Welsh Lovespoons by Ken
35 years of Love Spoon Carving
Ken became interested in making Welsh love spoons after seeing some for sale in Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff. His father and grandfather both enjoyed searching the hedgerows in Ceredigion for branches suitable for making walking sticks and thumb sticks so he follows them in his interest in working with wood and making love spoons. After making a few trial spoons Ken decided to produce them to sell and became very successful in doing so.
Lovespoons were originally made by young men eager to “court” a girl that took their fancy. The making and presentation of the spoon declared the young man’s interest and intentions towards the girl. A desirable girl might receive many such spoons from as many suitors!
Long dark winter nights would be spent carving the lovespoon which the young man would decorate or design to demonstrate his wishes. These symbols include hearts, chains, keys and many other shapes.
In times gone-by spoons for domestic use were carved at home. They were not a durable item so not many have survived to this day. The carving of lovespoons is thought to have developed from the carving of domestic spoons and there are few survivors from early times. One of the oldest is to be found in the National Museum of Wales at St Fagans near Cardiff. This lovespoon dates from the second half of the seventeenth century.
Ken uses wood from the lime tree to make his lovespoons. Lime wood is easily worked and when sanded and polished produces a silky finish and shine. It has a creamy colour when unstained but stains well to produce a darker finish.
Ken draws out the shape of the spoon to be made on to a piece of wood, cuts it out and then sands it down to produce a smooth finish. He then stains, waxes and polishes the spoon to complete the process.