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Carving a career from a spoon

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As a local carver, Kyle Pearson’s passion is creating hand-carved wooden spoons.

From the way a spoon is shaped, to the way it is carved to have a good feel in the hand, Pearson has developed a healthy obsession for the spoon.

“It’s something that we take for granted,” he said.

Instead of buying a cheap set of metal spoons that are punched out by the second, Pearson said his creations are spoons that are not only handmade but made to last.

Pearson will demonstrate this art of spoon carving at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Venue Fine Arts and Gifts.

This will be his second time demonstrating spoon carving at the Venue. The first time, he said, he took a log into the gallery and carved a spoon out of it right then and there. This time, Pearson plans on speeding the process by prepping pieces of wood to represent the different steps of carving.

“I do what is called green wood working,” he said. This is a process in which an artist takes a piece of wood that is “green,” or freshly cut, and works with it. To simplify, Pearson said he works with wood that has a higher water content because it hasn’t had the chance to dry out.

His style is inspired by traditional Swedish wood carving, or more specifically, wood work that comes from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Pearson said he is inspired by authentic antique spoon models, and he frequently researches museums on how to create things that are influenced by the historically accurate.

A Europe and European history buff, Pearson said he plans on explaining the history of spoon craftsmanship and creation during the demonstration.

Yet despite his passion for his work and slight distaste for mass-manufactured metal and bamboo spoons, Pearson said he has “shamefully” not transferred his home from store-bought utensils to his own handicraft. He said he experienced some resistance from his family to switching its cooking and dining utensils over. In fact, he said he would threaten to take away favorite metal spoons if anyone 
misbehaved.

This occurrence, which Pearson named the “spoonageddon” after controlling a bout of laughter, is when spoon carvers are unable to get rid of rapidly created, stamped metal spoons in their homes. However, he said people are slowly starting to drop their resistance. Now Pearson’s own handiwork is slowly starting to replace their dwindling metallic spoon collection.

Though Pearson’s youngest daughter might be resisting the removal of a favorite metal spoon or two, he said the root of his career started with her birth.

“I have always worked with my hands,” he said. “I’ve always done utilitarian work.”

Yet, after working in other fields, he said he felt he needed a break.

Then, his daughter was born. He decided he wanted to make her something, something she could use. Peason decided to make her an eating spoon, he said.

“It did it for me,” he said.

His work grew from there.

“I couldn’t stop,” he said. “It was really inspiring to me … the first thing that comes in contact to your mouth besides your hand or your foot is a spoon.”

Read More: Wooden Spoon Making Machine

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