Wille Sundqvist

Wille Sundqvist

Here’s the latest from Jogge about the film The Spoon the Bowl and the Knife - it includes ordering information, so have at it.

PF

——————

OK, folks.

In this moment I´m waiting for all the DVD´s to come. Then we have to put them in the covers and do the special Kickstarters edition we promised you. So within two weeks the film will be in your mailboxes!

The 31 of january we will have the World Premiere at the Museum of Västerbotten with a lot of specially inivted people, it is the grand opening of the European Capital of Culture 2014 in Umeå the same weekend. The princess will be there, unfortunatly not to see the film, but the red carpet will be rolled out and a rope for Wille to cut on the shopping block as a grand opening ritual.

The film will be on sale at Drew Langsners place www.countryworkshops.org and 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

It has been a great investment and a huge job to produce the film, far more than I could have imagined. But I’m happy with the result. We have gained the process of how to carve a spoon and how to turn a bowl. There is some grinding tips and a PDF with all the important carving grasps as Wille shows. The history section with some background on Willes life took a lot of research for images. That part felt important: to explain how it came about that the Swedish craft begun to spread in the United States.

So thanks again everybody for backing this film, you really made me do it.

Please tell friends about “The Spoon, the Bowl and the Knife!
We want it to be spread all over the world.

Regards!

Craftsmen and sloyder Jögge Sundqvist

Tonight after posting my story about shop-moving, some link-following took me to this video that I had never seen before. It’s Jogge telling his 4-walls story, and the story of his alter-ego Surolle. He’s one of the best craftsmen I know, and a great teacher. Also has one of the most colorful websites around.

 

 

http://www.surolle.se/

 

here’s the last time I worked with him:

http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/one-of-the-most-exciting-classes-ive-been-to/

 

And some have asked about how you order the video about his father Wille. When it’s available from Country Workshops, I’ll let you know here. Don’t worry, you’ll hear all about it.

As you might have noticed, not much woodworking going on around here. That’s because prior to today, my shop looked like this:

mostly packed

mostly packed

Today it’s well on its way to empty. Now, all that boxed-up stuff, plus my lathe & joiner’s bench are all stashed in a storage unit. My search for my own personal shop has not taken off – I had a great lead that didn’t pan out. I decided rather than jump into something that might not be suitable, I’d stash the bulk of my stuff, move some stuff to my basement, and then get back to the search. So I have spent a great deal of time sorting & packing, both in the shop & at home to empty the basement. The museum begins restoration of the building in a couple of weeks.

So this closes the chapter on me in that particular shop. I’m still at the museum, but I’ll be in temporary quarters. That’s part of what led to me deciding to try to find my own workspace. The other part is I find more & more I want to explore some non-17th-century work. I have lots of ideas; carved bowls, John Brown-style chairs (I never finished my one attempt), and baskets too. That’s part of why I fixed up my shaving horse. I hope to use it more again…

Here’s another type of chair I want to make:

Winterthur bretstuhl

I made one maybe 30 years ago almost. It was based on one Drew Langsner made in Switzerland.  Now I have two great pieces of walnut for the seat & back, and shaved some hickory heartwood legs. So that might be one of my first projects when I get the bench set up here at home.

I spent 20 years in that shop. It really was the absolute best part of my life. I met my wife there. And many many great friends, some of you know the blog Blue Oak – most of those guys worked with us at Plimoth for years.

For my last woodworking project in that version of the joiner’s shop, I carved a sign to go in my future personal shop – thinking along the lines of “if you build it they will come” – only in this case, it’s “make the sign, then get a shop to go with it.” Way back when, I saw this approach work for someone that my friend Heather hired when we were picture framers. His name was Sluggo, & he made godawful posters & album covers for a band that did not exist yet. But lo & behold, he eventually got the band and the rest is history…he’s a renowned punk musician in San Francisco. So this is my Slugg0-inspired shop sign. Thanks D.C.

PF sign

I went out with Paula & Marie again to see the snowy owls. One is very cooperative – the other stayed off by itself in the dunes.

snowy

links -

Slugg0 - http://www.thegrannies.com/news.htm (I can’t recommend clicking that link!) But Sluggo is/was great fun.

http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/

http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/

Wille Sundqvist

Wille Sundqvist

and I can’t wait! But wait we will, so I will go carved some spoons to while away the hours…

Here’s the note from Jogge through the Kickstarter site:

After an intense period of cutting film, setting the audio, making translations, cover processing, and description of carving grasps, we have finally sent the film for pressing. Unbelievable that there is so much work with a movie!

