Check out our video below, showing how carving chisels and carving gouges are sharpened here at The Lovespoon Workshop.
Lovespoons on display at The Lovespoon Workshop, all handcarved and ready for Valentines Day and Dydd Santes Dwynwen.
Lovespoons that have been handcarved here at The Lovespoon Workshop in preperation for Valentines Day and Dydd Santes Dwynwen.
January 2018 St Dwynwens Day

To begin with we would like to wish all a happy and healthy New Year and we hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas.

For us at The Lovespoon Workshop this time of year can be especially busy. This year in particular has been our most busy Christmas at the workshop. Our annual special lovespoon always puts extra demands on us but this is something that is a yearly challenge. This years lovespoon, that is themed around mountains, is nearing completion and the video showing how it was made should be on our YouTube channel soon. In total over one hundred hours were needed to complete the lovespoon and it certainly placed a significant demand, both in regards to the time and skill required but the final outcome is always worth the effort.

The volume of Christmas orders also provided us with a challenge this year. A variety of lovespoons and other items were commissioned, for not only the day itself but for anniversaries and weddings that took place over the holiday time. Thankfully due to working longer hours and extra days all orders were completed ahead of scedule. It certainly gave us a taste of how it must be for Santa and his elves in the run up to Christmas!!

Often at this time of year fewer visitors come to the workshop itself and this provides an opportunity to make extra lovespoons for the year ahead. By making everything from the log to the lovespoon on site here in West Wales, quiet times are an opportunity to focus on making lovespoons for busier times ahead. The process of making lovespoons here at The Lovespoon Workshop is labour intensive, so a quieter time of year can be a blessing in disguise. This year the stock building got off to a slow start for a variety of different reasons but thankfully things have got back up to speed and the number of completed lovespoons is starting to grow.

A quieter time also provides other opportunities. New designs and ideas can be expressed, that at other times of year would have to wait. This year time has been dedicated to new designs and redesigns, that in some cases have been waiting several months and even years to express. Some of these new designs will make up part of another project, that has been waiting for attention. The redevelopment of our online shop is something that has been in doing for the last few months.

In Wales our own version of St. Valentines Day, Dydd Santes Dwynwen is on the 25th January and makes this time of year perfect to introduce new ideas and designs focussing on couples. A running joke here at The Lovespoon Workshop is that Wales is twice as romantic as anywhere else in the world, due to the fact that we have two Valentines days to celebrate and the lovespoon of course!! Whilst it might be joked about, it’s wonderful that this day exists in Wales and sharing it with the world is encouraged by all here at The Lovespoon Workshop.

It’s hoped that the new designs that have been inspired to celebrate both St. Valentines day and Dydd Santes Dwynwen will be well received. As always the process of designing and making these new lovespoons has provided much enjoyment for us and it is hoped that this is reflected in the lovespoons that have been made.

Wishing all a happy Dydd Santes Dwynwen. The Welsh saint that asked God to meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers.
December 2017 Wood from Spain

A subject that is always a source of great interest for ourselves as a family is the wood we use. We constantly look to source recycled and sustainable timber. Previously we have explored how we recycle from old furniture, fixtures and fittings and various wood that others regard as rubbish. In recent years another opportunity for sourcing unusual timber has emerged. Due to Dai ‘lovespoons’ Thomas’ wife being Spanish woods that grow in Spain can also be sourced. This opens up a whole new and different country of opportunities for making our lovespoons.

It is important to stress that whilst we are sourcing from a new country we continue to keep our principles the same. The timber that is sourced is from gardens of friends and families and also timber that is destined to be used on the fire. Although the thought of burning beautiful Olive wood is an idea that we can’t seem to get to grips with. The sources we have found are also sustainable, basically it is where friends and family in Spain have decided to remove trees that are no longer producing fruit and replace them with new ones. Normally they would use this wood to make barbecues and fires but instead they are now storing it for us to use for our lovespoons.

The woods that we have sourced include Olive wood, Lemon, Cherry and Pomegranate. Another that we have sourced is Yew. Like the Cherry this is available to us in the UK but it comes from an area of central Spain near Aragoncillo and it is from trees that were cut down and left to make a route for power lines.

