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Beginners spoon carving course


About the Course

Do you fancy trying your hand at spoon carving?

I have been managing woodlands and developing traditional craft skills for the past 7 years at Northern Wood Monkey in Northumberland.

Come along and learn safe axe and knife skills in a comfortable environment and make your own spoon. No previous woodworking experience is necessary, though those with knowledge of working with wood will still find fresh challenges in the hand carved spoon.

The joy of spoon carving is that we don't need expensive tools, workshops and work benches. Just our hands and a few simple tools. You will develop skills to take away with you to be able to carve at home, sat outside on warm summers evenings or in front of the fire on those chilly winter nights.

We will work with a carving axe to split the log and safely 'rough out' the blank that we then carve into your finished spoon.

I will concentrate on giving you a knowledge of safe grips and cutting techniques with both a straight and bent (hook) knife which are the two that we use to make the spoon.

You will end the day with a spoon of your own and an overwhelming desire to carve more spoons - believe me it is addictive.

I will supply all the tools you need and a selection of wood to work with. I can give you information about where to go to buy good tools of your own if you want to take this further.

The venue is Clara Vale Village Hall, South View, Clara Vale, Ryton, Tyne and Wear, NE40 3SY

To book a place, click on the 'View Website' link above.

Adults only

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

All wood and tools provided.


Stephen Ridd at Northern Wood Monkey
Clara Vale Village Hall
South View
Clara Vale
NE40 3SY
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Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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7 hours (10:00am to 4:30pm)

Please select available date:


In-person course
- - #29638

The course was well paced, well presented and very enjoyable. The numbers being small, meant everyone had good support and supervision. Instructions were clear and demonstrated well.
It was rewarding to go through each of the steps from block of wood to a spoon to be proud of.
I would recommend the course to others and look to book on similar courses in the future.

In-person course
- - #29565

This is a fun and well organised course. Lovely soup for lunch and fabulous biscuits for the breaks

The instructor is calm, friendly and able to work with all abilities (and inabilities in my case). It's lovely to leave with your own unique spoon and know how to care for it in the future.

Go on, have a go :-)

In-person course
- - #29552

A very enjoyable day learning new skills and how to correct some errors that I had. A very well run course, Steve demonstrated each step as we went along and made sure everyone had followed his direction with great feedback on a one to one basis at every stage. To walk out of the room at the end of the day with a spoon made by ourselves was very rewarding.

In-person course
- - #29083

A great tutor that brings a clear and progressive structure to the course and is enthusiastic with a very calm and supportive approach to teaching. I really liked how we also covered supporting information relating to how to sharpen knives and the follow up hand outs.

I now have new techniques to practice and am looking forward to recording my own progress and sharing my photos with Steve.

In-person course
- - #27620

The whole day was extremely well thought out and structured from start to finish.
Steve who lead the course was very friendly and thorough regarding explanation and method of working with both tools and materials.
The course was set in a fantastic modern centre that was easy to find using the instructions that were sent out prior to the start.

All in all a great day, and can’t wait for the next one

In-person course
- - #27482

Great course, with clear and positive guidance from Steve the tutor.

I would highly recommend the course for any would-be whittlers, though don’t expect perfection on day one, and watch your thumbs.

In-person course
- - #27087

What a lovely way to spend the day. Thanks to Steve, the day was interesting, informative, stimulating, challenging but above all fun. I was a complete beginner and also quite 'special' requiring some extra guidance at times. Steve was clear with the instructions at each stage which helped to allay any fears I had concerning the use of such sharp saws, axes and knives!! There was a really friendly, pleasant atmosphere, our group of 5 were affable and supportive, the lunch of soup and bread was tasty and tea, coffee and biscuits plentiful. I am proud of the spoon that emerged from the rough chunk of wood and really do think that I may be tempted to whittle away again in the future. Thanks Steve.

In-person course
- - #26528

Hi Steve I found my day with you interesting and informative,which I have taken on board.
I am sorry about thr disruption after my phone call and the sad news was unexpected and upset me.
I am afraid that the journey home was horrendous and it took me 2h 30m to get home due to thick fog coming over the tops and heavy traffic.

I think I will have to find something closer to me. Thank you very much for the day and good luck for the future.
Bill Flood

Response from Northern Wood Monkey:

Hi Bill,
I was sorry to hear of your news too, which much have made the journey home more difficult.
I am glad you found the course interesting though, and wish you well in the future

In-person course
- - #25293

Thanks for a really excellent course Steve. Prior to the course, I had no experience of wood carving of any kind. I had an idea that it would be a more gentle activity than it was. There was quite a bit of axe work prior to the more delicate shaping. But it was so satisfying to see a spoon emerge from what looked like a chunk of firewood. I'm so pleased with my spoon. As a first attempt it's a bit chunky and rough around the edges but, now that I've sanded and oiled it, I can really use it. It's my little work of art. Thanks for an enjoyable day and a new set of skills.

In-person course
- - #23535

I completed the beginner carving course with my partner yesterday.

Upon arrival Stephen was friendly and approachable and did not cease being so the entire length of the session. The setting was lovely, comfortable and a genuinely nice space to learn in.

Stephen took our group through the very basics of selecting wood, reading the grain, axe work, knife work and techniques. By the end we all had something that, whilst rustic, was ours. Uniquely ours.

You'll leave the session able to competently pursue carving at home should you wish, it is certainly what I'll be doing.

In-person course
- - #20033

It was a very relaxed, informative and enjoyable day out, well organised and actually fun to work with wood at this level. Thank you.

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