Steve has been coming to Broadrake for several years now. On his first visit he taught us to scythe which has helped us keep our wildflower meadow and new native woodland areas under control. Following on from that he has run several more scything courses for beginners and improvers, then later we introduced greenwood spoon carving which has proved very popular. Carved Fan Birds will be a first for us this year, though Steve has been teaching this course at a number of other venues. Check out his website here stevetomlincrafts.wordpress.com
Spoon Carving for beginners
Spoon carving takes whittling away bark from a branch to the next level, using an axe and just 2 different carving knives. Steve Tomlin has been making beautiful, tactile and useful spoons for over 10 years. He is an excellent teacher, breaking down the different processes into manageable stages, the class all working together before moving on. Steve will emphasize and give gentle reminders about safe & efficient working whilst still ensuring you all have an enjoyable and fun day.
Axe work skills are taught to minimise risk of injury and a simple kitchen stirring spoon shape is roughed out from a section cut from a freshly split log. Different straight knife cuts are taught to shape the handle and the bowl shape. A curved knife is used to hollow out the inside of the stirring spoon which you should finish by the end of the Day 1. Day 2 starts with simple butter spreaders to reinforce the axe and knife skills, before moving onto cranked spoon blanks for an eating spoon.
This workshop is suitable for complete beginners and all tools and greenwood are provided. By the end of the 2 days, you will know how to axe & carve efficiently and safely, have a better understanding of carving the different grain patterns, and be able to consider spoon design. There will be opportunities to discuss sharpening methods and finishing oils to treat the spoons. This should give you the confidence to continue at home, to practise the skills and make more stirrers, spreaders & spoons. This absorbing and addictive craft will have you looking at every fallen tree branch and fresh cut log pile with spoon eyes!
Spoon Carving for improvers
The Improvers Day workshop is perfect to follow on from the Beginners workshop or for those who've maybe started out elsewhere or by themselves. You will work on a cranked spoon blank for an eating spoon using one of Steve's design templates to refresh your axe skills safely and efficiently. Steve will then reinforce the knife cuts, guiding you through the best ways to work around the spoon's curves, going with the grain, rather than against it. There will be time to discuss different design elements and also finishing methods.
Sharp tools are essential for safe, efficient carving. This one day introduction to sharpening will
focus on the three main tools of spoon carving: axe, straight knife and hook knife. Using a simple,
cost-effective sharpening kit you will learn the principles of sharpening and techniques for creating
and maintaining your tools. There will be an opportunity to buy a sharpening kit from Steve. During the
day, your newly sharpened tools can be put to test to make simple spreaders and/or a stirring spoon.
Sharpening Skills precedes the Improvers Day and these 2 days can be taken together for £165.
Carved Fan Birds
This full day workshop gives you much more time to embed the different carving cuts for these charming, intricate bird decorations that will swing gently when hung. These are created from a single piece of fresh greenwood and no glue, pins or wire are necessary! There should be time for you to make at least 2 of these unique hanging bird decorations.
This day is suitable for beginners and is also a good introduction to greenwood carving; hopefully your next venture will be spoon carving!
Bookings for courses and workshops are subject to Broadrake's terms and conditions available here.