I've been carving spoons for a couple of decades now and although it is definitely not a way to get rich (or modestly affluent or even to reach the status of 'working poor') it IS soul satisfying work.
I love what I do and I feel extremely fortunate to play my part in a 350 year old tradition each and every day.
When I first started carving professionally and was struggling to be recognized, I would donate spoons to charitable causes hoping that I could generate some interest in my art and generate future orders.
Sadly, it seldom ever worked out that way, so I decided I would never again donate or give my spoons away.
Then I stumbled across Americymru and their far-fetched scheme to start an Eisteddfod in North America. I was pretty convinced that the idea would never get off the ground and it would receive little in the way of interest and support from the public. In short, I thought it would be a complete disaster. I wrote to Gaabi and Ceri to inquire about their plans for the Eisteddfod and before I knew it, found myself swept up in their enthusiasm.
They were desperate for financial support but having nothing much in the way of cash to send them, I volunteered to carve an Eisteddfod spoon which they could auction off to help raise funds for the event.
There were a couple of excellent reasons why I went back on my 'no donations' rule to support the Eisteddfod. First and foremost, I love the idea of a Welsh event of this nature happening in North America and wanted be involved in helping it happen. As important, I wanted to link the lovespoon to the Eisteddfod because I believe the lovespoon is a Welsh icon of great (but largely misunderstood) cultural significance. Although the lovespoon may, at first glance, lack the sexiness of Catherine Zita Jones, the drama of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor belting the daylights out of each other or the mellifluous sweetness of Cerys Matthews in full throat...when done right, a lovespoon contains all that marvelous Welsh passion and more!
Presenting REAL lovespoons to the Eisteddfod audience gives me a chance to illustrate what these little wooden wonders are all about!!
Finally, I hope that auctioning my lovespoons will help to give a financial boost to a fledgling cultural event, so I am not at all ashamed begging you to donate to the Eisteddfod and do your best to win the completed West Coast Eisteddfod Lovespoon Mark III!!!