Here is the content, 71 minutes:

1. INTRODUCTION. Wille talks about spoons
2. The LADLE
A. In the woods
B. Splitting
C. Carving with the ax
D. Hollowing the spoon bowl
E. Carving with the knife – rough mode
3. DRYING
4. GRINDING, HONING, STROPPING
5. Wille’s LIVING HISTORY
6. F. Carving with the knife – finishing mode
7. The BOWL
A: Outside turning
B: Inside turning
C: Polishing
7. FINISHING AND PATTERN CARVING

The cover front text is set in English but we have two printed versions of the rest of the text. One in Swedish and one in English. It´s also possible too choose speaker comments and subtitles in two languages.
The special Kickstarter edition will be handpicked, for you only.

Rest of the world, Non-Kickstarter world will be able to buy the DVD for:
36 US Dollar, 295 SEK Svenska Kronor, 22 GBP Brittish Pound, 40 AUD Australian Dollar, 43 NZD New Zealand Dollar, 39 CAD Canadian Dollar, 27 EUR Euro.
Shipping costs will be added.

For those who want a downloaded version Taunton Press raised interest. More information about downloads and where to order is coming further ahead.

We will start shipping february 3.

Grand world premiere will be held at Bio Abbelli at Västerbotten museum 31 jan at the Inauguration of Culture year 2014 in Umeå.

We will have Wille there signing the DVD!

—————

Back to me. I’d like to thank all those readers from this blog who helped make the film possible. Erik Buchakian, a friend associated with Country Workshops,  sent me a note some time ago:

Hi Peter,

 I thought you might like to know – Kickstarter does that creepy Internet thing, where it keeps track of where people “clicked” from in order to get to the site.  By far the most donors to the Wille film got to the Kickstarter site from your blog – something like 30%.  Good work!!!!

 Take care,

Erik (Buchakian)

 

 

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…

Did you see Robin’s top 20?

Robin Wood's 20 spoons

Robin Wood’s 20 spoons

go – he has taken the time to shoot & describe a whole slew of really nice wooden spoons in his collection. Thanks for showing us, Robin…

http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/12/26/20-best-wooden-spoons-world/#lightbox/0/

 

 

The end of the year. It’s OK w me, I don’t mind seeing it go, but they sorta run together anyway. I have known Heather for ages & ages, she wrote a nice piece about her approach to winter, post-holidays. Good stuff.  http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/2013/12/28/resolutions/

I have been carving spoons steadily, while on vacation from the shop. I’ll be back there in some capacity soon, but hewing & carving away at spoons meanwhile. Also, the end-of-the-year sorting of photos, many that never made it anywhere.

Here goes:

First, some spoon wood. Snow is now gone, I hope it comes back.

spoon wood piled high

I finished a few of these cherry serving spoons, two were sold, and we kept one – here they are chip-carved & oiled. Shows the patterns in the bowls I spoke of earlier.

spoons finished

Now, leftover photos. I will never get around to telling the story of this stupid holdfast. Presented to me by Ken Schwarz at Colonial Williamsburg in 2007, mostly just to shut me up…you had to be there…

holdfast

I have a large oak table waiting to be shipped out to its customer. I flew blind as far as fitting the end boards – nothing to go by. It’s probably overkill, certainly is for the period, but it should hold.

perhaps overkill

Late Oct I took part in a program at Historic New England, and we got to see this chest up-close. Boston work, real nice.

boston chest w drawer HNE_edited-1

boston chest side panel HNE pl

At the back, there is wood-extraction galore – riven, fore-planed, millsawn, and frame-0r-pitsawn. The whole show.

boston chest pitsawing v millsawing

 

Saw this sticker in Lexington back in the spring. It never fit in a blog post, but been thinking about Maine lately…and the GD a consistent soundtrack.

GD maine sticker

Even lacking snow, the river is always worth watching. Resident mallards, few winter ducks thus far.

ducks

 

So how do I reckon the beginning of winter? Well, I walk down to the riverbank and turn left. Then I see this – and know it’s now winter.

