Course Start DatesFriday 6th March 2020
About the Course
This regular class in spoon carving, introduces the art of carving with an axe, a knife and a crook knife. By carving a spoon, which is by nature a functional object and one we are all familiar with, we are free from the pressure of knowing what to carve and instead we can become familiar with the tools of this craft.
As you gain confidence with the tools, you begin to build a relationship with small scale carving and understand the subtle and addictive qualities of this new hobby.
We will use green wood, freshly cut with a high moisture content. This is a beautiful and easy way to carve wood.
You are supported through the whole process and encouraged to explore carving in your own way and at your own pace. This is an exercise in slowing down and settling your attention.
Creative nature HQ is located within Thames-Side Studios, a 7-acre site of studios and workshops occupied by makers, artists, craftspeople and designers. We are right next to the river Thames, have three cafes in walking distance and plenty of free parking.
If I have missed anything out, please drop me a line and ask me a question.
Hope to meet you soon.
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 are supplied and at the end of the session you will have your first carving started.
Tea and biscuits are a big part of the slow crafting movement and here the kettle is always on and the biscuit box is full.
Superb course - Stephen was an absolutely brilliant teacher, taking us through the basics but getting us started on the practical stuff quickly and mentoring us through it. The whole ambience and atmosphere of the HQ is wonderfully earthy and authentic, and the morning course was an absolute delight. A fantastic introduction to wood-carving.
Sacha - - #27915
Bought this for my boyfriend for Christmas and we had an amazing time! Would highly recommend!
Maddy - - #27912
Most excellent afternoon with Stephen the yoda of spoon carving! Zen workshop to understand and learn the basics of carving wood and the basics of carving safety to go with it. Whole array of tools and techniques shown that 1 day later I’ve already forgotten but great to learn and I walked away with the basics of a spoon!!
Richard Geeves - - #27876
Brilliant class.....learned loads in a very short time....and came away with a recognisable piece of work at the end of it all.....it was hard not to soak up the teachers passion for his craft....thinking of doing his one day outdoor workshop at some point.
Seon Blackman - - #27387
Such a lovely evening. And learned so much and came home with a spoon! Stephen’s calm expertise gave us time to experience working with many different tools - two types of axe, two types of saw and a fair number of different knives and other carving tools. In just two and a half hours a branch of a greenwood willow tree transformed into seven spoons! All first attempts and all unique. Some might say they were a bit of a rough ‘chip of the old block’ but I love mine! The added bonus was that, after spending such a pleasant, productive and concentrated evening working on a creative task with others, I was so chilled that I felt as if I had just spent two weeks relaxing on a beautiful beach. Highly recommended.
Frances Zammit - - #27385
What a fantastic full day 'Spoon Carving for Beginners' class! Stephen is such a warm and humorous person to be around, fantastically creative in - and knowledgable about - all forms of sculpture, so great to learn from. He guided us through the tools and techniques expertly, with great judgement about when to leave us to it to work by ourselves, and when to intervene, so making the day feel less of a group lesson and more about a process of discovery for each of us. Throughly recommend doing the whole day, as those who had only booked to do the half day had a good intro, but it was clearly not long enough to complete a spoon as a first timer. Thanks a million Stephen, we will be back for more!
Caroline Slade - - #25652
Didn’t really know what to expect but it turned out a most enjoyable afternoon. Started by splitting a willow log, and whilst learning about the tools along the way, ended up with a spoon....of sorts...but I was a beginner. Recommend this course
Steve Pearson - - #25417
Fantastic workshop! Stephen was a great tutor and was incredibly patient with me, with it being my first time carving and working in 3D. I learnt so much about different types of wood, their properties and a range of tools and techniques for wood carving. I would definitely recommend for beginners and more experienced carvers!
Chika Iwenofu - - #25214
I was not sure what to expect but it is always nice to learn new things. How to cut the wood, split the wood, use a whittling knife correctly, safely. Then to be taught in such a relaxed informal atmosphere with such nice people. Then to discover that I really enjoyed the whole creative process and that the time seemed irrelevant. It was so absorbing. Really magical stuff that I would recommend to anyone. I will be back soon. Thank you so much Steve for giving access to people like me to such an ancient art.
