Carved into wood

A true Pembrokeshire love story

The custom of carving and giving Welsh Love Spoons originated in Wales hundreds of years ago dating back to 1667.

Wales is home to the oldest lovespoon in the world, currently held in St. Fagans Welsh Living museum in Cardiff and although spoons have been carved by lots of cultures across the globe, the Welsh are the best known for this skilful tradition. 

This tradition is still carried on today in Pembrokeshire at The Lovespoon Workshop near Tenby and we went to visit this true Pembrokeshire love story….

In 1969 a man proposed to a woman with a hand carved love spoon, a long held tradition in Wales. It was made from a hardwood called teak and depicted a single empty heart, above which the carvers initials K T were inscribed. 

The year after he carved another, and another and The Lovespoon Workshop was born, carving a commemorative spoon every year since, as well as thousands of other for visitors to take home to their loved ones.

Kerry Thomas married Jill (and carved another spoon) in 1971 and the family business has been thriving ever since.

The first lovespoon made from teak.

Kerry and his son David were hard at work hand carving for Valentines orders when we arrived but were happy to show us around and explain the intricate work that goes into each spoon.  

The patterns are selcted before carving begins
A steady hand is needed

A spoon can be made from almost any wood and the carvings along its length can represent anything you’d like. For example, Kerry’s first spoon, the engagement spoon, had an empty heart, but he was hopeful it would be filled! The wedding spoon had his and Jill’s initials within the heart, beginning to be filled. Later on, he carved a spoon with his children’s names and was moved to mark spoons with events from across the world, from the Chilean miners rescue to the 100th anniversary of World War 1.

Selection of Lovespoons ready for carving

This Valentine’s Day or Wales’ St Dwynwen’s Day or whenever you need that extra special gift, why not give a personal, permanent and uniquely made lovespoon from Pembrokeshire. You can keep up with Kerry and David’s work on Twitter, they’re always adding new intricate designs to their studio walls.

Diwrnod San Ffolan Hapus – Happy Valentines Day!

Lovespoon and tools

Pembrokeshire is packed with history every bit as spectacular as its scenery

Sally Hales, Britain magazine