For those of us already started on our carving journey, the benefits of carving are numerous. But for the uninitiated there may be a little convincing needed. If you are looking to get a friend or family member into green wood carving then here are some reasons they should give it a go.
For me spoon carving is a form of meditation that leads to creation. It is easy to loose myself and all track of time whilst carving. I've always struggled with the idea of classic seated meditation. I can't seem to settle into it. But with carving I feel I can get a similar sense of stillness. I see it as a form of active meditation. When I carve I am singularly focused on the task at hand meaning it acts like a form of mindfulness. All worries and distractions can dissolve as I become absorbed in each and every cut. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what I produce at the end. It is the process I enjoy.
One of the great things about spoon carving is I can get my relaxation in but at the end of it I have created something truly unique. The benefits of creativity are many and well documented but for me there is such a sense of achievement of creating something completely new out of a piece of wood. I can experiment and be playful in what I create. Often I make mistakes but these are always a catalyst for further growth as a carver.
There is something special about creating something from a piece of nature. It is the ideal form of digital detox. The green wood we are carving often reconnects us to the natural world. The wood may release its natural oils and an amazing scent, or we can appreciate the grain that emerges as the piece evolves. Many a time we are at the whim of the knots or borer holes we may find in the wood as we carve, a timely reminder that we need to work with the natural world rather than try and force it to our whims.
One of the things that first struck me about spoon carving was the sense of community. I have made many carving friends online via social media. In spoon carving there doesn't seem to be the heirachy or snobbery of other art forms. Perhaps because as a hobby it is still in its' infancy. Some of the most amazing carvers are incredibly humble and down to earth and many are willing to share their time and expertise with those that are just beginning. I've always found the spoon carving community to be welcoming and supportive. If you are looking to meet other carvers face to face then you can check out our Spoon Clubs page or consider starting one of you own.
What have been the benefits of spoon carving for you? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.