About the Course
Learn to carve greenwood spoons using traditional axe and knife techniques. This course covers;
- Choice of wood. You will learn about the different qualities of the main varieties of common British hardwoods and the difference between suitable and unsuitable material.
- Tools. You will use three tools; axe, straight blade knife and curved 'hook' or spoon knife. The focus will be on how to use these tools safely and efficiently. All tools and wood will be provided on the day and I will give advice on where to buy tools and source materials.
- Axe strokes. Several essential techniques to shape wood and remove waste material to create a spoon blank ready for the knife work.
- Knife grips. Various techniques from 'power strokes', wasting lots of wood quickly, to very controlled 'smoothing strokes', taking fine shavings to refine the form of your spoon.
- Good spoon design. By paying close attention to detail we will consider what makes a good spoon strong and comfortable enough to function well.
- The process. From cleaving a small log, to rough shaping with the axe and finishing with carving knife/spoon knife.
- Sharpening. How to grind and hone the tools to keep them razor sharp using cheap, easily available means.
Course costs £75 in a group or £140 one 2 one. See my website for more details. If dates published don't suit you please get in touch and I will do my best to accommodate.
Sharif first fell in love with carving wood when he studied violin making at London Guildhall University. His passion now is working with green or unseasoned wood, carving spoons, turning bowls on a pole lathe and passing on the skills he has learned to others through his courses.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tools and materials. Tea, coffee and biscuits.
I have just enjoyed, quite simply, one of the most rewarding days of my life. Starting with a green log of wood to taking home a carved spoon, Sharif takes you through all the stages with patience, humour and an infectious enthusiasm. I had always thought I would like to start green wood working as a hobby when I retired, now I am sure. Sharif gives you the confidence to handle the tools safely and to produce something of which you can be righty proud. To watch something appear from a simple log using basic tools is a joy that becomes addictive.
Thank you Sharif, this is only the start for me!
Ian Davies - - #23831
This was a fantastic course and I really recommend it for anyone interested in green wood working or even anyone that just wants to make something and have fun. Sharif is a brilliant instructor with a lot of experience and patience. I found I really learnt a lot about spoon carving and the techniques involved so I can develop them further as I keep carving.
For ages I have wanted to start green wood working in particular spoon making and this course has really inspired me to use the skills I have learnt and give it a go on my own. I will definitely be doing other green wood working courses in the future. Thanks very much Sharif.
Leo Brooke - - #23777
What a wonderful day - Sharif explained everything so clearly, and there were lots of examples for inspiration. Carving a spoon was the perfect way to learn about selecting the wood, safe ways to use an axe, a wood carving knife, and a curved knife, as well as how to sharpen them. This was all done in simple stages, with Sharif keeping a close eye on everyone, and helping us all in turn. Highly recommended. 😀
Anna Ricketts - - #14718
My fiance Poppy and I attended a wonderful spoon carving course with Sharif today, and cannot recommend it highly enough!
He is a brilliant teacher, explaining the techniques clearly and with safety in mind at all times (perfect for us complete novices!).
The location is beautiful, the tea and biscuits plentiful, and the experience second-to-none. Thank you Sharif!
...and we will be back for a bowl carving day soon!
Jamie Barrow - - #11760
What a wonderful teacher! Sharif was exceptionally patient and encouraging - he coped with our mad family which is no mean feat! We learnt a whole array of skills and I for one cannot wait to get back and fine tune the spoon we made on the day! We are looking into times to come and do the bowl turning next! Cannot recommend Sharif highly enough - thank you!
Rachael Clark - - #11320
I joined Sharif and a group of people, none of us had ever done this sort of thing before. The instruction and patience shown by Sharif made the day very enjoyable and we all came away with a spoon, all varying shapes and sizes. I left at the end of the day feeling that it was the best 8 hours I had spent for a long time, a totally relaxing day. I would recommend this to anyone who is just looking for a different and fun day out
Lynda Harris - - #9299
Wonderful and inspiring course, would recommend to anyone. As a complete newbie, left-handed, somewhat accident-prone, I was slightly apprehensive about a course using axes and knives: I neednt have worried, Sharif is a wonderful teacher, I really enjoyed trying out the different knife strokes and seeing my spoon emerge over the course of the day. We were using cherry wood, lovely to carve and softer than Id expected.
I also liked the structured approach of creating the spoon in distinct stages.
Sharif is so helpful and positive and his Spoon Stories were the icing on the cake. I was genuinely shocked when he said it was 5.15pm. So glad I picked this course - best day Ive had in ages. Really pleased with my spoon. Thank you Sharif!
