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.



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






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 




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. 




People have asked about the chip carving on my spoon handles. 

spoon 14-15 carving

I mostly learned this through trial & error. I had seen Jogge & Wille demonstrate it in their classes, but as I recall we didn’t really spend much time on this aspect. I cut mine deeper than what I have seen on theirs…and there’s folks who do it closer to what Wille does. I think of Jan Harm ter Brugge -   http://www.houtvanbomen.com/HoutvanBomen/English_text_spoons.html

Chip carving is something I’ve never addressed here, principally because it’s hard to photograph – all the shots I used to take in the workshop were easy to stage, then shoot with a remote to trigger the camera. Here it’s all tight shots, and hard to tell what I’m going to get because I hold the spoon and knife in my hands…and they shift around. Oh well, that’s my excuse anyway. I got some of it last night. so here goes

The tools first of all – from top to bottom:
Del Stubbs’ detail knife, 5/8″  - my favorite for this work. 

A Frost sloyd knife I’ve had for 26 years. This used to be the only tool I had for the carved decoration. it works. 

A Svante Djarv detail knife. I’m still getting the hang of this one. Called an “engraving knife” 

another Del Stubbs knife – I don’t see it in this form on his website right now, maybe it’s the same blade as his kolrosing knife. I got it from Country Workshops, where Drew calls it an engraving knife. 


detail knives

First tool I use is a pencil – I know, I’ve chased some of you away in joinery class for using pencils, but here they’re allowed. 


So I used the Frost knife just to show you can cut this stuff just with the tip of your knife. It HAS to be as sharp as you can get it, out to the tip. Usually I oil the spoon first too, that helps. This particular spoon is birch, and sometimes it almost looks like cow horn. The knife was working fine, I was not too thrilled with the texture of the wood… I wear a visor w magnifiers that I got from Lie-Nielsen. I get older every day. 

sloyd knife detail

Just hold it like a pencil, and make two cuts angled towards each other to create a V-shape shaving coming out of the wood. I stab in stop cuts at each end of the line first. 

sloyd detail 2

Here I’m using the Stubbs detail knife to cut 3-sided chips, this is what I think of as “real” chip carving. This knife has a very thin blade. Fragile, but outstanding. 

stubbs detail knife

a detail. 

stubbs detail closer


Here’s another shot, on a different spoon. 

 chip carving

Now the other Stubbs knife. this one has a curved blade, pointed at the top of the blade. The curve helps guide into long arcing cuts. 

stubbs 2 detail knife

Between the previous photo and this one below, I have swung the knife along the line. 


and here’s the shaving I removed. 



A couple of spoons are left from last week. I’ll then have more soon. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-pt-2/

here;’s the links to where I got my knives






The Great Horned Owls are sitting higher up, I wouldn’t be surprised if the chick(s) have either hatched or are about to… I haven’t had much time to hang out there to see what’s up. 

GH Owl




Bowl of March spoons

Bowl of March spoons


Well, I just got March pt 2 in under the wire. But tonight I posted a bunch of birch spoons, with one or two others besides. If you’d like one, leave a comment about which one you’d like. Then we can do the paypal business. I will accept checks too, if someone wants to go that way. Here’s the link, and it’s at the top of the blog front page.


There’s always more coming, so don’t worry if you miss out. I keep on carving. Some folks have asked about ordering spoons, and if you’d like to do that, we can work it out.
Thanks as always,
Peter Follansbee

3 Landing Rd
Kingston MA 02364






I keep thinking about Richard Nixon. I don’t want to, but it happens. Remember when he famously stated “I’m not a crook.”? Well, of course he was lying…

but I have  been splitting & hewing crooks into spoons lately. Right after that cherry haul (and another cherry haul) I got 2 small piles of birch.



Most of these are just one spoon in each bend; there’s knots underneath the crook. splitting them is a combination of froe & hatchet work.

top yes bottom no

birch crook

axe & club



Then I start in hewing to begin to “see” the eventual shape.

axe work


Placement of the bowl is the hardest part to wrap your head around. The mistake I usually make is to place it too far forward. Here you see how the bottom of the bowl flows along the curved grain.



Then it’s back to more axe work. The more you take off here, the easier life is later.

more axe work

quit there


Megan Fitzpatrick swiped a photo of mine from last time; here’s her teaser about an article I did for Popular Woodworking:




We had some heavy wet snow a week or so back. I found  a broken cherry limb down by the river & made some spoons from it. Then the other day I found 2 more, but way up high. I borrowed a pole saw & cut them down. Then started to cut them up.

expect cherry

Around here cherry is the most common wood useful for spoons. It’s quite hard though, comparatively speaking. Birch for instance is much softer & more cooperative. but I love the cherry spoons. They are worth the extra work. I cut a few crooks out of this stuff to get started; but left lots in the limbs, to be dealt with later.

Here’s a whole mess of pictures; not the whole spoon – I didn’t finish it yet. Started some others instead. To really see where the spoons are in crooked timber like this, you have to view them from all around. More than once. This is 2 limbs, twined around each other in this heap.

crooks in waiting

I started here; there’s one good sized ladle/serving spoon between that end grain & the small branch in the bottom of the photo.

one at a time

After cross-cutting, I hew away the bark to see where the piece wants to split.

trimming side bark

The bottom of this crook is trash; it has a large broken-off limb, & resulting knot.

one's a spoon, one ain'

After some initial hewing, I like to start these large deep bowls with a gouge & (borrowed) mallet. Borrowed shop too.

gouge & mallet

The gouge can also be “hand” pressure, but it’s much more than my hands driving it. Here’s the top of the stroke, then my whole body moves to bring the gouge across the spoon’s bowl.

top stroke

(hat courtesy of Maureen. She’s working on her 2nd custom hat-knitting project. Contact her for next year’s winter hats… https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts )

bottom stroke

More hatchet work.

hatchet work



Then knives from there. I’ll get it on the blog at some point.


