about to go

A couple of things before I hit the road this week. For those of you who have written asking questions about carving, now you see why there has been so little of it on the blog this spring & summer – I was holding off until the Lie-Nielsen announcement about the DVD that we have coming up. When I get back to my shop in September I will be doing a few carved projects, and will post some bits here. The DVD will cover the stock I use (riven oak) and a selection of tools; gouges, V-tool, compasses and awl and a wooden mallet. And it includes a series of  patterns, each building upon the previous example. Once you manage them, you will be able to adapt various designs pretty readily. If you missed it, here’s the preview:

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Recently, there was a question about the long rails in a joined chest, how did I rive them, etc. For that, I will remind some folks, and introduce others, to the idea that the blog has a “search” button that might help you see if I have discussed the subject already. I am perfectly happy to go over things many times, (I do that at the museum all day long…) – but you might get your answer quicker if you check the archived stuff first. Here are some posts about riving with a brake:


I’ll be gone two weeks, so in the meantime, try the search button to see what’s what.

Meanwhile, it’s off to the country for me. http://countryworkshops.org/sloyd.html

One thing I have been thinking about for this spoon carving class I am taking is to learn to carve spoons from straight-grained stock. Seems when I want to find straight wood (oak) they are all twisty, and vice versa – when I want spoon wood, it’s often straight stuff I see. This spoon that I photographed last year while I was at Country Workshops was made by Wille Sundqvist. It is a gorgeous thing. Very deceptive little sculpture it is…

Wille's spoon
Wille's spoon side view

I’ve decided, based on an idea Drew Langsner gave me last year, to make several copies of this form over & over. I roughed out a couple of them in holly this week, and will ask Jogge to show me how to finesse them… I’ve always made each spoon different, striving to “see” the spoon in the curved blank. But what Drew was saying is to copy one, that way you’re learning the cuts, not having to work with design as well as execution. Reminds me of how potters sometimes approach a form, throwing the same shapes all day…

The holly developed a pretty strong reaction between the tools and the tannic acid in the wood. Turned the nice white wood blue-grey. I found a suggestion on the web to wipe it with citric acid. Maureen found some lemon in the fridge, and it has taken much of the discoloration away…

Finally, it was 30 years ago this summer that I first visited Country Workshops; taking a class in chairmaking with John (Jenny) Alexander. Amazing what things look like from here, no way I could forsee all that has happened since that week. Here’s Alexander & me at Country Workshops in the late-1980s, with Theodore.

PF JA Theo

3 thoughts on “about to go

  1. Drew Langsner the most overlooked and greatest woodworker I have ever met. My week there this summer changed my life and Drew and Louise are two of the most real people in this who wide world. As Drew said to us: his school is considered the Outward Bound of woodworking programs. Enjoy


    • Bob
      If Drew says CW is the “outward bound” of woodworking, you should have seen it way back when…it was rough & tumble and we were all pretty scruffy looking people. Now, we’re old & grey, and comfy.
      It’s one of my favorite places to be…

  2. LOL @ 80s pic of Peter. Funny how we all look in the mirror everyday and see no change in our appearance, look at a photo of 20-30 years earlier and we wonder who is that guy?

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