In the second instalment of our week long ‘Reaping the Rewards’ series, we meet Barnaby Carder, The Spoon Carver who relocated to Hackney Road and became London’s greenest business.
In his shop on Hackney Road, Barnaby ‘Barn The Spoon’ Carder sits and patiently carves exquisite wooden spoons. ‘I’m the greenest business in the city,’ he says. ‘I take waste wood and turn it into usable products.’
Barn discovered woodcraft at a young age thanks to a neighbour who was a design and technology teacher. When he was 12, he got a lathe and began turning bowls and candlesticks but, after developing a ‘holistic relationship with wood’ and making chairs from trees he’d chopped down, he gravitated to spoons. ‘I realised spoons were the most challenging thing to make,’ he says. ‘They’re very sculptural and it’s hard to get their functionality right. But you can make a spoon in an hour, so there’s instant gratification.’
After living in the woods selling spoons to get by, Barn moved to London to teach woodwork, started a woodcraft school and took a lease on a shop. ‘I couldn’t do this in the countryside,’ he says. ‘People think it’s incongruous, but ever since there have been cities, it’s been where people go to sell things.’
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Photography: Chris Terry