Bored advertising exec becomes overnight sensation after handcrafting beautiful wooden spoons during lockdown
Bartek Kaczmarek is ‘over the spoon’ after his collection of gorgeous handcrafted wooden spoons became an internet hit.
The 33-year-old from Kielce has now been flooded with media attention and customer orders after his wife posted photos of the intricately carved pieces onto social media.
Stunned Bartek told TFN: “I'm completely overwhelmed by people's reactions to my carvings, I totally wasn't expecting this much attention, it's a really nice surprise."
The advertising sales director who is originally from the small town of Kruszwica in Central Poland where his father was a carpenter, first took up knife and wood as a way or relieving lockdown boredom in April last year.
His wife Magda had asked him to carve her a spoon with the motif of the Świętokrzyska Witch, a popular legend from the Świętokrzyskie region of Poland where the couple now live.
She then posted a photo of it on social media alongside the caption: “Quarantine in full swing. I embroider, my husband is carving wood.”
Since then he has been inundated with offers of work from people across the country keen for him to carve them a bespoke design.
Made from birchwood, walnut wood, ash or sometimes oak which he sources from throwaway cuts from local warehouses and workshops or from friends, the time it takes to carve each spoon depends on the design.
He said: “Each design I make is unique and I only use knives, so the work is very time-consuming and very delicate.
“It can take anywhere from 40 minutes for the easiest spoon with barely any carving, to 8 hours for a standard carving or even 100 hours for the most complex design.
“The most popular design is probably bees, I do quite a lot of bees.”
“My most time-consuming design so far was a vine design which also included wild mushrooms on it.
“It had a lot of tricky turnings in the design which required a lot of concentration and no room for error.”
Bartek is now considering turning his wood carving into a full-time business and has begun to carve other objects from wood, including jewellery and mugs.
He said: “Although I still have my day job, wood carving is definitely no longer just a hobby, like it was at the start of lockdown last year.
“If I wanted to I could devote myself to it full-time and make a living. That’s amazing. It’s definitely something I’m considering and I’m currently thinking about setting up my own shop.”
He added: "It's nice to be part of helping to bring back the tradition of carving wooden spoons.
“Before the 1950s, every village in Poland had a specialist who carved spoons from wood, now there are only a handful of us."