Another year has shot by before I even realized it. I haven't done any blog posting, but have kept myself busy researching and writing a number of articles on European 'lovespoon' carving for the excellent carver's magazine, Wood Carving. It was a LOT of fun finding out about the various woodcarving cultures that were prevalent throughout the continent and the UK during the period of approximately 1625 to 1914. In fact, it came as something of an eye-opener for me to learn that so much romantic spooncarving went on in places other than Wales.
One thing I did take away from it all was that despite being a complete failure as a businessman and 'established artist', I am doing the spoon thing completely right! I have avoided the urge to mass produce for lower costs and quicker turnaround. I still make them all one at a time, entirely by hand, using the most basic of tools in my own little hovel of a shop. Almost all of my spoons are made to commission order and are deeply personal to their recipients. Even the spoons I make 'on spec' are explorations and experiments in design and are created to be meaningful interpretations of lovespoon tradition.
I'll never be picked up by any galleries and no 'serious' arty farty types will pay much attention to what I do, but that's A-OK with me. My customers love what I make for them and that is good enough for me!! Although I sometimes I feel like I am watching the death throes of romantic carving and can't help but be depressed that there isn't more appreciation for handwork and the individuality of fine craft, it only takes the exuberance of one ecstatic client to convince me that lovespoon carving is good and the right thing for me to do with my life.
So a big thank you to everyone who has supported me along this little lovespoon journey! I hope you have had an excellent year in 2015 and I look forward to more experiments, disasters, and successes in 2016!