Introduction to bushcraft tools

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My Spoon Carving Journey by Ian Botting

I have always enjoyed working with wood, as a child just dabbling with my dad, then at school woodwork and music were my strongest subjects so being offered career advice to make piano’s!!!.

I regularly attend wood fairs to enjoy the amazing skills and crafts that are on offer at these sort of events, so in 2016 along with my family I attended the Belmont House Woodfest. As I wandered around interested in everything that was going on, I saw a number of people who were spoon carving and I thought I like the look of that.

 Naturally I took some details, but then as most people do have a search on the internet to see what is around. I finally decided that the course being offered at Belmont House run by Phil of Badger Bushcraft seemed to be the best value for money and the offering of going into the woods to the camp to do it was far more attractive than someone’s workshop.

The Badger Bushcraft spoon carving workshop at Belmont House
Spoon carving with Badger Bushcraft at Belmont House

So 2017 the day was booked and my venture was to start. We started the day by making a tent type peg, my heart sunk a little as I managed to put the notch upside down not the best of starts certainly wouldn’t have been much use.

When we started to make the spoons we were taught the required skills and shown the tools to use. As you can see from the picture to the below, I turned the piece of wood into something resembling a chunky spoon. The thing that I gained most from a day with Phil was just how relaxing it is to sit and carve a spoon.

Badger Bushcraft Spoon Carving Course
The first spoon I carved with Phil at the Belmont House bushcraft camp

My day’s course was bought for me as a Birthday present and with the remaining money I took recommendation from Phil as to good purchases and went forward and got my own tools.

I now could really have a go, the art of reducing the depth of bowl to actually make it feel like a spoon was the hardest part to master. Using a torch to gauge how thin the wood was, is a brilliant tip!

Ian Botting's spoon
A spoon carved after the spoon carving course

I now find that when I have spare time I will reach for my knives and set about another spoon. No two spoons will ever be the same, you can start a spoon with the end product in mind but will it finish how you started, usually not but once the spoon has been sanded and you look at that spoon and it is you who has created it.

Spoon carved by Ian Botting
The start of my hand carved spoon collection

Think that perfect kitchen utensil that is needed at home and you can’t buy in the shop you can make it, using something you have made is very rewarding.

Bowl carving with Phil is my next step and I can’t wait!

Written by and photographs supplied by Ian Botting

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