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Alien spoon carving

Simple chip carving

Duration: 1 day

Price: £85

Book with: Alan
at Alien Spoons

22 Priestfield Crescent
EH16 5JQ

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About the Course

Alien spoons? Well, only because it is a memorable name and some of the knife grasps feel a bit alien to start with. You will soon get to grips with them and the focus of this workshop is learning to use safe carving techniques with hand tools - the axe, straight knives and hook knives... maybe also a drawknife on a shave horse if you want to.

Following good techniques you will avoid injuries and regular stretching will help you to look after your body. You should leave with the knowledge and confidence to carve safely at home. The tools are relatively cheap and easy to use in a small space.

You will have access to a range of different tools, but primarily use the Mora wood carving knives (106/120/164s) and be shown traditional designs for optimising strength and utility. Using these traditional tools you will make a spoon from local and sustainable fresh cut green wood - starting with a log and leaving with a spoon. From the initial splitting of the log with a froe or axe, trimming them down with an axe or draw knife, to carving finer details and decorations with knives. Additional skills in building a shave horse and other green wood working can also be taught. This course is run from close to central Edinburgh and is accessible by public transport.

Depending on the weather it can be inside or outdoors in the wildlife garden. Courses can also be arranged to suit your availability! Please get in touch to discuss your requirements, discounts are available for small groups or multiple days. Course numbers are usually limited to five or less; individual training courses can also be arranged.

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?

Tea, coffee, light lunch of bread and soup and snacks - All vegan
Professional training in the use of a range of traditional tools.
Advice on tool care and sharpening.
Fresh cut (green) wood for carving.
Some tools available for sale at competitive rates.
Summary of course information emailed to you after the workshop.

Want to review this course?

Alan is a great teacher - showing us all the tools and techniques to safely start spoon carving.
He made sure everyone was getting on well, understood everything and left with a spoon and the knowledge and confidence to carry on carving. Add to that the fantastic lunch and homemade cakes, and it was a brilliant day.

- - #25178

Such a fantastic course and you'll certainly come away with the knowledge to keep crafting other things (starting by adding the finishing touches to your spoon at home like me!) using the fundamentals you learn here. It's an intensive day but there's a lot to cover, and Alan does a good job of running through it in stages whilst keeping us fed and watered with coffee and homemade treats: his wife should be doing a craft course on baking! It is tricky at first, but listen to his advice and tips and you'll be carving easily in no time. He even offered a second piece of wood for us to start something new at home ourselves, which I've put the in the freezer to keep fresh (great advice!) whilst I finish my first spoon.

So for anyone who wants to pick up a but of whittling but needs some guided lessons to build confidence, and who enjoys vegan bakes and soups, this course is certainly up your street. I hope I keep it up!

- - #25167

Just finished the workshop with Alan.
Great day, intensive, insightful and delightful. Alan is a well of knowledge (we got demonstrated a lot of carving and cutting techniques in particular), time flew during those 8 hours!!! We all ended up with a nice spoon carved by our non-expert hands. Alan was always there to give the right tip at the right time.

Icing on the cake (no joke), we got amazingly fed with vegan food (great soup) and lots of homemade cakes and breads. Tea, coffee on the plenty.

Can only recommend!!!

- - #25128

I really enjoyed this course.

Alan is a great teacher - lots of information, good techniques given, but in a lovely informal way. He even provides lunch and cake!

While I am a spoon newbie and have never done knifework before, I did end up with something that actually is useable as a spoon! Really pleased with the course and great value for money.

Thanks, Alan! I look forward to a future in carving slightly better spoons.

- - #22475

I recently booked my partner on an Alien Spoons course for his birthday. I was really reassured by Alan's speedy and friendly reply to emails and all the information that he provided. I wish I could have joined!

The course was enjoyed immensely and has provided a new enthusiasm and direction for future spoon making projects.

Many thanks to Alan and I would really recommend this to anyone.

- - #20433

An excellent day, informative and thoroughly relaxing in Alan's lovely conservatory, looking out over the garden, alive with birds and even a fox basking on a shed roof. We all enjoyed the day and in addition to the good company, much appreciated the wonderful food and calm ambience. Great to learn a new and useful craft. Having been taught how to use the equipment safely, I can now get on and practice at home.

- - #19873

For a novice spoon whittler like myself I loved this course and highly recommend it! It was thoroughly enjoyable and informative, set in a welcoming atmosphere at Alan’s home.

My greatest fear was to start with a log and return home with a twig or only one chopstick but under Alan's skilful tuition I left with something that resembled a spoon but more importantly the ‘confidence’, knowledge and tools to finish whittling at home.

To sum up this course…

Spoon whittling, scrumptious soup and scones makes for a super Saturday day out.

Thank You!

- - #19321

I had a really good day. Great value for money. I have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone with even just the slightest interest in woodwork. All the tools and materials were provided and the right balance of tutoring. Nice and relaxed and most importantly great fun.

