Finding The Perfect Present
With just six weeks until Christmas, present buying for many is in full swing. But how to find the perfect present for that hard-to-buy-for friend or relative? We all have that one person in our life who has everything! When presented with someone like this, my go-to is something unique, hand-made and one-of-a-kind. I’m a bit of a stickler for it being useful as well and this week’s Moonlighter definitely fits the bill for all of these requirements! We are so proud to have a plethora of incredibly skilled employees within our community and are delighted to be able to share their talents with our supporters (particularly if it makes Christmas shopping a little easier for them). Our second Super Skilled TOG Employee is Nick Murphy who, in the last few years, has become one of the Master Crafters of the Spoon Carving and Slojd world with his beautiful creations. Some of you have probably already seen some of the results of his late night carving sessions but perhaps you’ve always wanted to know more? In which case, you’re in luck! So without further ado, we’ll delve into the weird and wonderful world of spooning!
Role within The Outdoors Group: Forest Schools Coordinator
Secret Skill: I tempt spoons out of wood using axes and knives.
Name of Business: Murphy’s Spoon
When did you start? 2014
Why did you start? I learnt how to carve a spoon whilst training to become a forest school leader, and I’ve been unable to curb the addiction since.
What do you love about it, what drives you? I love the process. Each piece is essentially a small sculpture in wood, and without geeking-out too much about it, they must first serve function, which requires understanding of form and how to manipulate the wood to arrive at a finished product that is both useful and beautiful.
What have you learnt since starting? That I’m awesome at carving spoons, haha. Seriously though, my spoons are awesome. I’ve learnt that in a world where we are increasingly online, behind the screen, consuming news and products, it is too easy to slip into living life as a sort of passenger. In my fairly busy life of family and work this is a fairly achievable way of bringing a little honest simplicity into each and every day that is for me and for me only. Is that selfish?
What’s your favourite thing about it? I enjoy the creative productivity, the calm mindful focus. Life can be busy, and this outlet grounds me totally, particularly when I’m in the woods carving. I find it almost meditative. There are huge benefits to be found from being creative with our hands, particularly on our mental well-being. It’s good for your noggin.
Have you got any funny or strange moments to share about your moonlighting escapades? First rule of Spoon-Club is…
What about it are you proudest of? I’m proud of how far I have come with this craft, and that I’ve reached a point where I can teach others how to do so. I’m proud and humbled that there is interest and demand for my spoons, and that hundreds of my spoons can be found worldwide. One of my spoons has even been taken on an Everest Expedition!
Anything else you fancy telling us about? No.
Social Media Channels – where to find you!:
Author: Hannah Durdin, Administrator & Forest School Leader
Date: Thursday 12th November 2020