Introduction to spooncarving at Hill End



Carving a wooden spoon from a simple piece of freshly cut tree branch is a deeply satisfying experience. Green wood is very yielding and all of your senses are stimulated, from the smell of fresh wood shavings being carved away to the texture and feel of the bowl and handle as they emerge from the spoon blank. Using just three tools, an axe, a knife and a hook knife, we will spend the day carving our own spoons. We’ll start by cleaving a length of branch wood in two, deciding which piece would make the best spoon blank and then with axe and chopping block hew the wood to define the bowl, stem and handle. We then move onto the use of the sloyd or craft knife to learn the basic knife holds and whittling cuts to further shape the spoon and use an elegantly curved hook knife to hollow the bowl. There will also be informal discussion on the use of different wood species, how to sharpen your tools and finishing your spoon. There will be a range of carved spoons, books and tools on hand to inspire. This course will be based at Hill End Outdoor Education Centre, Eynsham Road, Farmoor, Oxford, OX2 9NJ. Hill End has 67 acres of tranquil and beautiful surroundings next to the world famous Wytham Woods used as an outdoor laboratory by Oxford University. In 2020 Hill End is celebrating 100 years of outdoor education, from when the philanthropic ffennell family purchased the Wytham estate in 1920. We’ll operate the course in a covid-safe way with appropriate physical distancing, hand sanitisation, your own tools to use for the day etc Click on the available date in the calendar and then ‘make a booking request’ to book directly with CraftCourses.

What's included in the price?

All tools and materials will be provided. The group size is limited to eight to ensure appropriate tuition time per participant. Appropriate physical distancing and cleansing of tools will be observed to create a covid-safe environment. What to Bring Please bring your own lunch and drinks and any green woodworking tools you may have. We'll be outside for much of the time so dress appropriately for the weather.


1 day

Cancellation policy

Easy - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts


I’ve been exploring woodland crafts for over 20 years and have a keen interest in relating an understanding of woodland ecology with the practical skills of woodland management and craft skills of making products from a wonderful sustainable raw material. I take my past experience in University continuing education into my teaching of craft skills to offer a rich immersive experience

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
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Hill End Centre, Eynsham Road, Farmoor, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 9NJ