spoon class at Lie-Nielsen

 

Robin from Lie-Nielsen got a bunch of photos up on Facebook. I don’t go there myself, but I like that the Lie-Nielsen website lets you see the photos even if you are not a facebook-y person. 

go. 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152090593133016.1073741893.100708343015&type=1

In there, you’ll see Ben Kirk matching me beard-for-beard. I’m the one w/o tattoos. 

Will you be there in October? It will be great…

 

I have the greatest time in Maine. Just got back from 7 days there. Can’t wait to go back.  I saw scads of birds. In the spring it’s warblers – small, fleeting little birds, mostly 60 feet up in the tree tops. Some came down low once in a while.

black-throated blue warbler. 

BT blue

Pileated woodpecker holes – just to tease me. These large birds always elude me. I only get fleeting glimpses. 

mortising not by hand

yell0w-rumped warbler, female. 

yellow rumped

The male. 

yellow rumped male

black & white warbler, not quite still enough. 

B&W

flyover Great Blue Heron. 

flyover gbh

Most common bird in the Maine woods this past week was the ovenbird. I saw many, but they. like most warblers, are never still. barely got this one. 

ovenbird

Common yellowthroat. They love the water. 

common yellowthroat

Chestnut-sided warbler. many of these around. 

chestnut sided warbler

got him even better. 

chestnut sided again

More pileated ativity, recent too. 

holes

‘nuther yellowthroat. 

yellowthroat

Then they screamed in = lousy grey day. but I had to shoot ‘em. Didn’t try to get closer, they only stayed a couple minutes. 

woody   2 pileateds

I also had a great bunch of students at Lie-Nielsen, carving spoons. I didn’t shoot much, too busy watching 13 people w axes & knives. maybe 3 band-aids, and some of those were an employee! Next spoon class there is first weekend in October. This one was full, I expect the October one will be also.  http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/1-ww-pf-sc14 

intent students   safe grip

 

pile of stuff   progress

 

It looks like nothing is happening, but look at the floor. these people wouldn’t even stop for lunch. we had a day with glorious weather & I took off to look for birds. Only 2 students came outside. the others kept carving. 

 

overall

I am packing all my knives, axes, and about 30 spoons, etc to head up to Lie-Nielsen tomorrow. 

but the photos here tonight are all birds. It is May, after all. 

The owlet, (great horned owl) has been climbing out of the nest; but goes back & forth. Once the downy bits are gone, it’s time to try flying. I hope to see that…

owlet in

in the nest

 

owlet out

out of the nest

 

owlet detail

It must be weary; here it’s resting its head. 

rest your eary head

But the little birds are the attraction in the woods in May. Harder than all get-out to photograph. Here I snagged a Wilson’s warbler down by the Eel River. 

wilson's warbler

 

The Carolina wrens are easy to shoot though, they are not the least bit leery of people. 

c wren singing

 

But the bird of the week for me was a Black Crowned Night Heron. I haven’t seen one of these this well in decades. He was sitting on someone’s back deck at Jenny Pond in Plymouth. When I was a young art student; for a while I wanted to be Andrew Wyeth, then I wanted to be John James Audubon. In my bird-drawing/painting phase, the night herons were my most common subject. There was a roost just about a 2-minute walk from where I grew up. Seeing this one reminded me of those days. 

 

I usually just write about a few topics here, over & over. Green woodworking, carved oak furniture, spoons, my kids, and birds. Tonight is no exception. It’s May, and that means spring migration is full-tilt. This morning I went out & saw several new arrivals, including this yellow warbler.

yellow warbler 2

At the end of the week, I head up to Maine for 7 days – principally to Lie-Nielsen’s classroom to teach my first-ever course in spoon carving on the 10th & 11th. This one’s teeming with students, so we added one for October 4th & 5th. It’s no coincidence that I have a class there in May – I try to fit in a trip there each spring to catch the birds as they arrive in their nesting grounds. It’s good birding up there. The woodworking is great too. This is one of four trips I’m making up there this season, two more in July; the open house on July 11th & 12th, and an oak carving class the following weekend, July 19th & 20th. At this rate, I should just move up to Maine!

