As well as this blog, I also have a website with lots more images of my work as well as a few more stories.
If you like woodcarvings, you'll want to have a look.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Visiting Barn the Spoon, spoon carving at his shop on Hackney Road in London


Barnaby Carder, or Barn the Spoon as most people now know him, is a man dedicated to one particular passion; carving wooden spoons.

barn the spoon

He has spent time with many well-known faces in green woodworking, people like Robin Wood and Mike Abbott. However, Barn's path is definitely his own. When I asked him if he'd mind me writing about him on this blog, he said that he didn't but that he neither looked for nor really needed publicity.  A lot of people are very interested in what he does and the shop isn't usually short of visitors. 

Some woodworkers can be a little taciturn (well suited to a workshop-orientated life I suppose) but Barn was friendly and happy to chat about his projects, surrounded by wood shavings and tools. It was a very enjoyable afternoon spent talking with him, with occasional breaks so that he could chat with other visitors and customers.


As well as carving the spoons, Barn also teaches spoon carving and organises Spoonfest, a festival of spoon carving that was sold out this year.

It was interesting to hear him say that he didn't have many pictures of his spoons. He was interested in perhaps getting some black-and-white photos one day, as he said that they could show the form of each spoon more clearly. Forms are more important than colours to him in his spoon carving (although the one that he was working on was carved from a beautifully-coloured piece of damson wood). 

The spoons are also left with the facets of the carving cuts still visible. He prefers this finish to sanding, which he feels 'deadens' the surface finish. He also said that, even though he has carved hundreds of spoons, the fascination with it hasn't diminished. In fact, quite the opposite.


The shop at 260 Hackney Road in London is only open from Friday to Sunday, to leave time for other things. The first time that I met him, Barn was sitting on the pavement in Stoke's Croft in Bristol, selling his spoons from a blanket spread out on the ground. He said that he still really values time spent like that and enjoys getting out of the shop to roam when he gets the chance; although that's not too easily done at the moment as he is so busy.

I couldn't resist buying a 'cawl' spoon carved by Barn from rippled sycamore while I was there. Here are some photos of it:

carved wooden spoon





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