The young Oslo-based designer Stian Korntved Ruud (one half of the naturalist design duo Kneip) invested his energies for one whole year into a singular project – hand carving a wooden spoon each day – resulting in 365 daily Norwegian wooden spoons.
Stian Korntved Ruud is an active part of Norway’s thriving design scene. He uses wood and various natural materials in his craft; his varied projects demonstrate what is undoubtedly an intuitive as well as learned understanding of materials and how they can be worked. Hailing from a family of wood lovers, he gets back to basics with a very Norwegian skill indeed; Norway is a country where people have carved in wood and sculpted wooden objects for many generations.
His project from 2014-15 consists of 365 unique hand carved spoons made from various types of wood gathered around the world. The Daily Spoon is a meditation in material – by adding functionality to a piece of wood, Ruud is exploring the boundaries of the material itself while refining his craft.
Stian Korntved Ruud has ”always experimented [with], modified, repaired and destroyed the objects around him.” With a BA in Product Design (Akershus University College, Norway), a MA in Industrial Design (Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway) and an internship at Tom Dixon in London, Ruud has a rather formidable academic grounding which he has used in building an assorted portfolio, manipulating materials by employing differing forms and concepts, including video, lighting, product exploration and woodworking along the way.
“By repeating the production of a spoon every day for a longer period of time (365 days) I wanted to challenge and explore a spoon’s aesthetic and functional qualities,” he says.
Anyone who has ever tried their hand at carving wood can appreciate the patience, dexterity and vision it takes to wrought a defined shape from an organic material full of knots, holes and disparities. For the duration of the project, Ruud was a one-man wooden spoon factory:
“I make all the spoons in a traditional way with only hand tools. The point of this is to actively cooperate with the material, in this case wood. In a modern industrial production, the machines overwrite the wooden structures and natural growth pattern. When using manual hand tools my hands collaborate with the wood structure during the forming process. This underpins all the spoons’ unique qualities,” he explains.
Every spoon begins life as an idea or sketch. Dependent upon the intricacy of a design, a spoon can take from half an hour to three hours to carve. The resulting forms are a dexterous and insightful mélange of wooden spoon implements consisting of different shapes and a number of potentially exotic uses.
The project was purchased by KODE Art Museums, Bergen in 2015. A signed print (limited edition of 250) of the whole collection is available at the Kneip webshop.
More recent works by Stian Korntved Ruud include his “resonating forks” (2019), candle holder (2020).
365 Daily Norwegian Wooden Spoons, written by Tor Kjolberg
All photos © Stian Korntved Ruud