Stuart Weatherby - - #24797
I attended the spoon carving for beginners evening last week and found Stephen to be an excellent teacher. I learnt to use the axe and the knives and by the end of two and a half hours I had a rough spoon shape. I purchased some tools from Stephen so that I could finish the spoon at home. It took me another 4 or 5 hours to finish it. There is a very nice relaxed atmosphere in the workshop and I really enjoyed talking about spoons for a few hours. Highly recommended.
Alice Power - - #23106
Had an absolutely lovely evening with Stephen learning the basics of green woodworking to make my first spoon which I then presented to my niece for her birthday. Everything about the workshop is wonderful but I particularly liked the relaxed and almost meditative atmosphere that Stephen facilitates. Someone mentioned that after your first spoon carving class you won't be able to walk through the woodlands the same ever again, all around you'll be looking at branches and fallen trees seeing their potential inner spoons. I've certainly got the bug, thanks for introducing me to a life skill.
Tommy - - #22713
A really great course for anyone wanting to try a new skill. Stephen is a great teacher - knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and funny. A really great couple of hours to spend a morning - and not a half bad spoon to take home at the end! Very much recommended.
Mike Hammond - - #22448
Such an amazing day with Stephen! It was such a relaxing day and so informative too! Has made me want to do more carving and now I’m a bit jealous of those who purchased a knife! Thanks Stephen! Hope to see you again xxx
Ellie Odell - - #22439
This was the first time I have ever tried any kind of woodcraft, and I absolutely loved this course. It was a great way to learn various skills that can be transferred to more complicated items later on. I loved the atmosphere in the studio, and felt very comfortable to ask for assistance when needed. The instructions were always very clear, and it was very rewarding to see the progression to the finished piece. I will definitely be booking more courses here in the future!
Louise Anthony - - #22437
Steven is a likeable, engaging tutor and the session was most enjoyable, thank you. The method of carving a spoon and the explanation of how to use the tools was spot on. I definitely recommend the class if you’re looking for something different and relaxing.
Amanda Steenkamp - - #21525
I was booked onto this course as a surprise by a relative and had no prior knowledge of wood carving but was hooked as soon as I got started. Stephen's a great teacher and his enthusiasm really rubbed of on the whole class. I'd recommend booking a long session so you've got time to get into the process properly. It's a great way to spend a few hours regardless of whether it's a one-off experience or you're going to make a habit of it. Give it a go!
Tim - - #20655
My daughters bought me this as a Xmas present - as I am least creative person and I think they thought I'd make a fool of myself!! I did worry that I might be useless (wasn't good at woodwork 40 years ago!) but Stephen shows how to do it all and I was delighted with my end result - it looked like a spoon!! It was a great way to spend a few hours and it was a great gift even for someone not good at "handicrafts"
Barry Pettitt - - #20481
What a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening!! I bought this course for myself and my partner for Valentine's Day as I thought it would be nice to do something creative together and it was absolutely fantastic. I feel like I learnt a lot, tried out lots of different techniques all with gentle encouragement and support from Stephen. I have always thought of myself as not practical and Stephen and this course helped me see it is much more of the case that I just haven't given myself a chance to try thing like this. I cannot recommend this course enough it was so much fun!
Lauren W - - #19918
A really enjoyable experience. Thank you for the confidence boost!
Nic - - #19889
When someone really knows their craft, and has an obvious love for it, and a kind and gentle way with people... what more could one ask for? Twelve students is a small enough group that Stephen could show us tricky bits individually as needed. We started with small logs, and all created recognisably spoon-shaped objects in the 2.5 hours, learning the techniques with each of the various tools. I'm definitely doing more of this!
Michi Mathias - - #19775
The calmest and most focussed morning I’ve spent in a long time. Hugely satisfying to split the branches, wield an axe and create a fully working spoon in just a few hours. Many thanks to Stephen for his patience and making the wood appear as soft as butter.
Cecilia - - #19691
Amazing workshop, hugely recommend! Such a lovely morning spent being introduced to carving in such a warm and creative environment. Stephen is so calm and kind, and really explains everything very well. He makes you feel involved in the whole process - from choosing the wood, to sawing it into bits, and then going on to carve our own spoons. For a two and a half hour course, it's amazing how Stephen was able to show us everything, and how we were able to work through the process from start to finish. Great quality tools and Stephen offers really helpful tips and advice throughout - his passion really shines through and is contagious. Really great!! Thanks so much!
