Sunday is the first day of bowl-turning class with Robin Wood – but I have been hewing bowls lately.
I have only ever made these one-at-a-time, and then usually years between versions. Right now, I am working on a batch of about 6 or 8 of them. One thing I miss is having room to really photograph some of the process, and a store of scrap wood to shim, wedge & otherwise cobble stuff in place. Had to use a carved rail to shim the underside of this bowl while I shaved the end grain.
Some of them are the “upside-down” orientation. I have most of these ready for drying, so I plan on finishing them later in June. But by then, my head will be filled with the possibilities of turned bowls and wh0-knows-what-else from my trip to the North House Folk School. http://www.northhouse.org/
Today’s listing of spoons are up & running. I’ll be away from my desk, as they say. So I’ll sort out what’s what tonight. Just leave a comment citing which spoon(s) you’d like. Shipping in US is $7 per order, not per spoon. Paypal or check.
thanks once again by all your support. It really astounds me & I appreciate it.
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.
I want to be David Fisher when I grow up – well, not really; but I really like Dave’s stuff. We met briefly when he & his family visited my shop at Plimoth once…and I look at his website whenever I get a chance, to see what’s new. http://davidffisher.com/home
At lunch the other day, I borrowed the artisan’s woodshop at the museum, and started hewing out a small bowl from birch. I had split it at home, and used my large hewing hatchet to form the rough top & bottom faces. Then at the shop, I got out my adze, and hollowed the inside first.
Then started in hewing the sides.
I only had a medium-sized gouge with me, so got the inside generally formed. Here, my left fingers are hugging the outside of the bowl, guiding the gouge. My thumb keeps the bevel in place, the movement comes from low in my body, with both forearms pressed against my sides. Fun stuff.
Then lunch hour was up & time to get back to work.
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.
Pileated woodpecker holes – just to tease me. These large birds always elude me. I only get fleeting glimpses.
yell0w-rumped warbler, female.
black & white warbler, not quite still enough.
flyover Great Blue Heron.
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.
Common yellowthroat. They love the water.
Chestnut-sided warbler. many of these around.
got him even better.
More pileated ativity, recent too.
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.
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
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.
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…
It must be weary; here it’s resting its 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.
The Carolina wrens are easy to shoot though, they are not the least bit leery of people.
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.
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!
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.
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/
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.
I nabbed a new bird feeder, then added a bird house to boot. Daniel inspected one of the feeders.
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
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.