Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welsh Lovespoons

Anyonewho knows me knows that I am passionate about Wales, where I was born and spentmost of my life. I set my story,‘Dancing With Fate’ in 5th Century Wales and used much of the wild scenery,with its mountains and lakes as background to that story. My first fulllength futuristic novel ‘Starquest’ had several chapters set on the planetNiflheim, and again the inspiration for that planet came from onmemories of the Welsh mountains, and was reflected in the sequel, ‘Children OfThe Mist.

Wales is full of traditions and customs, one of the oldest being the love spoon. First of all, what is a‘lovespoon’ exactly. Well, in the words of David Western, a very talentedhand carver of these items: “Welsh lovespoons trace theirroots back to the 1600’s. They are hand carved tokens of love or esteem, eachan extraordinary work of art... Originally, it was a handmade spoon givenby its maker to the girl who had captivated his heart in the hopes itsacceptance would lead to the beginnings of a courtship. The custom wasknown throughout Wales andwas known to exist in Sweden,the Alpine regions and even down to Hungary;it is even reputed to have occurred in areas of Spain, France,Italy and Greece. It is in Waleshowever, that the lovespoon has survived the industrial revolution and it isthe only country where it has survived in a notable fashion."

David was born in Cardiff and now lives in Victoria, BC. He is not only highly skilled, but very passionate about his craft. Thepicture is of a love spoon formed tor represent the Welsh dragon for the Portland ‘West CoastEisteddford’ 2009. I think it is exquisite.

Ican Imagine a young Welsh man after a hard day’s work, returning to his familyhome and spending the long evenings carving a piece of wood into the shape of awooden spoon, with an ornately decorated handle. The more complicated anddifficult the design, the more it would symbolize the depth of his love anddesire to labour on behalf of the woman he yearned for.

Theyoung carver would probably have been shy and unwilling to show hisemotions, and would attempt to convey his true feelings through the use ofvarious symbols and motifs. Over the centuries, many more such symbols havebeen added and as the love spoons became more elaborate and decorative, theyhave become valued as collectibles. Many if the symbols used are familiarthroughout Europe. For instance, a chain or a Celtic knot would mean a wish to be together forever, a diamond would meanwealth or good fortune and the richness of a life filled with love, a crosswould mean faith, a flower would mean affection, or a dragon for protection, orto symbolize Walesitself.

How romantic is that?, There has to be a wealth of romance tales inthis one love token, alone!

Excerpts reprinted with permission from DavidWestern's blog, all material © 2009, David Western --

David is a regular contributerto Americymru, a blog specifically aimed at People with Welsh roots, living andworking in the USA

Don't forget - anyone who comments will be entered into a draw to win a download of Dancing With Fate. (or another of my books if you've already read it.)
USE COUPON No.EV52N at checkout to purchase for 99c (coupon good until Monday 3rd October)


Jen B. said...

The lovespoons are beautiful and what a wonderful way to show someone you love them.

June M. said...

Those are so cool. It is amazing the talent needed to carve those, it would definitely be something to do for someone you love.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

daydrmzzz said...

I am off. To google love spoons!! I want one now they are beautiful and I have never heard of or seen them before thank you for teaching me something new xoxo

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Jen - yes lovespoons are a beautiful love token - and something hand made with love is so much more meaningful than anything mass produced.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello June

Yes, the skill involved in these traditional lovespoons is amazing - and in the old days they were made by poor young men, mostly with little education, but their love seems to have guided their hands and helped them make something really beautiful.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Dawn

I so pleased you enjoyed reading about lovespoons and want to find out more. There are many available for sale on the web, but if you want a genuine, hand carved one, and can afford to pay for something special, I suggest you visit David's blog, he does the most beautiful work.