Welsh Love Spoons – with Hands of an Angel
I thought I would share something close to my heart by looking at the custom of carving from any wood to make welsh love spoons. Originated in Wales hundreds of years ago, it’s quite an acquired art! The young men of today worldwide would probably buy flowers, chocolates or jewellery as a token of love and affection.
All those centuries ago in Wales, the lover would give gifts of sweets or cakes! But they would also give a special gift to be the object of their desire, the welsh love spoons! Some of the early love spoons can be seen on display in the St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff. There is even one dating as back as 1667 there!
The young man would spend hours carving the love spoon with his own hands! He would be hoping that the girl would express her love once receiving it. She would then demonstrate her interest in him! The word love spoon has been associated with spooning, actually curled up and hugging together!
This was a custom that was not confined to Wales. But happened across Europe, especially people in the Celtic countries. Because the rural person used wooden spoons to eat and prepare the food, they had to carve numerous simple spoons for that purpose. Therefore, it is likely that more intricate carvings developed naturally from this and the most beautiful ones kept as gifts.
The Good Old Days
The man would have a lot of time on his hands in the winter evenings. Many of them would carve all kinds of kitchen utensils or toys for children to pass the time. As well as write poetry or composing songs. In the good old days, there was no TV, radio or cars! Hence making spoons for a girlfriend or wife.
This craft of love spoons has been handed down from father to son and is still special for people, especially in mid and west Wales, and many of them are sent worldwide. No other country in the world makes or creates love spoons as Wales, as most carvers have kept the craft in the Welsh families!
Nowadays given as presents, but especially for a Welsh wedding! To a wife or husband, they carve their lives and pathways, like the date of the wedding. These are beautiful gifts, dating back to a gift tradition around the 18th century. Carved wooden spoons were always a Welsh tradition to hang on the wall for everybody to see and enjoy.
Today the love spoons are for birthdays, anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, christenings and housewarming parties. Hence, there are many shapes and sizes of these love spoons! Telling many a tale of from childhood right to where you married and your children. They are also handy as spoons too!
Lots of love as always,
Hands of an Angel xx
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