I love our contemporary global marketplace. In what other period in time can a girl in Seattle lust over a Welsh handicraft executed by a gentleman in Portugal? It’s a brave new world, folks.
And that is exactly what I did today. After a couple weeks of go-go-go, I decided to enjoy a leisurely morning of browsing through Etsy, and I came across these contemporary takes on a traditional Welsh craft: carving lovespoons. Now, the earliest known example of a lovespoon dates from around 1667, but the tradition is thought to have been longer-lived than that. Essentially, a lovespoon is a token of affection carved by a Welshman to give to his sweetheart…but with the intent to demonstrate his skills to her father. The spoon is a symbol that is supposed to show that the suitor can provide for his daughter, and the intricacy of the carving is to demonstrate that the suitor’s skill will “keep the bowl full”. Today, the practice has largely disbanded and the manufacture of the spoons has become a folkcraft, though the spoons themselves remain a popular gift for weddings, anniversaries, and the like.
Today, craftsman Pedro Santos out of Lisbon, Portugal continues the tradition of making these spoons, and he sells them through his Etsy store, PabreauWoodworking. I don’t get the impression that he is a practicing Pagan, but he sure can talk the lingo! I love this particular set spoons; so simple they are and yet so powerful. I’d absolutely love them for my altar…but at about $340 for the set, I think my drooling will be limited to sharing their gorgeousness with all of you.