At the time of writing this blog, the #Lockdown #spoonswapNL is nearing completion. For those who did not participate this time, I will explain what a spoon swap is and why it is so fun to participate (whether there is a lockdown or not). Those who did participate will find all the spoons at the bottom of this page. A total of 33(!) Dutch spoon carvers participated and the spoons were flying back and forth through the Netherlands. It’s great to organize this together with Sandra Witteman from the Dutch Spoonclub.
A spoon swap is literally a spoon exchange, in which all participants pass their spoon on to the next in line, as it were. In this way you give your spoon to one person, and you get a spoon from another. From whom you receive a spoon is a surprise. Since you do not have to approach someone yourself with the question if they want to swap with you, the threshold is lower.
Learning from others
Unless you cut your fingers swapping spoons is a lot of fun. It is the way you can get a spoon from another spoon carver with a closed wallet. That is not only fun, but also super educational. You see how others deal with design and technical difficulties. You get to know other ways to make the transition from neck to bowl, other types of wood, super straight designs or ones that follow the fibers. A bit thicker here, or a bit narrower there. Different styles of decorating or super sleek. And then all kinds of spoons tablespoons, cooking spoons, serving spoons or teaspoons. Too many things to mention.
But I’ve only just started…
That is a good reason to participate. Keep in mind that the first spoon of experienced spoon carvers probably also looked more like a baseball bat than a spoon. The great thing is that everyone learns something from it, even the people who have been carving spoons for a long time. Everyone has their own style and no spoon is the same. You learn a lot from the real thing and you now have a good example of what is possible. Can you can have a peek and copy until you can do it yourself. Don’t worry about copying. That’s a part of learning. Your own style will come naturally.
Why right now
Just now after a year of canceled and postponed events, such as the Dutch Spoon Festival (Lepelfeest) or the English Spoonfest, and in the middle of the second lockdown, it becomes even more clear how nice it is to meet like-minded souls and to belong to a community. At the beginning of this year, cautious plans for an informal meet fell into the water with the arrival of the 1st lockdown. No events, workshops or meetings for a while and not meeting to many people at the same either. In reply to the responses to one of my posts on instagram, I asked if it was time for a spoon swap. You responded positive and the idea continued to simmer. In the meantime I went to the book presentation of Lepelhout (the first Dutch spoonbook) where I realized how I had missed contact with other spoon carvers. When the Dutch Spoonclub also had to take a step back, Sandra and I decided to push through and organize the #SpoonSwapNL.
Online event with an offline component
The fact that we can find each other so easily online makes it possible to organize a swap like this from home, just like that. An online event in line with the current circumstances, but still a good way to be in contact with each other in a different way, meet new people and thus give the spoon community in the Netherlands a boost again. But mainly to have fun, see each other’s work and also be busy offline. To work with the hands, using a saw and ax outside and back inside for the knifework. Carving a spoon for someone else. An outing to the post ‘office’ and then sitting on watch at the mailbox. To go back online to see all the spoons that are flying back and forth. Just great.
A spoon full of fun
I also learned a lot. About making spoons and about your spoons. There are so many beautiful spoons being send back and forth, and everyone has done their best to fluff things up. I have seen beautiful handwritten letters and notes and even custom made postcards for the spoon swap. Here and there plans are being made to follow each other on social media or get to know each other better. Or to join Instagram to be in though with fellow carvers, too many things to mention. I really feel that as a community we have grown a bit closer. And that’s what matters.
We also learned a lot about organizing a spoon swap. Now that we know what it entails, we also dare to tackle an international swap next time. Because the most important thing I have learned is that a spoon swap for the Netherlands should actually be a spoon swap for Dutch speakers, because I now know that there are also enthusiasts in Belgium who are very keen to participate. I don’t know whether there is a need for an even more international swap although it would be a lot of fun. There are also other great initiatives for this, such as the Secret Santa on organized by @mr.irvinec on Instagram. Be sure to follow his account around October, when the registration starts.
The next #SpoonswapNL
We will probably organize the next Dutch spoon swap in September. Keep an eye on our accounts for this. And if you want to reminisce, I will share all the spoons that I have seen on Instagram below. Until the next #spoonwapNL!!!