Greenwood Fest 2017 instructor: Jane Mickelborough

Registration for Greenwood Fest opens this coming Wednesday January 4th. http://www.greenwoodfest.org/  I’ll have reminders here, and the Plymouth CRAFT newsletter will announce it too. Sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already (under the “registration” tab on the GWF site).

I have not got to all the instructor profiles yet – there’s a few more returning instructors, but here’s another new one for us, Jane Mickelborough.

 

jane

When I went to Spoonfest & Täljfest last summer, several times I said “It’s like the internet has come to life!” – it was so much fun to meet all these people that I had only seen on the web. And to see their spoons and other works in the “flesh” – there’s no comparison. Jane Mickelborough was one spoon carver I was particularly interested in meeting. Her work caught my attention several years ago, probably through her participation in Spoonfest. We’re thrilled that she’s coming from her home in Brittany to Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2017 in June. From Jane’s blurb about her work:

“I have been carving all my life, from blocks of soap at the age of five, to carving wooden spoons which I started about six years ago.

As well as teaching at home, at Spoonfest and last year at Täljfest in Sweden, I organise an annual green wood working festival where I live, in Brittany, France.

Although I do different types of green wood-working, I am particularly fascinated by wooden spoons – what appear to be simple, everyday objects are, in fact, very subtle three-dimensional shapes. The variability of the wood itself means that making a beautiful, functional wooden spoon is a real challenge that is never the same twice.

I am particularly interested in the traditional decorated spoons that used to be made in Brittany. These intricately decorated spoons, which were often made to fold, were used at weddings and festivals, where it was usual to bring your own spoon and knife.”

janes-folder-folded

It’s Jane’s work studying and learning how to make the traditional Breton spoons that particularly catches my eye. It’s nice to see someone taking on their local history, refreshing to see something so different from what many of us are carving for spoons. I saw her presentation at Täljfest about the wax inlaid Breton spoons, it was very nicely done. She’s offering a 2-day class on the folding spoons, as well as a presentation about her research and some demos & workshops on the chip-carving and inlay. Her website is www.chatquilit.com   and her Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/janespoons/  

antique-folding-spoon

Jane writes:   “The old spoon is in the Musée de Bretagne at Rennes. It is listed as coming from ‘Cornouaille’ which is fairly general for south Brittany. There is no date given, but mid-19th century is likely. From it’s general shape and hinge pattern I suspect it is from the Vannes area (the south east of Brittany) rather than the southwest. This is because the chip carving is left open, and not inlaid with coloured wax. Also, the hinge is relatively narrow, rather than flat and broad in the typical Quimper style.  There are quite a few documented spoons from around Vannes that are this rather graceful shape. It is made of pear wood, which in itself is unusual – most are box.  It measures 17.6cm by 4.5cm  photo @Collection Musée de Bretagne, Rennes.”

Here’s her spoon, based only on the photograph, she’s yet to see that spoon in person!

janes-folding-spoon-2

 

janes-chip-carving

 

 

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