Bringing us back to our lovespoons we make, it is exciting to have the opportunity to make lovespoons from woods that previously were unavailable to us. It adds another dimension to what we do here at The Lovespoon Workshop.
We use a variety of different woods to make our lovespoons from here at The Lovespoon Workshop.
We use a wide variety of woods to make our lovespoons from here at The Lovespoon Workshop.
November 2017. The Original Lovespoon Workshop Lovespoon
A replica of the first lovespoon made by Thomas the Woodcarver in 1969.
Throughout the autumn we have introduced several new lovespoon designs to our online lovespoon shop. We always seek to keep our selection of lovespoons fresh and regularly add new ideas to our range of designs. We also recognise that some designs are classic and are timeless. The original lovespoon that was made by Thomas the Woodcarver to use as a marriage proposal is a perfect example. A simple but effective design and suitable to celebrate a wide variety of occasions.

We have used this lovespoon often in our advertising and it remains one of our most important lovespoons. It will always represent the first step in our relationship with the Welsh lovespoon tradition as a family. It also represents the early part in a journey that has lasted nearly fifty years. It is a reflection of what a lovespoon often is, a simple and uncomplicated expression of love. The empty heart represents a hope that it will soon be filled and the years have shown these hopes have been fulfilled.

Other than an empty heart there are no other symbols to explain. The only other aspect to the design is the spoon itself. Often we are confronted with the question ‘why a spoon?’ Our own thoughts on the idea are that spoons are used for mixing and blending. A spoon can be used to bring ingredients together until the end product is greater than the sum of its parts. This can be reflected within relationships. The separate ingredients that make up the two individuals blend together to bring their two separate hearts into one.

In recent times we have had several requests to make replicas of our original lovespoon. Highlighting how its simplicity and appeal has remained a constant throughout the years. We have simplified the hand carving work further, due to the original having a raised heart. A process that is rather labour intensive. The simplified process has allowed us to introduce it to our range of designs available here at The Lovespoon Workshop. We have also decided to introduce it to our online range for winter 2017. Under the name The Original due to it being the first ever lovespoon design by Thomas the Woodcarver and available in our online lovespoon shop.
October 2017. Sharing a little love with the world
The Lovespoon Workshop is located in a small hamlet in West Wales called Cold Inn, near to the seaside resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot. Over the past forty years we have been fortunate to welcome visitors from all over the world to our workshop. Today the internet opens up the oportunity to share the Welsh lovespoon with a much wider audience. A recent development for ourselves is to share the lovespoon tradition with an entirely new audience in the form of a Spanish speaking audience.

Just under three years ago we were fortunate enough to have a visit from TV Espana, who were making a television programme that focussed on life for Spanish people living in Wales and we shared the Welsh lovespoon tradition with them. A steady interest from Spain has continued since and it has become increasingly clear that the lovespoon tradition and the process of handcarving Welsh lovespoons translates into diferent languages and cultures.

Within the last few weeks we have begun work on a sister website called that aims to provide insight and information to the Spanish speaking world about the Welsh lovespoon tradition. It's an exciting opportunity to share something unique that we have here in Wales with an audience that has had little previous knowledge of the Welsh lovespoon tradition.
The Lovespoon Workshop
The start of our special lovespoon to record 2017 here at The Lovespoon Workshop.
Pictured above is Thomas the woodcarver starting work on our lovespoon to record 2017.
September 2017. The winds of change and Lovespoons...
When the original Thomas the Woodcarver began his lovespoon journey back in 1969, it was a simple tale of a young carpenter making a lovespoon as a proposal to his then girlfriend and now wife, Jill. It was the start of a journey that has nearly reached fifty years and has seen much change along the way.

The opening of The Lovespoon Workshop in 1975 was one such stage in the journey but this was still a long way from the workshop we have today. Much has remained the same along the journey, many of the hand tools remain the same as those that we began with. The enjoyment of the wood is a delight for us each and everyday. The stories that the lovespoons portray continue to keep our enthusiasm as high as it ever has been. However, changes have come and they seem to be gathering pace!!

