How it started...
I carved my first spoon from juniper wood in 2006 while working as a field instructor at a wilderness program in Utah. A spoon gifting culture had developed amongst the staff, as we had lots of slow time around the fire to fill with projects. Those first spoons were nothing fancy. They were carved with a folding knife and I remember doing way more sanding than carving!
Fast forward to 2019, I attended a traditional skills gathering and I remember being amazed by the creativity of the spoons being carved by a friend who was teaching a greenwood carving class. He was kind enough to point me towards some excellent resources and gave me some advice to where to purchase some quality tools. So, I armed myself with a proper sloyd knife, a hook knife, a saw, and an axe, and began carving with more intentionality.
In 2021, I started North Wind Handcraft out of the expanding spoon pile in our house. I needed a place to offload a few and so started an Etsy shop. I chose the name because, initially, carving was a way to pass the time indoors during the cold winter months, when the winds come from the north and all us Wisconsinites are holed up in our houses eagerly awaiting the spring thaw so we can remember what our lawns actually look like. Winter is a good time to reflect. Carving is a slow craft. I love being in the flow of chasing a line, seeing what is revealed as the layers of wood are removed, or getting lost in a thought or song as my hands move instinctively around the form.
So, why do I carve spoons? In a world where most of what we use on a daily basis is mass produced, I cherish just holding a simple hand-carved spoon. I love seeing where a line is just off here, where the wood grain got a little wavy there, where the tool marks left from it’s maker tell a story. It resembles my hope that perhaps, in some small way, I reflect the marks of the one who shaped and made me, and that I am a small part of His greater story.
Owner & Maker
When I’m not carving spoons, I enjoy spending slow time out in nature as a hobby naturalist, birder, hiker, and artist.