Up until November 2020 I had no idea that people carved spoons by hand. Earlier that fall, my family and I had purchased a cabin in the mountains of West Virginia and during the final walk through I noticed a standing dead tree near the cabin that had to come down. I decided to fell the tree myself and began watching YouTube videos and professional arborists on Instagram. I successfully felled the tree, but thanks to the Instagram algorithm I started seeing posts of wood carvers and an ad for Jogge Sundqvist’s book Slojd in Wood. As soon as I saw the book’s cover I knew that I wanted to be able to create something like that myself. In December, I carved my first spoon and off I went.
In my professional life, I work as a school counselor at a public school in East Baltimore. My students and their families live in a neighborhood and a city that has high levels of gun violence and poverty. My students are amazing young people who are smart, resilient, and brave; but who also have a high likelihood of having witnessed or been affected by violent deaths in their community. I’ve dedicated my career to working in urban education and supporting our most vulnerable young people, so self care has become essential to counteract the secondary trauma of working with my students. When I saw the cover of Slojd in Wood I had already been on the hunt for a new hobby that would be family friendly and serve as a therapeutic outlet.
As soon as I began carving, it became a daily habit. It was something I struggled with, it challenged me physically and mentally, and I lost myself in the process, which many of us know is the best kind of activity. I lost track of time, my “self” melted away, and I came out feeling restored. I set a goal of carving a spoon a day, and as I improved the spoons piled up. As I thought about what to do with the spoons I was carving, I considered trying to sell them, but ultimately decided against it. After turning it over for a while, I realized that I could use this new craft to support causes I believe in, and Spoons For Good was born.
Spoons For Good is a regular giveaway to benefit a particular non-profit. This month’s giveaway benefits Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.org), a free mental health crisis intervention service in the US and UK. Just since March 2020, they have had 1.36 million conversations with 808 thousand texters. Donations will help Crisis Text Line to continue to serve such a significant number of people in need. To enter the giveaway simply make a donation and send a screenshot to me (@baltimore_spoons). This month winners will get one of my small eaters for the price of their donation and shipping. Even if you don’t win you’ve made a donation to a fantastic organization doing really important work. Being able to support such a valuable organization, while sharing this craft with others is so meaningful, and I am certain that Spoons For Good will find its place in the spoon carving community.