With a new generation involved in the workshop new ideas have also been introduced. Designs have seen a more modern style included alongside the more traditional ones. Our methods of making have remained largely traditional with all of our lovespoons still being handcarved by Thomas the Woodcarver and son on site. Technology is however having an influence on the workshop, not in the form of how we make our lovespoons but in the form we deliver our message to everybody.

Today in our workshop we use modern forms of communication to share our traditional handcarving on a daily basis. Various forms of social media are utilised to share what we are making and how we make our lovespoons with the wider world. Where it was once the case that we could only share our lovespoons with those who actually visited us, we now find ourselves in a position to share our passion for the lovespoon tradition with a much wider audience.

The potential that these new opportunities provide us with are another area that give us much enthusiasm for the future. Whilst we have on occasion been reluctant to fully embrace these changes we increasingly understand the opportunities that they provide us with.

For us as a family making our lovespoons at The Lovespoon Workshop we see ourselves as the start of another era and via the use of video, photography and social media we can share our work in our workshop in a quiet corner of West Wales with the wider world. We can feel the winds of change upon us but an exciting opportunity to share the lovespoon tradition is here.
August 2017. Fifty Years in the Making!!
A question that we are often asked at The Lovespoon Workshop, is how long does it take to make a lovespoon? Sometimes it can be a straightforward answer but often the answer requires some explanation to tell the full story.

A simple lovespoon design can be completed in a few hours, whilst we have spent as long as three hundred hours on our ´Longest´ lovespoon. The designs we make for sale in the online shop take somewhere between four and seven hours to complete but this answer deals exclusively with the process of making the lovespoon. A more detailed examination can provide a very different answer to, how long a lovespoon takes to make?

Recently we were presented with an opportunity to reclaim wood believed to be at least four hundred years old. This raises a new angle on the answer to the time involved in making a lovespoon. In this case, the Oak tree that provided the wood for these lovespoons would have been growing at least five hundred years ago, therefore it can be argued that these lovespoons began the process of being made over five hundred years ago. This provides a very different answer to how long it took to make these lovespoons.

Reclaiming wood in this manner is something we are often involved with and provides some wonderful stories behind the handcarved lovespoons we make. It also means that the wood can have significant age to it and the process of making a lovespoon, from planting the tree to the finished design will often exceed one hundred years.

Within the last two weeks we were given another answer to the question of how long it takes to make a lovespoon. A phone call was followed by a visit to the workshop with a lovespoon that was started around fifty years ago!! The lovespoon, as pictured with this news update, was designed and started by a local gentleman for his wedding day. It is made from a piece of Sapele and clearly some considerable amount of time, effort and care has been put into it already. For a first attempt there is no lack of ingenuity and skill that has been applied to this lovespoon. Unfortunately a point was reached where further progress and ultimately the completion of the lovespoon proved a difficult task and work was suspended, until now...

Following a previous visit to The Lovespoon Workshop the original maker decided that it was time to reach out for some additional assistance. The moment had arrived to seek a solution to the problem of this incomplete lovespoon. Following consultation, a plan has been agreed upon for the best way to complete the lovespoon. To date, the lovespoon remains unfinished but we hope to have a finished lovespoon for the gentleman´s wife shortly. We are delighted to be presented with this opportunity and hope the lovespoon will be worth the wait. How long does it take to make a lovespoon? Fifty years and counting!!
Finishing a lovespoon started fifty years ago at The Lovespoon Workshop.
Our 'What is the key to life?' lovespoon.
July 2017. The Inspiration behind the Lovespoons

We often refer to our own collection of lovespoons as unique. It´s a collection that began in 1969, when Thomas the Woodcarver made his first lovespoon as a proposal of marriage to his future wife Jill. Since then we have made one special lovespoon every year, almost as a diary, to record the events that have been significant in our lives as a family and also events that have shaped the wider world. In a few years our collection will total fifty and each individual lovespoon is entirely unique to all the others in the collection.

