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IN search of a creative outlet and with a lifelong love of woodworking, Fiona Glover started carving spoons on a whim and says she’s become hooked on the calming, meditative practice.
Fiona now sells her work around town as Twig to Table, and hosts spoon-carving workshops at retail space Meet Gather Collect in Aranda.
“I’d been interested in woodworking since school but never pursued it until I joined the public service and had three children – being busy in life, I felt I was missing out on a creative outlet,” she says.
“Family and work life could be stressful so I did a spoon-carving workshop a few years ago at the south coast and found it the most relaxing, absorbing, meditative practice. It really worked for me.”
Fiona says she also took a beginners woodworking course and made a chair and other pieces of furniture, but found that spoon carving was the ideal way to work with wood from home, without needing a great deal of machinery.
“I don’t have a workshop at home, but I can carve spoons with minimal tools, and take my work with me most places, as long as people don’t mind knives!” she says.
“It’s something you become completely absorbed in, just focusing on what you’re creating, working with the grain, and you really lose track of everything else that’s going on around you.”
Fiona says she uses a lot of waste wood, pieces that would otherwise go into a fire or landfill.
“I get off-cuts from cabinet makers, lovely pieces of wood, mostly Australian but also exotic species, that aren’t of any use because they’re too small,” she says.
“I like working with Tasmanian blackwood and Huon pine, they’re beautiful timbers, very hard and they have such character and variation to them.
“I also work with green wood – in Canberra there are a lot of street trees that are coming to the end of their life and they either need pruning or removing. Arborists are wonderful and if I ask them nicely they’ll cut me a branch or two and I can use that.”
Fiona says it was never her intention to start a business.
“I started documenting my work on Instagram as a bit of a personal journal and to show I have a practice if I wanted to carry on with study, but because of the account I had people contacting me asking if I could make them spoons and it kind of grew from there,” she says.
With a love for creating something that can be used and appreciated for years, Fiona says she enjoys being able to talk about where the wood has come from, and the story behind each piece.
“People seem to be appreciating handmade items a bit more now because we do have such a consumerist culture, and perhaps there’s a little bit of fatigue around that,” she says.
“I’ve also had people contact me who’ve had special trees that have fallen, and asked me to make something for them from that, which is really lovely.”
Prices start from $25 for a small spoon, available at the National Library, Craft ACT and Meet Gather Collect, Aranda. Visit instagram.com/fi.glover/