Bowl of March spoons

Bowl of March spoons

ovenbird in Maine July 2013

ovenbird in Maine July 2013

I briefly mentioned that I had set up a bench and some tools here at home. That’s a real throwback for me, I haven’t had any bench work at my residence in a long time. It’s been hard to get any continuity going, but recently I did mostly finish my first frame-and-panel of the season. I had made a few of these last fall, and people snatched them up, leading up to Xmas. I hope to keep making them, depends on how many of you want them. I’m all set for them, my kitchen is all done above the counters, not sure I’ll tackle the lower cabinets. They’re fun to do, and are a good use of some leftover panel stock. I’ve made them as custom work before, based on some chest panels with dates and/or initials carved as part of the design, I’ll post this one on the blog soon, for $500.

frame & panel

The frame-and-panel project is what we’ll tackle for my class at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking on Columbus Day weekend in October. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes

 

One last thing for now. I frequently discuss my connection with Drew & Louise Langsner’s woodworking school Country Workshops. If you are new here, you might want to take some time to view their website. While you’re there, sign up for the free newsletter. This most recent one had some great hand-drawn notes & sketches by Dan Musick, a student in Drew’s spoon & bowl class. It’s a PDF you can download, I stink at taking notes when I’m the student, so these are much appreciated. The newsletter often has great snippets of green woodworking techniques. http://countryworkshops.org/newsletter/newsletter/newsletter.html

In addition, I just found out that Country Workshops has uploaded to their Youtube page the complete videos they shot of Ruedi Kohler’s Swiss cooperage, and Bengt Lidstrom making his renowned hewn bowls in Sweden. I have always encouraged people to buy these, now you can see them yourself. Buying them helps support Country Workshops, but you’ll see for yourself what great craft videos these are. Not step-by-step instructional videos, but instead you’re watching an absolute master in each case, working their craft. go follow this link.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCObHW-UmOY_72PU1nQNsiiw/videos

owlet

owlet

 

Although I can recite my travel schedule like Rain Man, fat lot of good that does folks out there looking for it written down. so now, 4 months late, I have updated the list. here’s the link, in case you’re looking for something to do.

http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014-workshop-schedule/

 

If you want to skip the details, here’s the Readers’ Digest version

Apr – Rochester Woodworker’s Society

May – Lie Nielsen – spoon carving

June – SAPFM mid-year lecture/demo

June – Historic New England, lecture/demo

July – Lie-Nielsen Open House

July – Lie-Nielsen 17th-century carving

Aug – Woodwright’s School, make a joined chest

Sep – Heartwood (MA) – make a carved box

Oct – Lie-Nielsen – Spoon carving

Oct – Ct Valley School of Wood Working – Make a carved frame & panel.

 

Winter is perhaps really over here – it better be, I put my hat & scarves away.  

The day started out in the woods, looking for birds. Daniel & I saw many, he counted 18 species; but we only got a few shots of them. 

 

wood ducks

wood ducks

 

bluebird

bluebird

 

turkey

they don’t call this a turkey for nothing

Back home we ended up with spoon carving lesson # something-0r-other. I have to teach a bunch of students at Lie-Nielsen next month, so started practicing with Daniel. His knife work is excellent, given his strength.  (the May class is full, so we added one as soon as we could – which means October! here’s the link 

http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/1-ww-pf-sc14

 

 

DF grip 1

 

DF grip 2

 

Working one-on-one meant I got some carving in too. 

pair of spoon carvers

 

Meanwhile Rose did the 19th-century-Swedish-immigrant-in-the-garden routine. All around a busy day here. 

rose as immigrant gardner

 

When one of the household  is a knitter and the other is a basket-maker, that means knitting baskets. I don’t get to make baskets much anymore, but have several that have lingered for quite a while. I finished this one the other day.  It’s a form I have only done once before; a double-swing-handle design. Basket is ash, handles, rims, and feet are hickory. Lashing is hickory bark. 

knitting basket

inside basket

basket skids

 

Then Daniel went in the house & started a self-portrait carving his spoon. Sometimes these pictures never get done, like my baskets. So I am posting it now in case it’s an orphan drawing. 

df self portrait as carver 001

 

Now onto another subject. If you’re inclined to help support some young people doing what they love, remember Eleanor Underhill? Maybe you know her father? In addition to illustrating Roy’s most recent Woodwright book, she did some drawings for mine & Alexander’s Joint Stool book – but her main gig is music – and she’s part of a trio making “heartfelt country soul” – they’re using Kickstarter to fund their next album. I’m in. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/underhillrose/underhill-roses-best-album-yet

 

 

spoons

basket of spoons

basket of spoons

While we’re all on a spoon kick, (thanks to Robin Wood’s post yesterday) I want to remind you of a class I’m teaching this spring at Lie-Nielsen. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/weekend-workshop/ww-pf14-2

It’s 2 days in May in Maine. That should be enough, but it’s fun w axes, knives and hook knives. So how can you go wrong? It’s my first time teaching this class & I am very excited about it.  I think this will be the third year in a row I’ve spent a week in May in Maine. It’s hard to beat.

They tell me there’s several sign-ups already, maybe half-full or more. So if you’re thinking about it…don’t take too long.

Dates are May 10 & 11, 2014. I’ll be out birding in the early hours, then we hew & carved from 9am…

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