This brings us back to our original assertion and raises the question, what is it that makes our collection unique? Is it the design and craft that goes into the lovespoon? Is it the countless hours that make each spoon a genuine labour of love? Is it the skill that is required to make an individual piece from just one single solid block of wood? Well for us the real answer to making our lovespoons unique is the story that each and every one tells. All of our lovespoons in our collection and the ones we make for others have a tale to tell.

Some stories are simple and meaningful, our Celtic inspired Eternal Love lovespoon tells a tale of a hope and desire for everlasting enduring love. Our Celebration Bells lovespoon is a record of a joyous celebration. The story often extends to the wood itself with Oak being used to represent strength and stability, Mahogany reflecting a traditional style of lovespoon and Ash, with its light colour and beautiful grain being seen as a more modern take on the tradition.

Within our collection of lovespoons we have evolved the traditional concept of having a story in each lovespoon. Our 1986 'What is the key to life' lovespoon is a prime example. This lovespoon, carved in the style of a bunch of six keys on a single key ring is entirely made from one solid piece of Mahogany. In total, Thomas the Woodcarver spent more than seventy hours making it but as we have begun to explore it is the story that makes the lovespoon truly unique.

The idea for our 1986 lovespoon came from Thomas the Woodcarver´s wife Jill. A simple assembly for school children based on a theme of 'what the key to life might be', provided the platform for wider discussions. As with many of our designs this simple seed of an idea soon grew into a much larger project.

From the outset, when designing and making our 1986 lovespoon global events touched our thoughts, with the tragic loss of the space shuttle 'Challenger' being something we could not ignore and led the first key to be carved in the shape and style of a space shuttle. This also put forward our first question in answering the key to life, does it lie in furthering human boundaries and the evolution of mankind?

As our lovespoon developed other ideas were put forward in the possible solution to our key to life question. A key shaped as a lovespoon puts the focus on our interests and pursuits. Another key with a mirror in a heart put our wants and needs at the forefront in answering the key to life question. Pound signs and stars were also chosen as keys, putting a notion that the key to life might be within the seeking of fame and riches. A final key in the shape of a simple cross was carved to propose that the key to life could be within our own faith and beliefs.

In its essence our seed of an idea has provoked much thought throughout the years and we conclude that for many of us we are fortunate to be able to choose what the key to life is for us in our own lives. As a family the lovespoon has been one important key within the bunch of keys that makes up our lives. The lovespoon tradition has allowed us to share our ideas, messages, beliefs and work with many people and we hope to continue to share and enjoy it with many more in the future.
Wood in our timber store at The Lovespoon Workshop.
June 2017.There's more to Wood than Trees

Making a lovespoon begins with the wood itself. Wood arrives from a variety of sources at The Lovespoon Workshop. It comes to us from people including carpantary and joinery companies, tree surgeons and farmers
. The wood also arrives in a variety forms, shapes and sizes. A large amount of the wood we use is reclaimed, timber that has had a previous use. Old furniture, window and door frames and even a customer that supplied their own timber for their wedding lovespoons that had previously been utilised as part of Bournemouth pier.

The wood that we use makes up part of the story of each individual lovespoon. The Yew tree for example is referred to as the eternal tree and is therefore appropriate for a variety of lovespoons that a focused on a eternal love theme.

Oak is another wood that adds to the story of a lovespoon. Recently we were informed that Oak is the symbol for eighty years of anniversary, representing strength and stability in a relationship. The golden colour of Oak makes it ideal for weddings and anniversaries and the attractive grain makes it a firm favourite here at The Lovespoon Workshop. Much of the Oak we use is reclaimed from sources including kitchen doors and old wardrobes.

All the wood that we make lovespooons from has to be seasoned. Reclaimed timber is often already seasoned but the wood that arrives in the form of freshly cut logs requires time to be dried out correctly. We work predominantly in a two year cycle when seasoning our wood. We dry logs whole for one year, then we cut and slat the logs for a second year to ensure moisture levels reach the required level. This process requires space as well as time and we have two timber stores in constant use here on site.

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