A West Country Carve Up!
Hole & Corner gathered over 100 spoon carvers to whittle, dine and dance at Messums Wiltshire...
What could possibly go wrong? Hole & Corner had assembled over 100 people at a 13th century tithe barn who were now all wielding knives and axes. No, not our first workshop on how to survive the apocalypse or Brexit, but for a mass spoon carving followed by dinner (eaten with the spoon you had made that day), music and a little impromptu dancing at Messums Wiltshire.
Unlike other workshops we’ve hosted and perhaps, again, something to do with the sharpness of the tools, a near monastic silence echoed around the barn as novice groups, taught by carvers from all over the country, Steve Tomlin, Sean Hellman, Anna Casserley, Adam Hawker, Hatchet + Bear, Forest + Found, Mark Reddy and Nic Webb, learnt the rudiments of axing out a blank and the best approaches to whittle a spoon. Sure, there were a few yelps, a steady supply of plasters dispensed and one trip to the A&E… But in the end - with everyone’s digits intact, we sat down at tables (dressed by stylist Johnny Buttons with autumnal foliage from the Fonthill Estate) to a delicious three-course dinner courtesy of Scarlett Watts Catering.
Maybe it’s communal learning that means, inhibitions are pushed to one side, but it’s so gratifying, as the event's host, to see strangers talking to one another, comparing spoons, injuries and anecdotes.
After dinner, Girl Ray a new band on the Moshi Moshi Records label wooed us with their precocious off-kilter pop, 60s harmonies and lyrics that sounded like they came straight from their diaries…And to round off the musical entertainment furniture maker Sebastian Cox brought the crowd to its feet, and revealed a little known fact - that spoon carvers have some serious moves, with some disco classics.
Thanks to all who attended the event especially Robin Wood for introducing us to the spoon carving community and Messums Wiltshire for so generously hosting us in their space. Plans are afoot for a series of weekend making events in 2017 at the barn, so sign up to our newsletter for updates.
Photographs Chloe Winstanley
Spoons by: Johnny Buttons. JoJo Wood, Anna Wynne, Jim Parkyn, Mark Gurney and David Stovell.
Words Julia Jarvis