There were many people I had met before, Nick and Katie Abbott, Sue Holden, Will Wall, Mark Baigent Eric Rodgers, Simon Lamb and some who I didn't know but they were a very friendly bunch.
The weather outlook was grim as storms with thunder and lightning had been acurately predicted and around 16:00hrs......the tide came in! luckily there were enough shelters and tarps to keep the rain at bay and we could carry on carving.
I had taken with me a chopping block I had made the previous day like the one Fritiof Runhall was using at spoonfest. Mine was made from some willow I had lying around but it was good enough to try it and see how I got on, the legs are ash.
Fritiof Runhall inspired chopping block
I was not the only one inspired by Fritiof's demonstrations as Simon Lamb was making one as well though it seemed to take forever for his auger to cut through his log.
Simon's (sitting) Fritiof inspired chopping block
I had also taken with me the Martin Damen spoon that I bought at spoonfest as I had intended to spend the time trying to copy it as per the advice given by Steve Tomlin (see Little Beech spoon post below)I had some Aspen which whilst not the same wood as Martin's, it was all I had to hand and is nice and soft for carving. I tried to copy as exactly the specimen spoon and was determined to reject any mistakes and start again. Luckily I only had to reject one. The photo below shows two copies waiting to dry before I go over them with a finishing cut.
Two copies of my Martin Damen Beech spoon (center). The right hand spoon looks slightly distorted as the wood I used for the background wasn't flat.
I was pleased with the two spoons that I carved and rather enjoyed Steve's disciplined approach, It gave me a totally different mental approach than the rather free method that I normally employ. I think I will now start to collect more spoons and copy them as well as continuing to copy Martins 'little Beech spoon'. I would recommend this approach to anyone.
As for the chopping block, well it will take some getting used to, different axing position etc but it felt like I was controlling the axe and the blank much more successfully than usual so time will tell, so far so good.
Unfortunately I could only spend a few hours in this wonderful setting before I had to head back home. Many thanks to Nick and Katie for their hospitality.