Country Living (UK)

Go on a course: SPOON CARVING


SET DEEP IN THE HEART OF DORSET WOODLAND, it’s hard to think of a more apt place to learn about carving green wood. But while the setting – beneath a parachute awning and beside a woodburnin­g stove – is tranquil, it turns out that the craft of spoon carving is more energetic than I’d imagined. “Let that axe really swing!” says course tutor Adam Hawker, as he directs me on how to transform my small log into a roughed out spoon shape. Slightly fearful of my fingers, I can’t chop away as freely as Adam, but under his instructio­n I gain more confidence in using various axe techniques. After lunch we move on to the next step, using knives and gouges to finesse the handle and create a bowl in the spoon. Sat by the fire, whittling away, it’s a surprising­ly mindful experience as curls of wood drop to the floor. The end result is a slightly wonky cooking spoon. “I prefer asymmetric designs,” Adam says, tactfully. His sculptural creations (available at celebrate the grain and character of native wood far better than my effort, but I still look forward to stirring a pot.

Guy Mallinson’s Crafty Camping & Woodland Workshop, Dorset; one-day spoon-carving course, £150 (

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