Due to Covid-19, we have reduced personnel at the offices of the Sylva Foundation and our premises at the Sylva Wood Centre. Emails and phone messages are being checked but please allow a little longer than usual to receive a response.
Please do not arrange a formal visit without first checking with us. Members of the public are free to enjoy our network of permitted paths through the Future Forest as usual.

Spoon whittling course

posted on February 16, 2018

27th and 28th July 2018

Come along to learn and improve your whittling skills with this two-day course introducing students to using curved (hook) knives and straight carving knives, and go home with your own hand-crafted wooden spoon.

spoon whittling with Simon Clements

spoon whittling with Simon Clements

Wooden spoon blanks will be provided; there will also be an opportunity for students to make a straight or curved knife to add to their toolkit, and to discuss the relative merits of penknife shapes for whittling.

Carving will be done in the lap and in the hand, and will concentrate on developing woodland carving skills without the need for green woodworking tools such as axes and froes.

Bring along your favourite penknife or whittling tool for advice on sharpening and usefulness.

This will be a two-day course on a Friday and Saturday. Please bring a pack lunch for both days, coffee, tea and snacks will be provided

Students will learn:

  • To attach handles to carving knives
  • Sharpen their tools
  • Design a wooden spoon from a plain wooden blank
  • Carve and shape a wooden spoon and spoon bowl using carving knives of various shapes
  • Hold work in the lap in a safe manner for carving
  • How to use a variety of cutting actions in a safe manner
  • Will be given advice about simple protective measures to prevent minor cuts and injuries.

If the weather is good perhaps we may carve outside in the Forest School shelter, or inside if the weather is less clement. Places available for a maximum of 10 students.

Cost: £225 per person (all materials and tools provided). Please bring your own packed lunch.

Venue: Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT

Dates: Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July 2018

Tutor: Simon Clements, Wood carver


Book your place


About the tutor

Sculptor Simon Clements standing next to the Charter Pole at the Sylva Wood Centre

Simon Clements

Simon Clements is came to woodcarving after a career which included teaching art, sculpture and pottery, working as a mast spar and oar maker for an Oxfordshire company and restoring heritage carving.

He now works from his workshop at the Sylva Wood Centre, carving sculptural pieces for architects, interior designers, private clients, and for exhibitions. Sculptural work ranges from table-top sculpture to kinetic garden pieces. He is currently half-way through 11 very large commemorative carved poles for the Woodland Trust as part of the Tree Charter.


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