Cecilia - - #19682
Stephen was a really nice guy and is very knowledgable. The class had quite a meditative spin and made for a pleasant morning! My spoon didn't end up being anything special, I didn't even get to hollowing out the bowl, but I really enjoyed myself and it was great to learn some new skills. The work does get quite tiring, but if you aren't very strong Stephen had other strategies for carving that were a little easier on the arms. Can't recommend this enough if you're looking to try something a little bit different.
Ryan Loader - - #19556
Spent a very enjoyable morning learning how to make a wooden spoon. It was very relaxing and a lot of fun. Stephen is very passionate and inspiring about his craft, as well as very welcoming with a cup of tea and shortbread biscuits.
Lynn Gonen - - #19548
Fantastic afternoon spent carving a wooden spoon - just to work with raw materials and your hands deepens your appreciation for what’s involved in making one spoon and how we take it for granted. Thanks to Stephen for allowing us all to express and encourage our individual styles in a relaxed, fun and addictive way!!! I can’t recommend it enough - I will definitely return!
Tracey - - #19049
Such a fabulous unique experience for anyone looking to get creative! Both my mum and I had a really enjoyable afternoon - we’re both thrilled with our spoons! Stephen is fantastic and has an infectious can-do attitude. His selection of tea is a lovely touch too! I would absolutely recommend!!
Hannah - - #19034
Really enjoyed the spoon carving course. A relaxed and informative afternoon. Stephen is a great teacher: knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Look forward to the next one!
Bernard - - #18948
I really enjoyed the spoon carving workshop. It was good learning new skills and Stephen is very welcoming and supportive. You probably need longer than one session to get a finished product but the class is recommended and an excellent introduction to the world of woodcarving.
Felix Watkins - - #18853
Really good intruduction to get into spoon carving. With a really relax atmosphere.
Yohan Decis - - #18815
I can't praise this course enough! Stephen is very knowledgeable and passionate about his craft and the course is very well run. We did a Saturday morning spoon making course which was great fun and a nice relaxing way to spend a weekend morning. The wood shop had everything that we could need and a welcoming atmosphere. By the end of the two hours everyone was enjoying themselves so much no one wanted to stop. So I'd say you definitely need more time to finish the spoon. However, you can always go back to the wood shop for a very reasonable rate if you wanted to finish it off. I'd definitely do it again. If your'e interested in this kind of thing and even a complete novice (like me) book it now, you won't regret it.
Aled Tackney - - #18350
Amazing workshop, genuinely one of the most enjoyable things I've done in years! We did a 90-minute introduction to spoon-carving last weekend, and it's fair to say none of us wanted to stop at the end of the session. To take a piece of wood and, under expert tuition, turn it into a spoon, was a deeply satisfying experience. Stephen is an excellent tutor, never saying "You must do this" but gently guiding you towards an understanding of both tools and materials - he's also great company, with a constant supply of stories and advice. Suffice it to say we're all very interested in booking further courses with Stephen. Highly recommended!
Robert Kingsbury-Barker - - #18278
What a fantastic afternoon! So lovely to take a moment out of busy London life to get back to our roots and work with our hands! Stephen is a brilliant instructor and also wonderful company for an afternoon. And as for the carving, an hour and a half taster had us all thoroughly hooked, we could've stayed for hours! Thank you Stephen for an amazing experience, we will definitely be looking into visiting for more!
Spoon carving for beginners - - #18267
Highly recommend doing this course as an introduction to carving. I learned some great skills and actually produced something that resembled a spoon!! Would probably recommend two sessions to complete although I came home and instantly ordered a spoon carving knife to finish the job. Stephen is an excellent tutor and the whole session was really fun yet set in a really relaxing atmosphere that takes you out of the busy life you may lead outside..The workshop is fully stocked with good quality tools and incredible ongoing works. Book now.. You won’t be disappointed! I can’t wait to do my next course.
Dan Howarth-Roffe - - #18163
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