The results were fantastic. The spoons were great but also people learnt so much more. They learnt about what makes good design as we discussed what made each spoon work, and also they learnt fine control of their tools to make exactly what they set out to make. Here are some more spoons made on the course.
To me this is very much like the way people learn music. First you learn to play the best music that has gone before, this gives you control over the instrument but also introduces you to the vocabulary of your chosen medium. Once you can do a superb job at reproducing examples of craft you like then is the time to progress to making something truly your own. This may come through going back to the roots looking in museums. It may come through combining influences from other craftspeople you admire, it may be a step on in a new direction but given the sound foundations of craft skill and knowledge of materials and the vocabulary of what has gone before you will make beautiful objects.
If you go freestyle too soon you may be a born genius but more likely what you make will be the craft equivalent of someone picking up a violin for the first time and going freestyle.
I can understand people wanting to make their own individual work but it really helps if you learn to play others music first. I know these folk will not go home and carry on making replica Robin Wood spoons any more than musicians carry on playing the first song they learned, it is a useful part of the development.
Here are a few more pics from the course from Keith
|learning spoon carving knife grips|
|discussing spoon design|
|carving eating spoons|
|finding spoons in crooked timber|
|splitting a crook to get several spoons|
|studying knife sharpening|
|sharpening under the microscope|
|knife edge x20|
|Keith Mathews AKA Fritiof Jnr with his spoon|
It was a fun course, I run these just twice a year and there are still places left on the autumn courses for both beginners and developers details here