The bird symbol is deeply meaningful and wide-spread. They are symbolic of love, peace or, in the case of the stork, a new birth.
Birds are commonly associated with love due to the fact that most bird species are known to be monogamous.
We find the stork depicted in numerous ancient mythologies; most notably Greek, Egyptian and Norse. Its association with new born babies is expected to have derived from Germany at least six hundred years ago. Around this time, summer was commonly associated with fertility. Summer was also when the storks would migrate, only returning to Europe in the spring nine months later. As a result of these coinciding events, the stork found its place as a symbol of new birth.
Another popular bird symbol is the dove which is symbolic of peace. The most notable depiction of this association is found in the story of Noah. After Noah sent a dove to find land after the flood, it returned with an olive branch. Both the dove and olive branch then became symbolic of the new era of peace on Earth, and God’s peace with humanity.
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The process of making a love spoon includes many hours for design as well as the actual time involved in carving and finishing of each spoon. The wood most widely used in carving our range of Welsh love spoons is Limewood and is sourced from Monmouthshire, south Wales. The wood is pale in colour and very uniform in character. It is lighter and easier to carve than walnut or oak, it is easily worked, and has very little grain, and a density of 560kg per cubic metre. It is a very popular wood for intricate carving, and is a favourite of Paul Curtis. When Paul makes a love spoon, the wood is hand selected and cut to a manageable length and thickness to allow the carving to begin. Once a rough outline of the design is made, the tedious task of carving each detailed symbol begins. One slip of the hand and the process starts again. Once he has hand carved the love-spoon it is sanded three time with different grades of sandpaper and polished twice with beeswax. “This is a painstaking way to finish a love-spoon,” says Paul, “but is the only way to achieve a quality smooth silky finish that the Welsh love-spoon deserves”. A hand rubbed stain is then applied and it is allowed to dry. Later a beeswax is applied by hand, the spoon is hand polished and the cards are attached. It is the attention to detail and the pride in their work that makes Angel Woodcraft love spoons a treasured keepsake.