Saturday, 23 August 2014

That old chestnut...

So, I have my spoons labelled ready to take to the National Forest Wood Fair on Monday, in the hope of selling a couple. The question is, how much do I charge for them?

Oh yes, that old chestnut. I know there have been countless articles and numerous blog hours given over to this subject. I have read the advice of experienced and veteran crafts-people, the opinions and musings of others like myself, and still I do not know the answer. A Wilkinsons' wooden spoon is 50p; a Peter Follansbee spoon is around £30-40. I might not be a Peter Follansbee, but I would hope my spoons have more value than a mass-produced wooden cooking spoon.

It's such a dilemma. On the one hand I would like to get some monetary return on all the hours I have spent carving, I have more spoons than I have places to put them; whilst on the other I feel cheeky even asking for someone to pay real money for one of my spoons. Who do I think I am?
Then again, I have seen and handled enough spoons by other people to know that, modestly speaking, mine are as good as most, better than some, and other people manage to sell their spoons without causing a public affront. What a dilemma.

One thing for sure, I was determined this time to label and price my pieces before hand - I made the mistake at a previous craft fair (the only other fair Julian and I have done) of not pricing anything but just waiting for people to ask the price, then sounding unsure and generally apologetic. As a result I think I managed to sell only three spoons and a couple of handmade knives that time. Why should I feel apologetic about charging a reasonable amount for the things I have made? I know Robin Woods has said in the past not to under value what you have made, but don't over price yourself either. It's just that finding that happy medium is what I'm finding so difficult!

On a different note, my wife was insistent that we should have a sign of some kind on our stall so that everyone would know who we were. So, here is the hand painted sign, made from an old pallet, that I knocked-up yesterday. If you visit the fair on Monday, we're down the bottom end of the field - keep an eye out for it and come and say hello.


  1. Looking at the forecast, if you're down the bottom of the field I would start carving some canoes. If I can persuade my teenage daughter that a day standing in rain will not affect how her hair looks I'll see you there. Are you bring the knives?

  2. Hi Rob, sorry didn't see this comment, too late now. Had a good day - got soaked but met some good people. Don't worry, there'll be other events - we'll do our winter whittling before Christmas - keep an eye on the blog or Facebook.

  3. Good Morning, It was smashing to meet you both at the Forest Fair this last, very wet Monday. Thank you for spoon and cherry spatula - the latter doing grand service as I type on a batch of apples. I wonder if you run any courses for complete beginners please? All the very best, Dave (& Jane) Boyer, Buckingham

  4. Hi Dave, we don't have any courses running this year (we're working on our calendar for 2015), but if you want to arrange something, either a one to one, you and Jane or whatever suits, then send us an email at: or send us a message on our Facebook page: Holt & Heath. All the best