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Lovespoon History

Ten fun Welsh Lovespoon and Lovespoon Workshop facts!!

1. The Welsh lovespoon tradition dates back to the 17th century.

2. The earliest dated Welsh lovespoon is dated 1667, you can see it at the National Folk Museum of Wales, St Fagans.

3. Here at The Lovespoon Workshop we have been making Welsh lovespoons since 1969.

4. Our own collection of Welsh lovespoons includes one special lovespoon that records each and every year since 1969.

5. Our ‘longest’ handcarved Welsh lovespoon that is on display at The Lovespoon Workshop is made from a single solid block of Oak and is over thirty foot long.

6. The longest amount of time we have spent making a lovespoon is three hundred hours!!

7. All of our Welsh lovespoons are handcarved here on site at The Lovespoon Workshop.

8. We once spent thirty hours on a lovespoon that went wrong!!

9. Our first lovespoon was made by Thomas the Woodcarver on the day of the investiture of Prince Charles.

10. In the UK the traditional symbol for eighty years of marriage is Oak but we are still waiting to be asked to make a lovespoon to record it.

Dai 'lovespoons' Thomas Handcarving Welsh lovespoons at The Lovespoon Workshop.
Dai ‘lovespoons’ Thomas Handcarving Welsh lovespoons at The Lovespoon Workshop.

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A Brief Lovespoon History

The Welsh lovespoon dates back to the 17th century, the earliest example being dated 1667. We believe that sailors used to carve lovespoons, this is in part due to the amount of nautical symbols, including anchors, ships wheels and ships being carved into early designs.The link with sailors and seaside communities opens the tradition up to a wider world of wood, allowing us to use timbers that originate from all parts of the world.

Whilst similar customs to the Welsh lovespoon exist in different parts of the world the true lovespoon is Welsh in its origin. We note that only Wales lays claim to the lovespoon tradition. This leads us into the realm of Celtic design. Early lovespoons do not usually display much in the way of Celtic influence, however more recent developments within the lovespoon tradition have witnessed a successful fusion of both traditional lovespoon and Celtic design.

Lovespoon symbols are another area of the tradition that has received much attention. Numerous lists have been produced over the last fifty years from a variety of sources for various purposes. Whilst some symbols are obvious in their meaning, it is often the case that a symbol can have a variety of meanings depending on individual interpretation. For example an anchor is widely regarded as representing stability but it could also be used to simply portray a love of the sea.

Lovespoons on display at The Lovespoon Workshop.
Lovespoons on display at The Lovespoon Workshop.