P Ferris - - #9136
An excellent course! Sharif has endless patience and is an excellent teacher. He is also very knowledgeable and so skilled. He guided us all though the process of making a spoon from green wood, how to use the tools and basic techniques. He's always on hand to inspire and guide you through any tricky bits. It was a totally absorbing day in a beautiful old stone barn in the Devon countryside. I met some lovely people, including a couple who were there to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary ( wood), but be careful as it is completely addictive. None of us wanted to leave! Thoroughly recommended
Georgie Mackie-Forrest - - #9112
We did a one day spoon carving course in November 2016 and it was excellent. Sharif is a lovely spirited person and a brilliant teacher- skilled, knowledgeable, very patient, attentive and helpful. He also gave just the right amount of assistance- enough to help you along but not too much; still making your spoon your own creation. The day was structured nicely, with plenty of time spent on each step and a focus on safety. We each left with a spoon and all the knowledge we needed to get us started. Thank you Sharif for a wonderful day, sharing your expertise and company. I cant imagine a better teacher to introduce you to this craft and would strongly recommend him to anyone interested. We have now invested in all the tools and look forward to it being a lifelong pastime.
Olivia and Scott - - #9002
My husband, daughter and I spent a really magical day with Sharif in Steward Wood. The spoon carving was almost a bonus. He is a very good and patient teacher with a genuine love of his craft. We managed to create a spoon each from a 10 o'clock start until about 4:30pm, stopping for a wonderful lunch - best soup, bread, cheese and salad ever! Carving spoons is totally absorbing and at times I was almost completely unaware of anything else - an excellent way to de-stress. If you're looking for a memorable day with a difference, spent in a lovely place and with lovely people - take this course.
MelS - - #3477
I was inspired to do this course after seeing Sharif's beautiful creations at a local craft fair. He is an excellent teacher, clear in his instructions and explanations, knowledgeable and very patient (even with an impatient student like me!). The course was relaxed and friendly, and Sharif engaged with each of us individually, offering lots of help and advice. However, it was also very focused, Sharif keeping us all to schedule to ensure we achieved our objective- a finished, or very nearly finished, spoon by the end of the day. Even as a complete novice, I found this achievable, going away with a nearly finished spoon and the knowledge needed to complete it.
We got all of this, plus plenty of tea, a great home-cooked lunch, and the opportunity to spend the day in beautiful and inspiring Steward Wood. What more could you ask for?
Natasha - - #2972
My wife and I attended the spoon carving course with Sharif in June 2013.
Beautiful location and just to be sat in the woodland amongst the trees and wildlife for a whole day was a joy. We didn't want to leave!
Sharif is very patient and we all progressed at a good pace making a spoon to take home along with the skills to use for the future. We had a mix of complete beginners through to more experienced people.
His own work is superb and very inspiring. He also has spoons by many makers from around the world and can tell a story about each one. He is a natural teacher and thoroughly interesting chap to spend some time with.
As an amateur cabinet maker, it was a real learning experience to work with the wood rather than against it. Letting the wood dictate the shape and form rather than forcing it to conform to my preconceived ideas.
We had a really great time and wouldn't hesitate to recommended it to anyone, no matter what your skill level.
Paul And Claire Mills - - #561
Last year I learnt to carve spoons with Sharif Adams and even though I was a complete beginner, his clear instructions made me feel able to use the carving tools with confidence.
Sharif's teaching really has opened up a new interest in my life. I went on to carve in my own time, even on Christmas day! I've made a spoon for a friend from a branch in her garden and my sister had an apple-wood spoon for her birthday.
Sharif's gentle enthusiasm for his craft has enabled me to get to know different woods and how they look, feel and carve.
I think everyone should carve at least one spoon in their lives...and Sharif is the man to help you do it!
Annie Gill - - #493
I attended a spoon carving course held by Sharif in October 2012 and I am now totally addicted!
Sharif is a natural teacher, very patient and clear in his instruction. He's very knowledgeable about the subject of green wood carving and you can't help but be infected by his enthusiasm. Just looking at the spoons and bowls he his produced will inspire you to give it a go.
The day was paced to suit everyone in the group with regular breaks to explain techniques and safety precautions - the tools are of course very sharp - before we set about each stage in the carving process.
Everyone had a great day - and we all came a away with our first hand-carved spoon.
Not long after the course I bought my own axe and knives, so keen was I to practice what I had learned that day. I've carved many spoons since then and I look forward to carving many more. Maybe one day I might be able to carve as well as Sharif!
Edwin Mitchell-Finch - - #486
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