Chrysalis: Carving the wooden spoons with Lifeworks

Green woodworker Felix Kary who led the sessions explains the process of making the spoons with the group.

Over two workshops Kool Club from Lifeworks college in Dartington embarked on a project working with tools and processes that were new to most of them. First we spoke about the forests and trees in our local area and how we interact with them. There was a general consensus that walking or sitting amongst the trees was a really good thing to do and that there was always a lot of activity on the forest floor with smaller plants and birds there to watch, as well as sticks to play with.

That then took us to talking about wood and what is wooden in our lives. Suggestions such as Tables, Chairs, Houses, Floors, Doors, Trucks (toys) and eventually Spoons were made.

We gathered together around tables with a few example wooden spoons. They all drew and drew and came up with their own ideas of what they wanted to make.

Then I introduced the tools and how to carve wood safely, this was quite a challenging experience for them at the beginning but they were extraordinarily determined. One or two had done it before and were excited to do it again.

As we carved, we passed the spoons around the circle every 5 minutes throughout the sessions, so everyone worked on every single spoon. This made for no individual owner of each spoon, but a sense of group ownership.

Showing Izzy what to do next.

After the first workshop we had definitely designed and discovered what a spoon could be. There was a palpable sense of pride at the end of session with everyone congratulating each other. One participant proclaimed “Oh my god! We are spoon carvers!”. Others said how calm they felt and that they wanted to go for a walk in the woods to look for more wood to make more spoons.

Within the second group there was the same celebrations as we finished the spoons. The group documented the finished creations with more beautiful drawing that will be exhibited alongside the spoons in Chrysalis.

Tom carving his first spoon!  “Was this a tree?” he asked whilst making

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The Making of Chrysalis

Chrysalis will be a new mobile arts, culture and learning space made in 2018 - 2019 by the hands and imagination of people who live or work in the Bio Region of South Devon.