The hardest part in any Welsh Lovespoon creation is to come up with somewhat of a unique design. With the multitude of websites that are available most have a common likeness in design pulling from the tradition of Celtic art. There may be hearts, crosses, doves and knots adorning the carving and it’s an individual taste that eventually sways you as a potential customer to purchase or not to purchase that item that is offered, therefore it is important to create a Welsh Lovespoon that you yourself would purchase.
The quality of the carving and the type of wood used coupled with the overall craftsmanship will make or break the desirability. Many of the commercially made lovespoons have very fine detail which is very difficult to compete against when you are carving in the traditional manner purely because of the extra fine detail. This is the one area where you cannot compete but unique design is a different issue, by being different increases the desirability.
You may ask, where do you get the ideas in the first place. The first stop is to consult actual books that have been written on the subject and then branch out from there. In those books you will find designs that have been made and proved out showing the balance of the set elements to one another. One such book is Celtic Carved Lovespoons: 30 Patterns, here is a book that has designs to suit every level of carving ability. The main point is to study those designs and use some of the elements to create your own personalized design.
The more three dimensional the lovespoon the richer the look but this also involves more work. A thick piece of Mahogany at half an inch to three quarters of an inch is going to take longer to scroll saw than a quarter inch piece. The trade off is that you can produce a richer form than you would with the quarter inch piece.
The design also influences the material, a more intricate piece demands a tighter grain and a harder material such as Walnut or Maple because of the risk of breakage. A robust or simplified design, Mahogany or Poplar because the design is less demanding. Either way, start off with a relatively easy design to carve first, this enables you to familiarize yourself with the tools. Once you have conquered that first step then you can use your imagination to create your perfect Welsh Lovespoon.