The Lovespoon Gallery
Experience More - Subscribe to Our Weekly Events Newsletter
When visiting Wales, you might witness lovespoon stores or even Welsh people gifting these timber carvings to each other. What seems an old and unusual tradition to tourists, to the Welsh this goes back hundreds of years. The Welsh share the joy and warmth of this tradition at the iconic Welsh Lovespoon Gallery
(Cardiff Castle Welsh Crafts), conveniently located in Cardiff's city centre.
The spoon shop is semi-attached to a large souvenir store - Cardiff Castle Welsh Crafts.
So if you find yourself visiting the Welsh capital city with limited time for souvenir shopping, this lovespoon gallery will not disappoint in cultural significance, variety, quality or sentimental meaning.
What is a lovespoon?
Basically, a spoon intricately carved from a single piece of timber. It is a tradition in Wales to gift loved ones and prospective romantic partners these spoons to express affection or to enquire about their interest in you.
What is the meaning of a lovespoon?
Traditionally in Wales, these spoons were carved and gifted from a male to a female to express being in love and to see if the girl would accept the gift, in which case it would indicate she was also romantically interested in him. Nowadays the Welsh Lovespoon Gallery
sells spoons to express all kinds of affection and to commemorate special times in people's lives.
The gallery offers such a large range, you could find collectible items and one of a kind carvings, all handmade by craftsmen.
A bit of history on lovespoons.
This tradition originated in Wales hundreds of years ago. Young men across the country would carve a spoon from a single piece of timber, hoping the girl they loved would accept the gift. If the spoon was accepted this meant she was also interested and a relationship would then take place. Many people believe this ritual may be the origin to the term "spooning".You can view some of the oldest models (one dating back to 1667) at the Welsh Folk Museum in Cardiff.
The tradition was not specific to Wales, many other Celtic nations also demonstrated their affection or interest in a partner in the same way. It is believed to be a tradition of those living as peasants as they would normally eat and cook with wooden spoons, therefore it is very likely more intricate and elaborate models were considered special gifts.
People in those days would amuse themselves after a hard day's work with many activities: reading, sewing, knitting and wood carving. Limited resources and long harsh winters also meant a lot of time spent indoors, giving people time to master their craft and create very elaborate designs and meanings for the lovespoon carvings.
What are the meanings of the carvings?
Many designs were born with time, and although the tradition started as a romantic gesture, there are now many designs to celebrate, commemorate and show affection to those closest to our hearts. Some of the meanings include bells for anniversaries, chains to express wanting to forever be together, a dragon for protection, diamonds to signify wealth, a cross to represent faith in God, the popular horseshoe for good luck, love hearts for romantic purposes, Celtic knots to signify eternal love, locks to express safe guarding someone and twisted plant stems to signify togetherness or unity.
The designs are endless and combined on the spoon's handle - they can express many things from the person gifting it or making it, to the person receiving the spoon.
What are the spoons made of?
Most traditionally, love spoons are made from a single piece of timber, usually from the sycamore tree, but other timbers are also used. The spoons are not used as eating utensils, they are hung in a special place in the house for the family and visitors to admire. Nowadays the Welsh Lovespoon Gallery
offers a vast range of spoons made from different timbers, some with extremely skilled designs and more sober ones too, some of them offer a small blank space to have a special date, name or message engraved.
Who can I buy a lovespoon for?
When visiting Cardiff, visit the Welsh Lovespoon Gallery.
Conveniently located right across the street from Cardiff Castle, this traditional shop offers an immense range of lovespoons and other quality made Welsh souvenirs. The spoons certainly make for a very unique gift. You can purchase them for a wedding, engagement, a loved one, anniversaries, Valentines Day, as a lovely housewarming gift, as a birthday gift, to commemorate someone who has passed away or for the birth of a little one.If luggage space or holiday budget is an issue, this shop offers a large range of spoon sizes and prices. You can find very small ones that will fit easily in a case or even spoons over one metre in length (they also have the largest lovespoon in the world on display), prices vary according to the type of timber used, the size and the intricacy of the carving.
If you are looking for a bigger range of souvenirs, you can visit next door Cardiff Castle Welsh crafts
, this family business offers a very large range of original and very unique Welsh souvenirs for all sorts of ages, budgets, luggage sizes. You can find anything from clothing, jewellery, wool items, artisan food and beverage, trinkets and homewares.
72524 - 2023-01-26 02:02:30