 

river view

 

Look closer – up in the upper left corner,  two redtails sitting side-by-each. That’s winter.

two hawks

 

 

I really want to offer my most sincere thanks for all the great support I have received here from the blog-readers. I never expected such a response when I started this back in 2008. You have been great, I appreciate it. Back to the spoons now.

 

I shot some more stuff today…

I have been carving up the last of 2013′s spoons – some serving spoons in cherry heartwood. When cherry logs lay around too long, the sapwood goes off, but the heartwood is still good in this log after 8 months -

I shot these two spoon bowls together to show the variation in the grain pattern inside the bowl. The centerline on the spoon on the right is mostly centered on the piece of wood – so you get a nice, even concentric pattern as you cut into the succeeding layers to hollow out the bowl.

The one on the left was a bit whacky, I forget why now. Some defect caused me to line up the centerline of the spoon to one side of the centerline of the split billet. So now the grain pattern inside the bowl is one-sided. I like this effect; but I like the other one too. All this becomes horridly small details that matter to few…but it helps to know how & why different patterns emerge.

cherry spoons underway

cherry spoons underway

All the spoon blanks have to be split in such a way that the central section of the tree, the pith, is avoided. Usually it is hewn away. Leave it in, and the spoon will crack, probably more than 99% of the time.

But do you then hollow the side towards the bark, or towards the pith? Well, you can do either – one will get this pattern, one that. Here is a 3rd spoon dropped into the photo above, showing the pattern resulting from hollowing the face towards the pith. Usually I hollow the wood near the bark side, like the middle spoon.

3rd spoon

3rd spoon

When you hollow them in green wood (almost always the case) – the bark side bowl gets narrower, but deeper upon drying. The other gets wider, but shallower. This is the effect of differential shrinkage in the wood. More minutiae, though. The amount they shrink & distort is not great, to my way of thinking. I’m more concerned about the grain pattern, or quirks of the individual spoon blank. I generally work them all bark-side up, but if the tree has another idea…I’ll follow the tree’s lead.

 

Here’s some furniture that made it to the background paper today. First is the chest I made for the museum. Every year they have a raffle for one of these. This is the one I made piece-meal – started in April, finished in Oct/Nov. Never again. Finishing it up in the last few weeks was an ordeal.

raffle chest 2013

joined carving chest, 2013 – oak & pine

Here’s the little 2-panel chest I made for the Woodwright’s Shop episode. It still needs its hinges installed, but that’s manageable. A combination of red oak, with 2 white oak sawn panels in front. Pine floor boards.

two-sie chest

small joined chest, red & white oak, white pine

Here’s a detail of the next version of that little chest…I just couldn’t leave all that blank oak around. This one’s for me…riven matched panels in front.

next two-sie chest

gouge-carved chest in progress

The gouge-cut carvings. one tool, two moves.

next two-sie detail

detail carving

a joinefd form, red & white oak. A little more than 5 feet long, I think. I forget. The seat is quartersawn white oak.

joined form

joined form, red & white oak

I am starting to assemble the schedule for where and when I will be teaching in 2014. This list is partial; as of right now (Dec 2013) – I will update it as things get sorted out. Some of these places have their schedules posted, some are still in the works. I’ll also keep it as a separate page here on the blog for later access. Hope to see you out & about…

PF carving strapworkFebruary 8 & 9, 2014 – Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Manchester, CT. Carving 17th-century style. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes  Bob Van Dyke runs a great place there. Fun will be had. Watch in horror as Bob loses it when we look at period carvings, “All I see is faces” says Bob. 2 days of learning the tools to use, how to work with them this way & that, and generate different patterns. Layout, execution – folks usually carve about 5 different patterns, including one full-size panel version.

spoon carving

May 11 & 12, 2 days of spoon carving instruction at Lie-Nielsen in Warren, ME. My first-ever attempt at teaching spoon carving. I am really excited to tackle this. If you read the blog, you know I have been carving spoons for many years, and every day for the past few. Axes, knives & more – what fun. They will have the details up on their website soon. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshops/

mini chest

August 4-8, 2014 – The Woodwright’s School, Pittsboro, NC. – This time, Roy has been kind enough (or nuts enough) to agree to us trying to make a small joined chest in a week. A mix of riven oak and sawn boards (maybe pine – we have some details to work out…) – it will be much like the joined chest we did on his show this past season. (flat lid instead of panels though – enough joinery already) Riving, hewing, planing – mortise & tenon, then grooves & panels. If it works, it’ll be something. Well, it’ll be something anyway…

carved box 2011

September 22-26 – Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts - http://www.heartwoodschool.com/coursefr.html  WOW – I’ll teach right here in Massachusetts. I was a student at Heartwood back in 1984 – and now 30 years later I’ll be teaching the make-a-carved-box class there. Riving oak, planing, carving, assembly – another mix of riven oak & sawn pine. Assembly with hand-wrought nails, wooden pins, and a wooden hinge. I’m really looking forward to returning to Heartwood.

