Tools of the Trade: Wooden Spoons with History 07.25.2013

At our 20th college reunion back in June, my friend Julie presented me with these beautiful wooden spoons that she and a woodworker friend made.  They are stunning pieces. The larger spoon can be used as a coffee scoop, and the smaller one for honey.

Julie and I attended a small, women's liberal arts college -- Hollins University -- and aside from the reunion bringing back our time all those years ago, so did these spoons.  With the spoons, Julie provided a note that said the following:

"These spoons were made from a broken section of a large oak tree which once grew on the Hollins front quad. The tree was a victim of Hurricane Hugo, which struck the campus in late September of 1989. Seeing those massive trunks splayed on the ground was shocking and horrible. I imagined those old trees had witnessed a lot of Hollins legacy at a time when my own Hollins journey was just beginning. So, I carried a piece of one tree back to my room...That trunk of oak rested on my dresser all four years of school -- mostly holding jewelry and pictures, etc."

After graduation, Julie carted that piece of wood between the East and West coasts, unsure what to do with it, but certain she didn't want to get rid of it.  In 2012, Julie was inspired.  She consulted a friend who is also a talented woodworker with a specialty in spoons.

"I wondered if he might be able to to get 2 or 3 out of the wood but before I knew it he had cut the rough forms of 13 different spoons.  I did all the finishing work and soaked them in walnut oil for 3 days," Julie wrote.  "I hope you enjoy this little piece of Hollins beauty and history in the shape of a spoon -- it seems appropriate for a place that fed and nurtured us so well."


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