The custom of carving and giving Welsh Love Spoons originated in Wales hundreds of years ago. The young men of today would probably buy flowers, chocolates or jewellery as a token of affection.
Centuries ago in Wales, the young lover would also give gifts of sweets or cakes; but they would also give a special, more personal gift to the object of their desire, the Welsh Love Spoon. Some of the early love spoons can be seen on display at the Welsh Folk Museum in Cardiff. There is even one that dates back to 1667.
The young man would spend hours carving the lovespoon with his own hands, in the hope that the girl would accept it. If the girl accepted the spoon, she would demonstrate her interest in him and they would commence on a relationship, which is the origin of the word 'spooning'.
There has been much debate on the significance of the different symbols and motifs used in the carving of love spoons. Many of the young carvers were shy and unwilling to show their emotions, and this would attempt to convey their true feelings through the use of various symbols.
Over the centuries, many more symbols and motifs have been added and as the love spoons became more elaborate and decorative, they have become collectables.
|BELL||Weddings or Anniversaries or Together in Harmony.||HORSESHOE||A symbol of Good luck and Good fortune.|
|BALL IN CAGE||Love held safe or the number of children one wishes to have.||KEY/ KEYHOLE||Security or I shall look after you. The partner holds the key to his/her heart or home.|
|BIRDS||Love birds or Lets go away together. Stork represents a new birth.||KNOT / CELTIC KNOTWORK||Eternal love or Together forever or Everlasting.|
|CHAIN||Signifies loyalty and faithfulness. A wish to be together forever. Can also signify the number of children one wishes.||LOCK||Security or, I shall look after you|
|CROSS||A wish to have faith in Jesus Christ or a wish for God to bless.||TWISTED STEM||Two live become as one, or, Togetherness.|
|DIAMOND||Wealth or Good fortune.||DRAGON||Protection or Symbol of Wales.|
|HEART||This is one of the most common patterns. One heart signifies that the girl/boy has taken hold of the young man/woman's heart, and two hearts on the same spoon means that love is reciprocated.|
The Cadwyn Ltd range of Welsh love spoons are the creations of a group of wood-carvers in the southern valleys of Wales, led by Paul Curtis. Paul Curtis, a native of south Wales, grew up in a family of four children. He discovered his love and talent for woodcarving when he was very young.
When he was sixteen, after learning of his interest in wood carving and design, a good friend, Ceris Williams, took him to visit a highly acclaimed master craftsman called Gwyndaf Breeze at St. Fagans Welsh Folk Museum in Cardiff. Paul now owns his own workshop and employs local staff where they cut, carve and finish the beautiful love spoons.
The wood most widely used in carving our range of Welsh Love Spoons is Limewood sourced from Monmouthshire, south Wales. The wood is pale in colour and very uniform in character.
When Paul makes a love spoon, firstly the wood is selected and cut to a manageable size. Next the design is drawn onto the wood and the basic shape of the spoon is cut out. He will then work at the spoon in more detail, carving symbols such as a heart or horseshoe, before carving the spoon's bowl.
Once he has hand carved the lovespoon it is sanded three time with different grades of sandpaper and polished twice with beeswax. "This is a painstaking way to finish a lovespoon," says Paul, "but is the only way to achieve a quality smooth silky finish that the Welsh Lovespoon deserves".
Cadwyn offer a free engraving service of names, dates and even messages on genuine Welsh Lovespoons.
It's so simple and so unique. You choose the Lovespoon from our vast collection, and on those spoons where the service is available, you simply give us the details of what is required e.g. names and date. Your gift will be absolutely unique in the world and help to make it a really special occasion.