What an amazing idea but before you ask no I am not about to do a daily spoon. This blog post is a comment on a spooncarving project that is getting a lot of coverage in the mainstream media and an attempt to fill in some background and credit the source of the idea.
STIAN KORNTVED RUUD is a young designer from Oslo Norway and having carved a spoon a day for almost a year in 9 days time he will carve his 365th spoon.
It’s all fun and makes a great project to share on social media particularly since he photographs the work well. If it inspires anyone else to pick up a knife and carve a spoon that is great. I feel though that there has been a lack of critical comment on the project that is what I would like to add. Amongst the well established spooncarving community there is a tendency to say “but they are not spoons”. I personally think I would prefer to call many of them “small spoonlike sculptures” since the OE dictionary definition of a spoon is “An implement consisting of a small, shallow, oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring and serving food.”
Now if they were just a collection of small spoonlike sculptures would they be getting the media coverage that they are? No! What is special and brilliant about this project is the IDEA. I would like to view this as a piece of performance art, now as we know in art as in music or any other art form it is the original idea that is important perhaps more than the actual performance or creation of the artwork itself. And here is the problem. The idea is not Stian Korntved Ruud’s it belongs to a rather more humble craftsman by the name of Keith Matthews.
Keith visited the first international celebration of the carved wooden spoon SPOONFEST in 2012. He was totally inspired and decided to carve a spoon a day for a year. These spoons were shown in the gallery at SPOONFEST in 2013 and widely shared on the internet.
Coincidentally Stain Korntved Ruud was an intern in the UK in 2013 at Tom Dixon design studio where he no doubt saw and was inspired by Keith’s idea. Several other’s were in the UK and abroad including Joseph Bloor who repeated the mammoth undertaking in 2014
So to sum up, great to see Keith’s idea inspiring others and getting worldwide publicity for spoon carving, just tinged with a little sadness that the original artist is not being credited with the idea. Oh and if you would like to see one of Keith’s spoons then have a look at 20 of the best wooden spoons in the world where you will see the spoon he carved on day 365.
He published his spoon each day on facebook in a bunch of albums called 365 spoons. I am not sure if these will appear for everyone if I post a link or if you need to be a facebook friend