Did you see that Jarrod StoneDahl had some spoons accepted into some Swedish competition? Look at the top 15 spoons  – he’s got 2 outta 15.

http://www.sormlandsmuseum.se/Sormlandsmuseum/Utstallningar/Trasmak/tasteofwood/Vote-in-main-category/

Eric Goodson brought one of Jarrod’s spoons to the class I just had at Lie-Nielsen, I had only seen them in photos before. Very nice stuff. Here’s his website: http://woodspiritgallery.com/

jarrod'

 

Rick McKee did a much better job than I did of addressing the new book by our friend Paula Marcoux.

DSC09872

You probably already read Rick’s blog, but just in case -

http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/product-placement/

 

For those of you who’ve been waiting for my spoons. I just photographed a few, and they’ll be for sale tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning (US – east coast morning) – but we’ll see. gotta get the kids out the door, then me off to work. Latest, tomorrow night.

spoons PF

 

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

New posts here are few & far between, but here’s one from just before Easter. Not about woodworking, but about handmade stuff. We took the kids to one of our favorite potteries, down on Cape Cod. Scargo Pottery is in Dennis, just above Scargo Lake. It’s something else. We went because a raccoon had broken my birdfeeder I got there some years ago.The kids hadn’t been since they were tots, so had no memory of it. The castles that are mounted all around the grounds are captivating for adults, but even more so for kids. It’s especially nice to see the way the showroom & pottery itself blend indoors & outdoors so well. http://scargopottery.com/

scargo pottery

daniel & castle

 

castle detail

 

 

On the day we were there, they had a special kid’s gig, where the kids could make stuff w clay. Ours dove right in, having seen the castles for all of about 5 minutes, they then set out to make their own.

castle makin rose

castle making daniel

rose's coming along

daniel

I nabbed a new bird feeder, then added a bird house to boot. Daniel inspected one of the feeders.

new bird feeder

bird houses

then they told us there was a raku firing going on out back. so we stayed to see them pull the pieces (eggs) out of the kiln, then dump them in a bucket full of newspapers, and bop the cover on. the paper bursts into flame, the cover cuts off the oxygen, and weird stuff happens. Potters are nuttier than turners.

 

Next subject – the other day, one of our town librarians said to Maureen, “Didn’t you work with Paula Marcoux?” Yup. Well, her book is here, you should take it home. Cooking with Fire. What more do you need to know? who doesn’t like food & fire? I went right to the section about bread & pizza. I was hungry all over again. Get it. http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Fire-Rediscovered-Techniques-Wood-Fired/dp/1612121586

paula's book

Here’s a promo she shot, one of my spoons makes a cameo appearance…I got the olive wood from her husband, whose name is Woodburn. Co-incidence? I think not…these people are serious about fire. 

 

 

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

 

 

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. 

pencil

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. 

outlining

and here’s the shaving I removed. 

shaving

——————

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

http://countryworkshops.org/knives/knives.html

http://www.pinewoodforge.com/catalog.html

 

 BIRDS

 

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.

http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-pt-2/

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

Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net

 

 

 

 

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