Look What Arrived From Brittany

Yesterday, a package arrived from Jane Mickelborough.  After having the pleasure of getting to know Jane at Greenwood Fest 2017, I requested a porte-cuillères, a traditional Breton spoon rack that is meant to hang over the table.  It incorporates a clever arrangement of cord that allows the rack to be pulled down for access, then raised back up to clear the view.  I tested and admired the porte-cuillères in the workshop this morning.

Jane is a fascinating person and incredibly skilled in many ways.  She carves, she turns, she makes fan birds, she dances elegantly and can sing you a sea shanty.  And that’s just scratching  the surface.  She’s also deeply steeped in the craft traditions of Brittany, which you can read about more in an interview with Jane that Peter Follansbee shared in this blog post last year.


Many Breton elements are featured in the details of the walnut porte-cuillères that Jane made for me, like the brass tacks:

And the intriguing and beautiful wax inlay technique that Jane used around the central hub of the porte-cuillères:


Kalon digor is Breton for “bon appetit” which is French for something.  Seems to make me hungry.


The ermine is a Breton symbol.

The rack will hold many spoons made by friends:


Jane’s crossing the pond to be at Greenwood Fest again.  Still time to sharpen your knives and practice your sea shanties.


This entry was posted in historical reference, spoons, Uncategorized, walnut and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Look What Arrived From Brittany

  1. Paul Anderson says:

    Looks great Dave. When I see Jane I will have to check this spoon rack out! I hope it is ok to say Jane is also coming to the Spoon Gathering in Milan, MN this year. It is held this year the end of May and first of June. She will also be teaching one of the pre-event classes concerning spoons. Just incase anyone is interested.


  2. janechatquilitcom says:

    looks good with all those lovely spoons on board

    Liked by 1 person

  3. treenworks says:

    Very much looking forward to meeting both you and Jane at GreenwoodFest. I’m often left speechless when I see her work. The detail is incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keith Green says:

    Would love to have a go at one of these. Any sketches or photo’s of the routing of the lines? I will check her blog, no results from a Google search yet.


    • Dave Fisher says:

      There is some information about her process in Peter Follansbee’s post (link is above) and he also includes a like to Jane’s Instagram feed. I’d love to learn more myself. Fascinating techniques.


  5. Eric Goodson says:

    Oh, that is a lovely piece! Love it in walnut. Stunning. Must be cool to have one to really study after seeing Jane’s last year. BTW, congrats on filling your pre-fest course! It went fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Pre-Fest in the Pinewoods | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

  7. David Palmer says:

    I’m of Breton ancestry, and I’ve recently taken an interest in greenwood carving. This is all so cool. My late Breton grandfather chip carved, and I inherited his tools. He started woodcarving late in life, after his retirement – he was teaching himself from books on German-style decorated boxes. I’m so glad to learn about spoon carving; although I use many of his other tools, chip carving never appealed to me before seeing the beautiful spoons featuring chip carved details.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dave Fisher says:

    Very glad to hear that. What a special thing to use your grandfather’s tools to carve and decorate some traditional Breton spoons. If you ever have the opportunity to sit and talk (and/or carve) with Jane, you’d have a blast. You won’t find a more gracious or talented carver, and the Breton connection would be fascinating.


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