Thursday, March 13, 2014

Carving Lovespoons – or Love Spoons

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Carving Lovespoons – or Love Spoons
Today I am posting information about Lovespoons – or as my Spell Check wants me to type it – Love Spoons.
I carve Love Spoons and have developed the craft further and further as I go along. They are for sale and make great gifts for Anniversaries and Wedding Gifts.  So if you have a need for something like that – there is no better place to get one than from Misty Hollow Carving – that’s me!!
In the process of carving and specially in the telling of the story behind the Love Spoon idea I have looked to some other carvers for information that would help me.  There are now some great books and articles written to help people like me and my story.
One such book is entitled, “History of Lovespoons” by David Western (Fox Chapel Publishing) David has done much research on the topic as well as being a Spoon Carver. He is an amazing wood carver by the way!
In his book he tells some unique stories about spoons and their carving.
The tradition that I knew well was one where the young man that was wishing to marry a certain young lady would carve a Love Spoon for the young lady. The spoon acted like the engagement ring does today – but not gold – only wood.
The tradition stated that with his spoon carved as intricately as possible, demonstrating his abilities, he hoped to impress the girl’s father. The father in turn would give his daughter permission to marry the young man.
It is and was a good story.
David Western points to some other facts as well. The Lovespoons were a precursor to the actual engagement stage.  It was used a “tester” and or a “feeler” way back at the beginning of any possible relationship.  The young man may have carved a number of spoon and had them ready to give away to the pretty girl.  If she accepted a Spoon it could mean she might be interested in his “offer”.
In one of the European countries (maybe more than one) it was customary at a certain festival time that young men would bring their Spoons to give away.  Naturally the pretty girls would get a number of offered Lovespoon Gifts.  And because she was pretty she had a larger field to play – so to speak.  If she or any girl refused the Spoon offer it was customary also for the Young Man to smack her bottom with the rejection.  David mentioned that pretty girls often went home with sore bottoms. Too funny!
NOT FUNNY – that is abuse!  Yes you are right in 2014. But that was the 1700s and 1800s when things were a little different than now.  We are so politically correct in our times that we have sterilized some of the old customs out of existence.  Something that was somewhat “fun” is now criminal and a boy can be charged for his abuse.
(Today a guy buys an expensive ring of gold.  Proposes, gets married, they have kids… then he deserts her and the kids for another woman – or his own selfish reasons.  But that is not abuse!)
Back in my old days – younger years – when a young man was dating and doing all he could to get a young lady to say Yes to his advances – maybe even get married… he was said to be “spooning”.
Yep that is the same “spoon” as a Lovespoon – Love Spoon.  It was called courting back in those old days.  (Today the idea is so old fashioned in that couples now simply live together to try out marriage first. My how things change!)
Anyway… after reading David Western’s great book I had a great idea. I would try to carve a sample of the spoons shown and written about. Then with samples made I can tell my story of the spoons better at the shows that I do.
So with this posting today here are the photos of my Lovespoons – Love Spoons.  One Welsh and five Swedish styled spoons. Enjoy.
And remember if you need a gift – let me know. I ship anywhere and everywhere!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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