My New Book!!! - David Western
Reproduced with kind permission from David Western's Portland Lovespoon Blog
My new book has just gone through the final editing stage and is now scheduled to go to the printers!
It will be far-and-away the most thorough book detailing the origins, traditions and craft of the lovespoon and I am more than a little bit excited to see it reaching this stage of production! I spent a lot of time researching lovespoons in public and private collections and quickly realized that the lovespoon tradition is a much broader one than I had originally thought. From Sweden to Romania, most European countries engaged in some form of romantic wooden spoon carving and my quest to discover historical spoons hidden in out-of-the-way places was a great adventure!!. For me, visiting the museum collections first-hand or gazing through astonshing photo collections was like being a kid turned loose in a candy store; I stuffed myself on new discoveries until I thought I was going to burst!
I can only hope that with this book, I will have done some justice to this remarkable tradition. At the very least, I hope it encourages others to undertake some research which may one day demystify more and more of the lovespoon's hidden past.
From a historical viewpoint, it is a sad thing that the lovespoon was primarily a tradition of the 'poorer' classes and so attracted precious little interest from social observers of the time. Much of the lovespoon' lore has thus been cobbled together from supposition and fanciful marketing with much of it being distinctly suspect. Hopefully, some of the discoveries and theories I mention in the book will ignite some debate among lovespoon enthusiasts and collectors and will lead to newer and more accurate observations on the lovespoon's traditions and meanings.
I know my own thoughts and beliefs about the lovespoon have changed fairly dramatically since I started researching this little book and it will be interesting to see what kind of response it generates!
But the book isn't all history. The lovespoon is an evolving tradition (like all good traditions) and it is through the work of current carvers that the art of carving them will continue and broaden. I have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the great support of many of my contemporaries who have shared photographs of their beautiful work, have debated lovespoon history and have provided me with the encouragement I often needed to press on as a lovespoon carver! Without a doubt, the 'modern' section of this new book is going to be an eye-opener for both those new to lovespoons and to those who think they have seen it all!! To see the work of carvers as diverse as Alun Davies, Mike Davies, Sion Llewellyn, Laura Jenkins Gorun, David Stanley, Adam King and Ralph Hentall all together in one place is my personal highlight of the book! I know that it will be for plenty of others too.
History of Lovespoons is published by Fox Chapel Publishing and is available for pre-order from all the very finest and most reputable book dealers!!