Joel Larabell

Joel Larabell

USA

Not really sure how it started, but I remember craving something crafty that I could make with my hands without the power tools I was used to using. Then one day, about 7 years ago a friend threw out the idea that we should carve wooden spoons. Something I’d never thought of before. I went home, found the few youtube videos that were out there at the time and Robin Wood’s early spoon collection blogs, and something started to take hold.  I whittled around for a good while but about 3 years ago something clicked I became a bit obsessed.       
I’m now in love with the idea of making something so useful, using nothing but an axe and knife, that makes the everyday task of cooking and eating food a little more special. Choosing which spoon to use each meal, and at this point I’ve got a good few to choose from, is truly one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.  I think it’s fun to care so much about something so normal, like a spoon, but I’ve found the further I journey down this spoon carving road that a good spoon form is infinitely challenging and elusive, a world of subtleties and flow, which makes the craft continuously challenging and rewarding. Being able to connect more deeply with trees is just the icing on top. I’ve always enjoyed wood working, but most of that was with trees that had already been turned into lumbar, so a bit of the spirit of the tree is lost I think, but with spoon carving you often get to start with a fully intact limb of a tree, usually while it’s still relatively fresh and still has its intoxicating scent (most of what I carve is wild cherry or walnut). And when you actually stop and think about it, and do a bit of research into it, wood is the most amazing material there is and a joy to work with. For the record I don’t cut down live trees to make a spoon, so all of my blanks will come from trees that have naturally blown over during storms or are gifts from my tree surgeon friends.  Carving is one of my favorite ways to spend the time and I do it solely for fun, and when I can steal away a few minutes in the evening after my 1 year old son, Woods, falls asleep…and before he wakes back up…so the amount of blanks I’m able to offer to this project will be based largely around that (: 

Wanna join the team?

If you’re interested in selling your spoon blanks or spoon carving tools with us feel free to apply.

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