Wood, carving and turning

Spoon carving with traditional tools with Barn the Spoon (Barnaby Carder)

Ref: SWE10237

Suitable for all

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About this course

Learn the ancient skills of spoon carving, using knife and axe carving. Using fresh wood, and authentic techniques, turn a bit of branch or log into functional spoons.

Course Description

Learn the ancient skills of spoon carving and make some beautiful spoons of your own to take home. This short workshop acts as a perfect introduction to knife and axe carving, with no previous woodworking experience necessary.

Using fresh wood and authentic techniques, in this two day workshop you will learn all you need to turn a bit of branch or log into a beautiful functional spoon using axes and knives. Learning more complex techniques on the second day.

You will focus carving techniques that will allow you to carve safely and with confidence, so you can create at home too. Spoon carving is great because the tools required are small and transportable, so you don’t need a workshop or a workbench, you can even do it in your own front room and this workshop is designed to provide you with a strong foundation to create all sorts of carved objects. You will learn how to safely cleave a piece of wood from a log, rough shape spoon blanks with an axe, and carve a complete spoon using straight and bent knives, featuring a more complex profile, providing even greater complexity and functionality.

Essential – you need to be able to comfortably grip the handle of an axe or knife in your hand. The average person will have plenty of strength and dexterity to participate in the class. Use of both hands and arms will be necessary. If you have any concerns regarding this please get in contact.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of suitable greenwood and loan of the tools for use on the day.

What students need to bring

  • Suitable work clothes for working outdoors (but undercover), apron and stout covered footwear are essential.
  • Reading glasses if worn
Please note: This course will take place in the Sculpture Courtyard situated 10 minutes walk from the main College building across the walled garden. Please register at the main College on arrival and to meet your tutor. Students return to the College for meals. This course involves the use of sharp hand tools in close proximity to the body. Full demonstration and tuition will be given for their use but a calm, patient and focused attitude is essential for the safe practice and wellbeing of the group. Tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in this workshop.


Barn the Spoon (Barnaby Carder)

Having been obsessed with woodwork since the age of 12, and spending his teens turning bowls, making wooden jewellry and abstract sculpture, Barn ended up doing a woodland based chair making apprenticeship, followed by three years travelling around the country, living in the woods making and peddling hand-carved wooden spoons on the streets of the Britains towns & cities. In 2012 Barn opened his notorious East-London spoon shop.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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