when Barn the spoon met Wille Sundqvist

OK this post is for my friends the geek spooncarvers of the world, there are not many of us and this post will be of no interest to anyone else so apologies for that, for those of us in the know it has a lot of meaning. Wille sundqvist is the grand old man of the spooncarving world. His book “swedish carving techniques” was a seminal work that inspired many of us 20 years ago and we have gone on to teach and spread the word to an ever growing audience. His influence has been huge. Most of us carve spoons as part of a range of woodworking activity but a few years ago my mate Barn Carder decided he was going to concentrate solely on spoons and he quickly got to be better than anyone in the UK. But what would Wille think of his spoons? At Taljfest I encouraged him to get his spoons out for Wille and we all waited with baited breath.


Wille is getting on but he becomes animated when looking at spoons. I have seen him analyse spoons a lot before and he is not afraid to say what he thinks.IMG_5644 IMG_5645

His normal response is “too thick, take some off here”IMG_5647 IMG_5649

a few comments about the detail, Barn always plays with his beard when in deep thought.IMG_5651 IMG_5652

Very animated discussion but does he like it?

Well it passed the visual inspection and now gets the ultimate test, if a spoon doesn’t pass this test it’s no good.


It’s a yes, and Barn will never wash that spoon again :0) happy days.IMG_5657

5 Responses to when Barn the spoon met Wille Sundqvist

  1. Alison J-B October 27, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    That makes me strangely happy.

    I hope Barn giggled.

  2. Niklas Karlsson October 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Great story! I wish Wille had heard the whole “Barn Spoon story”. He would have been impressed!

  3. Frederik October 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    This is great and I suppose it will be a lasting memory for Barn. Having your work approved by the grand master of the craft must be extremely rewarding!

  4. David Yule November 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi, Could we get to see the hero of the story “Barn’s spoon” that got the seal of approval from the grand master.

  5. John l howard November 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I can only imagine the butterflies Barn must have felt as willie came over. Barn is so sincere and outgoing in his sharing of knowledge, that to have “the Master” approve is tremendous. When I was in Grad Scholl, my mentor was whom I wanted to please. 40 years later I still think of how he would do things and would he approve of my choices.

    for Barn, I’m sure it to him vindicates, that may be too strong, the choices he has made. MAt 64 I’m learning handwork that I haven’t done since the late 1960’s and I’m loving it. i took a spoon course with Peter Follansbee (another willie student) and have become “obsessed” with carving more, coupled with a course with Chris Schwarz building a dutch tool chest. My fate is now sealed. Handwork rules! BTW based on class with Peter and this and Barns site, I just got my Twca Cam. Now to handle it and put it to use.