Alan and his good lady were perfect hosts and everyone on the course were well catered for.

- - #17161

This was my first experience of spoon carving, and I really enjoyed the whole experience. As a complete beginner, I found the teaching was the right pace for me, with good demonstrations followed by hands-on practice.
Alan's teaching style is excellent - he taught us how to use the different tools and demonstrated different techniques clearly. He also explained all the safety procedures.
Above all the day was fun, and has given me the confidence to continue to practice on my own. It was great to start with a piece of wood, and go home with a spoon!
Also, it was great that we were so well provided with lovely nourishing food and drinks throughout the day. Thank you.

- - #17118

We had such a good time! It was a present for my boyfriend and we did the course together. Alan was very patient, showed us all the techniques, we also had regular breaks with coffee - and an outstanding lunch cooked by his partner. And we did indeed create something that resembles a spoon! Such lovely people and a fantastic course we would recommend to anyone.

- - #16697

Having very little experience or indeed skill in any kind of crafting, I was delighted to find Alan's teaching style provided an easy route into the spoon carving art. Under his clearly experienced tuition, I felt that the craft really came alive across a fun and productive day. It's a great feeling to take a piece of wood and see the spoon emerge, and a genuinely fascinating experience discovering an art form from such a passionate and engaging instructor. A thoroughly enjoyable day and one I would highly recommend experiencing! Thanks Alan!

- - #16413

After having done a full day of carving knives before, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect and that I knew quite a few cuts already. But I learnt so much more from Alan - he's clearly extremely skilful and experienced both in carving and teaching! I had a great time learning from him and do not mind my aching fingers today (it's such a physical craft!) for I have a beautiful spoon to show for it, which Alan even finished for me since I unfortunately had to cut my day short. Five stars for skill, teaching and forthcomingness!

- - #16391

Just back from spending the day carving my first spoon with Alan at Alien Spoons and wow did I enjoy myself?! I have to admit to not giving much thought to what the day would be like, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a relaxing and very satisfying, if slightly challenging pastime that's engaging and somewhat addictive. Alan is a wonderful teacher. His easy-going manner belies his obviously extensive knowledge and skilful ability to guide complete novices to a successful outcome. By the end of the day - which included a very warm welcome and great hospitality - I'm seriously considering continuing to carve spoons by myself. Thanks Alan!

- - #16378

Really enjoyed the one-day spoon carving course and would highly recommend to anyone who's interested.

Alan's very knowledgeable and his passion for both the craft and the coaching is infectious.

As others have said, they're great hosts, providing good food in a relaxing atmosphere and the time flew in.

Good chance you'll have a new hobby for life after this as well.

- - #16292

My husband and I both attended Alan’s spoon carving course this weekend and had a really great day. We both found Alan to be extremely enthusiastic and knowledgable about the whole process. He had a wide variety of tools for us to try and we have managed to source some on Allan’s recommendations. The course took place in Alan’s home and was a lovely welcoming environment. We were treated to a lovely lunch and tea and coffee during the breaks. I had bought my husband the course as a birthday gift and decided to go along too. Would thoroughly recommend this course and thank you Alan for being so inspirational.

- - #14414

My husband and I both attended Alan’s spoon carving course this weekend and had a really great day. We both found Alan to be extremely enthusiastic and knowledgable about the whole process. He had a wide variety of tools for us to try and we have managed to source some on Allan’s recommendations. The course took place in Alan’s home and was a lovely welcoming environment. We were treated to a lovely lunch and tea and coffee during the breaks. I had bought my husband the course as a birthday gift and decided to go along too. Would thoroughly recommend this course and thank you Alan for being so inspirational.

- - #14412

A great course and tutor! I felt welcome straight away, at ease and relaxed with the tranquil surroundings of Alan's home, we started of with a quick talk about spoon carving and a cuppa, then into the beginnings of carving from the types of wood used through axe use then into carving, with plenty coffee breaks and a lovely dinner provided by Alan's partner, all round a really lovely way to spend a day. I now look forward to receiving my own carving equipment and continuing what I have learnt

- - #14397

I really enjoyed this one day course as my first experience of spoon carving.

Alan provided all materials and tools (and a nice lunch) and guided us through the process of getting started safely. His enthusiasm, knowledge, expertise and skill in demonstrating and supporting enabled me not only to start with a log and go home with a spoon, but also with the confidence to continue by myself.

Overall a very good experience - fun, challenging, informative and a great introduction to the fascinating world of spoon carving. Thanks, Alan!

- - #12987

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Course Start Dates

Saturday 23rd November 2019
Saturday 7th December 2019
Saturday 25th January 2020
Saturday 22nd February 2020
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Accommodation offered
  • Advanced/professional level
  • Child friendly
  • Daytime (weekdays)
  • Evenings
  • Intermediate level
  • Long term / weekly / monthly
  • Romantic
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for events & groups
  • Suitable for stag and hen dos
  • Teen friendly
  • Weekends

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