(Will Beemer was able to find a photo that had me in it from 1984 – I’m the skinny longhair sorta just behind/above the fellow in white overalls…head down, arms up.)

PF at Heartwood

There are other things coming up, some museum lecture/demos; one at Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in NC – in March. Haven’t been there in ages. I’ll also add another class at CVSWW – this one a 3-day class in making a carved frame-and-panel. So some carving, and some joinery for those too smart to tackle 16 or more mortise & tenons! I’ll get that sorted soon, sorry Bob. The 2-day open house at Lie-Nielsen in July – I missed it in 2013, so cleared room in 2014.

I’ll flesh this listing out as it gets more details.

This isn’t the blog post I wanted to write tonight. A few readers emailed me with the news that Bill Coperthwaite died in a car accident in Maine on Tuesday. Icy road conditions, lost control of the van. Died at the scene.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? Simple –  having met Bill. About 10 years ago, the museum acted as training ground and consultants for a PBS program called Colonial House. I had little to do with it, other than making 4 housefuls of furniture. But my wife Maureen & I, along with several of our great friends and co-workers back then, were part of the clean-up crew. That meant we travelled to Machias,  ME and stayed out in this glorious seaside house, while we worked at the site dis-mantling the innards of several 17th-century style houses…in absolutely perfect New England early October weather as I recall. We liked it so much that several of us, in one configuration or another, rented the same house for a vacation for several years after that.

Here’s the view out the front door of that house:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we were there the first time, I remembered one of the young members of our building crew telling us about a guy who lived around the cove in a few yurts. I thought, “that’s Coperthwaite.” I had never met Bill, but we had several mutual friends, foremost Drew & Louise Langsner. Look in Drew’s early book Country Woodcraft, and Bill wrote the introduction.

We had no time to chase down Bill’s place that first season, but the next year we had no work to do, so my friend Tom & I decided to try to find him. Catch was we had no boat, so had to figure out how to get there by land. It’s Maine – the place that invented “you can’t get there from here.” When we finally did get to Bill’s trail, and started walking in, out came Bill, en route to a workshop. He invited us to come help, but that was the day we were headed home (an 8 or 9 hour drive.)

Life got in my way & it took me several years before I was out that way again. After working with the folks at Lie-Nielsen a bunch, I decided to tack on a trip to Machiasport after one of my stints at LN. I got to spend a couple of afternoons with Bill, no where near enough time, but glad I made it happen. What an interesting person! It was fun to watch & listen as Bill never answered a question directly, everything became a teaching opportunity.

A Handmade Life

When people ask me, I always say that A Handmade Life is my favorite book…some can’t stand it, but I take what I need from it & leave the rest.

Best poem in it?

Dead Time

Bill Coperthwaite

“Why not get some horses?”

Comes over the water,

From a 30-foot lobster boat

With 300 horses,

To my 20-foot canoe with

A one-man cedar engine

It’s a two-mile paddle to haul supplies

By rock-bound shore and gnarled spruce.

Osprey “float” above with sharp cries.

A startled heron croaks displeasure

Waiting for the tide to drop.

If lucky – there may be otter kits

Playing in the shallows

At the tide rips.

An eagle perches on a snag,

Loon laughter lilts over the bay,

A seal looks me over.

A motor would take half the time –

But, what with mounting it,

Feeding it, and keeping it in tune,

Would there really be a gain in time?

True – I could go when the wind is

Too strong to paddle

But that is a non-problem.

The racket, the stench, the poisons –

There is the problem.

Oh – I could still see (most of) the birds

But not hear them

And the otters – they’d be gone.

The paddle – lovely yellow cedar –

Carved on a beach in the San Juans,

Has served me well these thirty years.

While paddling the brain does delightful things,

Each moment a surprise – a treasure.

Motoring puts all that on hold,

Thieving those precious minutes –

My brain turned off:

Dead time.

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