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.