Confirmed pre-fest course tutors for 2024 are: Andreea Grad, Anja Sundberg, Anna Casserley, Jan Harm ter Brugge & Sean Hellman – scroll down to see details of the courses and stay tuned for more pre-fest tutor announcements.
Tickets for pre-fest go on sale 2nd March 2024
Pre-fest tickets do not include attendance to the festival itself, however we do always save some fest tickets for folk who attend pre-fest. So if you miss out on festival tickets but have a pre-fest space, we will make sure you can attend for the whole event. Main fest itself costs £115 – just put yourself on the festival waiting list, and get in touch!
Spoonfest is a fantastic sharing of skills and great fun but the workshops are just short taster sessions. If you really want to learn then you need longer.
Since we have some of the best spooncarvers in the world coming we thought we should get them here three days earlier and offer the chance of a longer course. Not only will you have the enjoyment of learning with a small group from a master carver you will also be sharing the Spoonfest site with 4 other courses so we all get to see what the other tutors are up to as well.
Courses cost £275 including all materials, unless otherwise stated. All courses run 2pm-5.30pm on Tues 30th July and 9.30-4.30 on Weds 31st July and Thurs 1st August. Free camping on site is included, as is a good lunch each day and lots of tea and coffee. The fires will be going in the evenings for folk to cook over or often there’s a large group goes to eat at a local pub.
We have big shared lunchtime meals and can see progress in all the classes, almost 5 classes for the price of one. For the folk who come on these special courses the atmosphere is great.
Pre fest courses are aimed at folk who can already use the basic tools rather than absolute beginners. You will need to bring your own tools for your class.
Originally from Transylvania, Andreea started spoon carving in 2020, while living in the US, and quickly fell in love with it. Over more than 800 spoons, including a year-long project, she’s been exploring various wood essences, shapes and styles, from traditional to modern, along with different decorating techniques.
Andreea has taught at numerous international festivals over the last two years, and she brings all her knowledge, experience, and heart to her teaching. You can see more of her work at ponderandspoon.com or follow her on instagram @andreeagrad
At this year’s Spoonfest Andreea will be teaching how to make a sexy, curvy ladle from a billet to the final shape.
And on the last day she will be teaching a chip-carving class to decorate your ladle using chip-carving patterns of your choice.
Sick of boring old plastic or leather knife sheaths? This course is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a leading light of Sweden’s slöjd scene. Not only will you feel amazing when folk can’t stop staring at your cool sheath, but you will have learnt a whole bunch of transferable skills, fantastic for serious or whimsical decorative work on any and all bits of wood. We all know having a good sheath is as important as the tool, and once you’ve done this class you won’t be able to stop creating practical, beautiful and easy to locate sheaths for all of your tools.
The woodwork of Anja Sundberg is a complete breath of fresh air, her often playful ideas are executed with an eye for detail that just brings everything to life, Anja learnt slöjd at the premier craft school, Sätergläntan, and has become one of Sweden’s most talented woodworkers well known amongst the slöjd field for her technical abilities, as well as being a very experienced teacher.
Anna Casserley produces fantastic cooking spoons of great elegance and we are delighted that she is going to share on this course the techniques that she uses.
Students will start by axing out blanks and Anna is one the best teachers of axe technique. This will be taught standing at a high block rather than seated to harness the ergonomic power. For the next stage Anna will teach the various grips and techniques she uses with a push knife with the spoon blank held in a wooden carving vice. Using whole body movement and two hands on the tool gives the user more power to create long, clean, controlled lines. Hollowing is also done with the blank held in the vice using a two handed spoon knife.
During the first part of the course, participants will carve and fit a long handle for their two handed spoon knife. This will be tailored to suit their hands and body. Bring your own blade or there will be blades available to purchase.
If you want to be able to make powerful sculptural forms in a physically more efficient way this course will be very empowering for you.
Jan Harm ter Brugge
I’m a Dutch greenwood pioneer with a background as a craft teacher and in product design. I have been teaching craft and design at several universities and art schools in The Netherlands. I like to connect practice with knowledge and experience and sometimes theory. I love to teach this way.
As a little kid, spending the holidays in my grandfather’s little woodland in the east Netherlands, I started to wonder: Could you make things from real wood, from real trees, not from a shop? Like our friend the old farmer, who ‘could make anything’ according to my observation.
Meeting Wille Sundqvist in early 2000 and studying at his place over the summer, got me in touch with the Nordic culture of ‘Slöjd’, the craft of making stuff- starting in the woods, working with ancient tools, striving for nice things to make, with pleasure, to share or give away. A rich culture, lost in most places, waiting to be revived.
In my pre-fest course, I will offer:
A journey into carving a straight spoon, using simple and easy to remember steps, enabling you to make them yourself and further develop designs to your liking, with understanding and without a need for extensive drawing (or templates..).
Finding and using crooked wood for crooked spoons.
Mugs, the Slöjd way (with simple tools, easily understandable steps, in an outdoorsy setting).
Learn sharpening by grinding and honing two knife-blade blanks. You can also bring tools to renovate and resharpen. These do not have to be knives.
You will have access to professional grinders and a range of equipment to try out and sharpen with.
Participants will be able to buy Sharp for a discounted price of 40% off.
The two heat-treated blades that you will be provided with: one is Sean’s small, signature, whittling knife blade, and the other is a Wharncliffe chip-carving blade. You will grind, hone and polish these blades using electrical equipment, and various bench stones. You can either make your own handle for these blades, or use the blank provided.
The grinding and polishing equipment available, will provide a wide range of water, oil, diamond, and natural bench stones and abrasives films. We will cover the pros and cons of all these abrasives, and find the right fit for your tools’ requirements.
Many sharpening techniques will be taught, as well the most important aspects of sharpening: observation, alongside an understanding of Edge Geometry in general, and concerning specific tools. We will use a microscope to highlight both good and bad techniques.