The country of Wales has a distinctive culture, including its own language, customs, politics, holidays and music. A distinctive Welsh tradition that dates to the 17th century are Welsh love spoons, which are decoratively carved wooden spoons presented as a gift of romantic intent. While similar customs exist in different parts of the world, the true lovespoon is Welsh in its origin.
Welsh love spoons date back to the 17th century. While similar customs exist in different parts of the world, the true lovespoon is Welsh in its origin.
Sailors used to carve lovespoons, and the early designs depict nautical symbols, including anchors, ships wheels and ships. While 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.
More recent developments within the lovespoon tradition have witnessed a successful fusion of Celtic designs and the symbolism of traditional Welsh lovespoons.
The 17th-century Welsh tradition of carving lovespoons as tokens of affection and love continues in Wales today at The Thomas Family Lovespoon Workshop, situated close to the seaside resort of Tenby in Pembrokeshire.
In this BCD “People Are Culture” video, meet father and son Kerry and Dave Thomas, who share the history and techniques of the 17th-century Welsh tradition of designing and hand carving Welsh love spoons.
Keen to own your own Welsh love spoon, or visit the Thomas Family Lovespoon Workshop? Reach out to Kerry & Dave at www.thelovespoonworkshop.com