Upstate man carves wooden spoons, plays them as instruments - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate man carves wooden spoons, plays them as instruments

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Joda Snipes holds one of his musical spoons. (File/FOX Carolina) Joda Snipes holds one of his musical spoons. (File/FOX Carolina)
BELTON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

They're not your average soup spoons, but the spoons one Belton man carves out of a single piece of wood make for an Appalachian musical tradition.

"I say that's an old Appalachian musical eating machine," said Joda Snipes. "That's what that is."

Snipes said he picked up playing the spoons easily after a man he met at a craft show traded him one of his carved faces for the Appalachian musical eating machine.

Snipes plays his hand-crafted spoons for anyone who'll listen, but it's the carving that was his first passion.

He said he first carved a tiny shoe with a pocket knife back in 1986 when he had some downtime at his Greenville job at Fiber Industries.

His hobby grew over the years, carving faces and figures all free-handed.

Each piece has a story. Some are tall tales, but others are of the fellow musicians and wood carvers he's met along the way. Snipes said he's never had a problem talking.

At craft shows around the region, Snipes shows people how he carves the spoons. He said one set takes six hours from start to finish.

He teaches school groups and craft show goers young and old how to play the spoons and ends each show with one of his famous commercials.

Snipes said his next craft show is at the Green Creek, NC, Arts Show this Saturday, Sept. 8.

Every third Saturday of the month, Haygood Mills off of Highway 178 in Pickens County has a "folk art village" where he'll be playing and carving for the crowd.

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