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Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons
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About the Author

David Western constantly endeavors to expand the artistic boundaries of lovespoon carving. David was born in Cardiff, Wales, and now resides in Victoria, B.C., Canada. A self-taught carver, David graduated from the London College of Furniture with certification in cabinetmaking and advanced furniture design. He also holds a degree in education from the University of British Columbia. While running a cabinetmaking shop in Victoria, David's casual interest in Welsh lovespoons grew into an overwhelming passion. Carving lovespoons to order is now his livelihood. David also teaches lovespoon carving at Camosun College in Victoria. David specializes in complicated and delicate Celtic knotwork. He also draws ideas from Art Deco, Northwest Coast First Nations, and Islamic art forms when creating his unique designs. He keeps a foot firmly in tradition though: each of his spoons is handcarved from a single piece of wood. All of David's spoons also demonstrate the deep passion and commitment that separate genuine lovespoons from mere souvenirs.

Reviews

Learn to create beautiful lovespoons-hand-carved symbols of love and deep affection that have been popular for centuries. With 3 step-by-step projects and 15 original patterns, this book will help you to enjoy this wonderful craft no matter what your carving skill level. Written by a trained cabinetmaker who has spent the past two decades carving professionally, Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons is an entertaining guide to designing and creating beautiful gifts and keepsakes. Using step-by-step instructions, author David Western tells readers how to select wood, sharpen tools, hollow out the spoon's bowl, carve intricate handles, apply a long-lasting finish, and more. In addition to three detailed projects that provide all the fundamentals carvers need to get started, Western offers a detailed study of the lovespoon's history, symbolism, and evolution, which has been commended by the curator of the St. Fagan's Natural History Museum in Wales, the country where lovespoons orginated. This book is brilliant. It is both a "how-to" book and an overview of what love spoons are and their origins. The examples and patterns in the book are perfect for the carvers at all levels. Dave teaches simple carving techniques that build your skills but that can apply to any type of carving not just love spoons. It is fun and makes you want to practice. Having taken a class myself from Dave, here in Victoria, I know that the techniques he presents in the book are what he actually teaches his students. Dave Western is a true craftsman, incredibly talented artist, and a superb teacher. This book is so worth it. Good on you Dave. See audio clip for full interview Local artisan and furniture builder David Western marked a new milestone in 2008 with the release of his book, The Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons - a unique gift idea with Valentine's Day just around the corner. For 20 years, Western has been creating beautiful, intricate Welsh lovespoons, traditionally crafted from a single piece of wood by a man trying to demonstrate his devotion to his beloved. In this book, from Fox Chapel Publishing, "20 years of lovespoon carving experience has been distilled into a book which I think is the most complete look at lovespoons and lovespoon carving currently available," Western says. Particularly in Wales, where Western is from, but also throughout the Celtic world generally and in other countries as well, there is a long tradition of young men carving elaborate spoons for their sweethearts, presumably an elaboration of demonstrating that he could and would carve practical spoons and other implements for his future family. Now based in British Columbia, Western has turned from cabinet and furniture maker to artist. He explains and colorfully illustrates the history of the art, the wood, the tools, techniques from novice to advanced, and design. He also provides patterns. This book is well done. The pictures are beautiful and the directions for the projects are easy to understand. This would be a very good book for the carver in your family to learn to do an interesting project that could be given away to friends or kept as a family heirloom. The love spoon has been in existence for centuries. Many cultures have used the love spoon to commemorate special occasions such as upcoming weddings. The author has given the reader many pages on the understanding of woods and how to carve the love spoon with grain changes in the wood. He also goes into great detail about the tools one should use and how to keep the tools sharp. There are three projects in the book. The first project is for the beginning carver, the second project is for the intermediate carver and the last project is for the advanced carver. The author goes into great detail and has given the reader many prictures to show how to carve each project. The gallery of love spoons is interesting. Some spoons are intricate and others are very plain showing the value of the wood. The author shows the reader how to finish the wood to bring out the value of the wood. He also gives advice on how to hide mistakes. This book contains 185 pages and is well done. The pictures are beautiful and the directions for the projects are easy to understand. This would be a very good book for the carver in your family to learn to do an interesting project that could be given away to friends or kept as a family heirloom. Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons not only gives you the lowdown on carving but it also tells the history, and myths and meanings behind lovespoons. Once you've read about the basics including the types of wood, tools, sharpening, techniques and finishing, the author provides step-by-step instruction (accompanied by helpful photos) for carving novice, intermediate and advanced lovespoons. Also included is candid information on design and 15 different patterns for you to use or adapt. And this book is full of great photos! Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons seems to have all the information you need to get started in carving your own lovespoon. David Western is something of an expert when it comes to carving lovespoons, so it is of interest to see that he has put pen to paper and gathered his knowledge to share his passion for this centuries' old art. The carved lovespoon has long been regarded as a symbol of love and devotion but has come to represent more of a presentation gift in today's modern world. Whichever way we look at this wooden spoon, none can argue its appeal to carvers for its decorative nature and exploration of skill. David explores in interesting detail the history behind the lovespoon and how it has evolved today with beautiful photographic examples from carvers past and present, before moving on to educate the reader on understanding wood, tools of the trade and sharpening. Once these have been digested, we are taken through a course of technical know-how before advancing on to projects, designs and patterns for you to adapt. Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons is truly a great resource packed full of everything you need to know surrounding the legend of the lovespoon, and how to carve and develop them to your own style. Initially stimulated by his casual interest in Welsh lovespoons, selftaught craftsman David Western now teaches lovespoon carving at Camosun College and makes his living primarily by carving lovespoons to order. His Fine Art of Carving Lovespoons is a guide to the enduring craft of presenting ornate spoons as a token of affection. In addition to three step-bystep projects that provide all the fundamentals artists need to get started, Western offers a detailed study of the lovespoon.s history, symbolism and evolution. Western specializes in Celtic knotwork, but also incorporates Islamic, Art Deco and Northwest Coast First Nations art forms. Photography of modern-day and ancient lovespoons is provided with the text. His book has been commended by the curator of the St. Fagan.s Natural History Museum in Wales, reputedly the origin of the lovespoon. Fine art of carving lovespoons; understanding, designing, and carving romantic heirlooms. Western, David. Photographs by Chris Roberts. Fox Chapel Publishing, 2009 185 p. $24.95 TT199978-1-56523-374-4 Particularly in Wales, where Western is from, but also throughout the Celtic world generally and in other countries as well, there is a long tradition of young men carving elaborate spoons for their sweethearts, presumably an elaboration of demonstrating that he could and would carve practical spoons and other implements for his future family. Now based in British Columbia, Western has turned from cabinet and furniture maker to artist. He explains and colorfully illustrates the history of the art, the wood, the tools, techniques from novice to advanced, and design. He also provides patterns. (Annotation 2009 Book News Inc. Portland, OR) 'Superb'

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