Well, the day finally arrived and, full of excitement and trepidation, Jules and I set off, bright and early, the car laden with all the things we might possibly need for SPOONFEST.
We arrived a little after 4 o'clock, after a drive through the most stunning Derbyshire countryside, at a field in a valley, surrounded by cloud capped mountains - beautiful. The reception was generally friendly and so we set about errecting Ju's virgin bell tent. It went up easily and was very comfortable and roomy. We were a little disappointed, however, to be told we could under no circumstances use the woodburning stove, despite Julian's explanation that, since the stove was actually in the tent with us, we would be very careful that no risidual burning or scorching occured, as we didn't want to burn to death.
We strolled around the site for a bit and sat ourselves in the main marquee and began carving. Now, to cut a long story short, we had a great and enjoyable time. We met some of our spoon-carving heroes (Jogge Sundqvist, no less!), tried out new tools, went on masterclasses and learnt new techniques (I am particularly grateful to Steve Tomlin who not only showed me how he did it, but also sanctioned all of my 'bad habits'), met other amature carvers, made some nice spoons (I'll post some later), met up with people we hadn't seen for a while or who we had only spoken with before through blogs, saw a gallery of amazing spoons, enjoyed each other's company (my older brother Eden came along too and made a nice first spoon), and had a thoroughly good time.
If there was any disappointment, it was that I didn't get involved as much as I could have (I am a typically reserved Englishman) nore was I able to have any lengthy, in-depth one-to-ones with Robin and Barn, but since they don't know me from Adam and there were over 150 people there, that's hardly surprising.
All in all I should say, £30 plus £10 per workshop was an absolute bargain and anyone who may have thought that Spoonfest was just a money making venture for Robin and Barn would be absolutley wrong. Not only can I not imagine they made anything, but the time and effort before and after (I wouldn't want to be the one to hoover up all those shavings) must have been immense. Thanks chaps!
And Roll on SPOONFEST 2013!
|Steve Tomlin - it's ok to use a pencil and ruler|
|Jules and Eden making shavings|
|Robin Wood explaining sharpening methodology|
|A bit of the gallery (my spoons bottom right corner)|
|Janharm ter Brugge (really nice man) demonstrating small scoop carving|