The ability to carve and shape wood using basic hand tools can be a source of endless joy, creative expression and scattered wood chips.

Spoon Camp is a weekend in the woods of Sussex dedicated to learning the beautiful craft of spoon carving, for beginners or those looking to improve on existing skills. It runs from 5pm on the Friday to 4pm on the Sunday, and is open to anyone above the age of 16.

You will be camping in the woods in tents, hammocks or bivvy bags, sitting around the all-day campfire, drinking good coffee, eating crumpets and bacon and slow-cooked stews, breathing in the fresh woodland air… All while learning how to carve you own array of spoons and utensils, using simple hand tools, traditional methods and ancient woodland wisdom.

As well as wood carving, there will be time for other highly complimentary woodland skills such as wood lore (the skill of tree I.D. and getting a feel for the characteristics and uses of different tree species) and fire craft (skilfully burning wood, including malfunctioning whittling projects). We shall also explore ways of deeply appreciating a stay in the woods such as night walks, dawn chorus walks, and sitting silent and alone against an old oak tree listening to the birds and your own liberated thoughts. Lots of nature, lots of old ways, and very little interference from modern technology.

By day you shall learn how to:
– Safely fell a small tree
– Split and prepare the wood using a small axe
– Carve out spoon and utensil blanks using various axing techniques
– Use a straight-edged knife and a crook knife safely and efficiently to create spoons, spatulas and all manner of wooden cooking tools
– Identify key native tree species, and get a feel for their different characteristics and uses
– Reliably start a fire in the outdoor environment, by means of a number of methods, and using various foraged tinder materials

By night you will be relaxing around the campfire, full of good food, before settling down for a peaceful night’s sleep in the method of your choosing, under the stars and the sprouting leaf canopy, to the tune of the owls. You shall leave with at least one fully finished spoon – probably more – and a number of clear ideas of projects to pursue afterwards to lead you into the best hobby in the world. Or if you come in with a few spoons under your belt and a crazy new whittling idea, then that’s fine with us too.

Throughout, you shall be expertly instructed and looked after by Chris, the bushcraft instructor and expedition guide, and Rob, the expert carver and wood genius.


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