Went walking at one point – going to leave this one alone for a while, I’ll stop back when the eggs hatch, then we’ll see some owl action.

leave it alone

Out to the beach in a bracing wind. Dunlin & sanderlings in flight.

in flight


Took one last haul out to the end of the beach to see the snowies; only found one, but didn’t look hard. Soon, they will head north again.





one more visit before shoving off


Back home, the local redtails are keeping company. Time for them to nest too.




mr & mrs


spoons feb pt 2

I just added a few more spoons, and update the link above http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-feb-pt-2/

After this batch goes out the door, I’m going to look into some of the suggestions I got about making selling more straight-forward. In the meantime, if you want one of these spoons, leave a comment about which one you’d like. It will help if you let me know your preferred payment method, paypal or check. From this end, paypal is easiest, but I will take checks if you want to send them. 

All the spoons are finished with flax oil. Anybody ever has a problem, I’ll take the spoon back, refund your money (minus shipping) w no questions asked.

thanks for all your support.



The package arrived the other day. I only had a little time to view the spoon & the video at lunch, so when I got home later, I was looking at Wille’s spoon and just wanted to show someone. I took it into the living room, where Daniel was drawing. I said nothing, just handed him the spoon.

He held it, looked it over, and whispered “It’s perfect.” As if it was so good you had to be quiet around it…


it's perfect


Last fall or summer, I forget which, readers of this blog responded with great enthusiasm for the fund-raising campaign that helped Jogge Sundqvist and others make the film that chronicles his father Wille’s woodworking journey. The film is now available as a DVD – and if you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to go order it. It is a treasure. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’ll love this film. I am so pleased for Wille and especially Jogge to have completed the task of making this film – it’s a great accomplishment. 

Wille Sundqvist

Wille Sundqvist

details here:

The film will be on sale at Drew Langsner’s place  http://countryworkshops.org/books.html  and from Del Stubbs at www.pinewoodforge.com in the US. 36 $.+ shipping.

In the UK it will be sold by Maurice Pyle at www.woodsmithexperience.co.uk for 22 GBP + shipping.

In Scandinavia and other Europe you can buy it from  s u r o l l e.
Mail: jogge@surolle.se











I just finished posting the first batch of spoons for the new year. Some changes I am trying – last season I spent way too much time in front of the computer screen, instead of woodworking. I’ve added a paypal link right to each spoon description, so those inclined can just go right ahead & buy the spoon they see/want. When a particular spoon is sold, it should read as unavailable. It lessens the time I spend emailing back & forth about orders, I hope. 

I know some of you regular customers don’t like paypal. I’m trying to figure out a way to make it work for all of us. One thing you can always do is email me & order a spoon – “I’d like a serving spoon, eating spoon, etc” then I can show you what’s coming up…

The other problem with this new method is for customers who order more than one spoon – I need to figure out how to NOT charge you multiple shipping charges. I’m working on it, but meantime, here’s the first crack at them. There’s several more spoons in the pipeline – this is a small batch because it’s a trial for me of this new approach.

All the spoon descriptions will be numbered sequentially  - 14-01 = the first spoon for sale this year. This particular batch ends with spoon 14-09. The spoons are not numbered, but all are now initialed by me on the back. Shipping in the US is $7.00. We’ll figure out shipping beyond the States. It’s not too much more…usually.

I’ll be at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking this weekend, so I’ll start shipping these on Monday.

Thanks as always for the response to the spoons. I greatly appreciate it. Here’s the link http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/feb-2014-spoons-for-sale-pt-1/ it’s also on the header.


Last week we had a great snowstorm. so I pulled up a chair, got out the binoculars and spoon knives and had at it…

last week

out the window

In between watching out the window, I got to do the knife work on  some cherry and birch spoons.

carving by window

Photo by Daniel

carving by window 2

also by Daniel

Last summer I asked Drew Langsner, “what happened to the boiled potato?” – for those puzzled by this, we learned years ago to rub a green-carved spoon with boiled potato, then we could sit the spoon near a heat source, and it would dry without cracking or checking. Drew replied “microwave.” – seems he would give his spoons a blast in the micro to drive the moisture out. a few seconds every so often over & over til the spoon was dry. It works.  Then when the spoon is dry, you can make your final cuts that will leave a clean, burnished surface. I tried a few in our microwave – ours is very noisy; so it drives me crazy. And it left some weird discoloration on birch spoons…

So I boiled a potato and tried the “old” method, old because I learned it in 1988 from Jogge…

boiling spuds

many spoons’ worth of boiled potato

I rubbed it all over three birch spoons I carved this afternoon. We’ll see what kind of shape they’re in tomorrow. The snow is all but gone…here’s hoping for more. 

applying potato to green cut spoon

carved today, finish tomorrow?

Maureen has added a bunch of stuff to her Etsy site, and while it’s still cold enough for woolens, she says spring stuff will be coming up soon…  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts

On another note, yesterday marked the death of Pete Seeger – a true American hero to many, me included. Here’s my vote for why he was such a great figure – his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee – read about it here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/01/28/pete_seeger_huac_transcript_full_text_of_anti_communist_hearing_courtesy.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

So Long, Pete, It’s been good to know ya…



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