Sculpted Wooden Spoons

Hi Lloyd,

About making wooden spoons, I came accross these beautiful creations. A nice story!
In my region, Brittany (one of the Celtic countries, not far from Wales…), some craftsmen still make wooden sculpted spoons which were very used in the 19th Century.

   At that time, people didn’t use forks: porridge was their main food. Everybody had his own wooden spoon, adorned with personalized patterns. For beauty and also for reasons of hygiene because all the spoons were stored in a tiny round holder.

   The holder was suspended by a cord above the table and the cord was equipped with a weight, in such a way that people could raise and lower it quickly.

The spoons could have a symbolic meaning. For example, if a farm hand wanted to leave his job, he took his spoon out of the holder. No need to speak ! At fairs and markets, sliding the spoon under the ribbon of the hat was a way of saying : ”I’m looking for a job”. People were very mobile, travelling from farm to farm, that’s why some craftsmen invented foldable spoons.

   However, the most beautiful creation was the wedding spoon. Special creation for a very symbolic gesture ! Breton weddings brought several hundred guests. It was an opportunity for each single man to propose marriage to his sweetheart ˆ just by offering his most magnificent, sculpted spoon.

   All these things are explained in this video by Hervé Lorant, one of the very few spoon-sculptors in Brittany. In Breton language, he is a ”kizellour” and wedding spoons are ”loa-eured”. At the beginning, he shows how using the spoon-holder, and at the end of the video, how assembling a foldable wedding spoon. You will notice that this one is much bigger and decorative… not for everyday use ! 

   Best regards from Brittany, 

   Christine (Durand)

2 Responses to Sculpted Wooden Spoons

  1. Anonymous says:

    interesting…nice to learn this history. as an aside, what a practical, nonconfrontational manner to let one's wishes/needs be known…folks could respond or not, as they chose. (remove spoon to quit job/put sppon in hat to seek job)…

    also, beautiful and skilled. mayhaps potential employers might eyed the skill/technique a spoon (in hat) possessed to see if they wanted "this" employee?

  2. Wonderful history, beautiful spoons.

Post a Comment