I stumbled across images of these wooden spoons on Instagram one day. Taken by their unfiinished appearance and the hand that was so proudly presenting them, I discovered 365 Spoons, a 2014 project and personal challenge taken on by craftsman Josh Nava, of Nashville, Tennessee. I instantly fell in love with the project, the simplicity of the idea, and the complexity of the design and dedication.
Josh describes how the project became: "The project start wasn't necessarily about spoons, it was a challenge of discipline. I wanted to explore the function of skill building and run into all the peaks and valleys that come along with acquiring and becoming proficient in a skill. As well, I wanted to couple it with the art background that I grew up with, drawing and painting from my grandmother, and the woodworking that I do on a commission basis."
After exchanging a couple lovely emails with Josh, he explains that spoon carving serves as its own education in woodworking and exposes one to: different wood types and grain direction, lessons in control of knives, proportion and design and function and utility. For something so simple and unassuming, there is much to learn.
While Josh is still reflecting upon the lessons learned from 365 Spoons, the one overarching lesson he has taken away from the project is learning how to accomplish one very large task by breaking it down into manageable and feasible increments.
"If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year to make almost four hundred spoons I think it would've been too overwhelming for me. But what I found is by asking myself to just make one spoon, one spoon every day, and by weilding the leverage of public accountability, I could do something that's very difficult and push through all the roadblocks that would've prohibited me before. I'm certain it will serve as a very special metaphor for the rest of my life."