I’m back home from 3 1/2 weeks over in England and Sweden. Lots to catch up on, I’ll start with Spoonfest. But first, I said many times while I was there, that no blog post, video or anything else can convey the feeling being at this event. If you get a chance, just go. I was amazed in every way; by the folks running it – Robin Wood & Barn Carder; along with a host of support staff & amazingly good volunteers, both young & old. The attendees worked as hard as anybody much of the time…
This was year 5 for Spoonfest, and it moved to a new venue, about a 5-minute walk from the original site, so they tell me. This one was great, a huge field for camping, carving, eating around the fires – and above at the top of the field, two long stone barns for the classes. During the festival there are many 90-minute classes that serve as “taster” sessions. There were often 8 of these going on at one time! that’s around 80 people chopping away in unison. First, they post the offerings on a blackboard. People line up in the morning (queue, in British) and patiently wait to sign up for classes. It works amazingly well. Not sure how this would fly in the US – I tried to teach those in the back of the queue to create panic & tension, by shouting & shoving…it was no use.
a partial view of the inside of the barn, just as some classes were beginning.
down by the woodpile – there were always people here, either carving, talking – or helping you choose some great wood.
Under these tarps (not sure what they are in British English) were benches, chopping blocks, fires, and people carving almost all the time.
This table was unbelievable. The spoons-for-sale table. This is a FRACTION of what ended up there. Staggering. Hanging around this table cost me some money, but made me some too…
When you got overwhelmed with inspiration, you could just step back & enjoy the view. Edale is really something.
Part-way up one of the hills.
My view is that the event is about people – I said a number of times, it was as if the internet came to life. There were so many people to meet, there’s no way I can get them all. Plus I took lousy photographs. Here’s a few that I happened to have photos of. Barn, aka Barn the Spoon. what fun to get to spend time with Barn. He & I sorted out the world while others stayed up through the nights quenching thirsts. https://www.instagram.com/barnthespoon/
Magnus Sundelin https://www.instagram.com/sloydmagnus/ Magnus is the man, plus, like me, he hates the Beach Boys’ music.
Fred Livesay https://www.instagram.com/hand2mouthcrafts/ There is no one like Fred. he might have made the first 2 spoons of Spoonfest this year. I look forward to seeing him in Minnesota next spring.
Steve Tomlin https://www.instagram.com/stevetomlincrafts/ For someone who would rather be cutting the grass, Steve is a great spoon carving teacher.
Among others that came to life – JoJo Wood of course, https://www.instagram.com/jojowoodcraft/ and Jarrod Stone Dahl. https://www.instagram.com/jarrodstonedahl/ The three of us were on the circuit this season; Greenwood Fest, Spoonfest and Taljfest. Jarrod still is on the road…
Alexander Yerks – had so much fun he hasn’t come back to the US yet! https://www.instagram.com/ale_axe/ I got to meet Jan Harm ter Brugge http://www.houtvanbomen.com/HoutvanBomen/Produkten.html I knew of his Wille Sundqvist connection, plus we have mutual friends. It was great to meet him finally. Jane & Peter Mickleborough https://www.instagram.com/janespoons/ (a treat, saw them in Sweden too…) Martin & Jon Hazell – I had several nice chats with both of these guys. Saw Richard Law there – 2 summers in a row, Richard – https://www.instagram.com/yellowcyclist/
The volunteers who fed us, chopped, cut & fetched wood and helped make sure us newcomers had what we needed – Harry, Tom, Nicki, Ria – I know there’s more – but they really were great. Just fabulous workers, and nice people.
And Robin Wood of course. I have no pictures of him this time. He straddled the edge the whole time, and seemed to calmly keep things going. He & Barn are yin & yang of festival organization.
And many, many more. Sorry to make a partial list. It’s not a slight. I have to get to sleep.