Bowl class, tip of the iceberg

For decades I have worked wood surrounded by people – dozens, scores, hundreds, thousands of people. But in one sense, I work wood primarily in isolation. All these people were visitors to the museum, so watching me work. In many cases, I met woodworkers of all stripes, but it was very hit-or-miss.  I just finished my most recent stint as a student, rather than instructor, this time in Robin Wood’s bowl turning class at the North house Folk school. This is the sort of inspiring time I remember back when I was a regular student in classes, mostly at Drew Langsner’s Country Workshops – to be surrounded by people who’ve come from all over, to concentrate on learning, sharing and exploring aspects of hand-tool woodworking. What a time! North House Folk School has a great reputation, for good reason. Excellent facility, setting, people, and offerings. Look at the range of classes… http://www.northhouse.org/

 

 

I knew it was going to be great to meet Robin and learn of the bowl turning work he’s been practicing all these years. But there was way more to it than that. First of all, Jarrod Stonedahl helped organize  and execute the class. He and Roger Abrahamson built the lathes for example. (links: http://www.rogerabrahamson.com/index.html and http://woodspiritgallery.com/ )
But it was the whole scene that served to keep us occupied.  Birch was the standard timber available up there, but Jarrod could not let the bark just be hewn away, so -quick – a lesson in harvesting birch bark. Later he showed me how to cut the arrow-lock/finger joints that he uses in his “boxes” – one of which we’ve had at home for quite some time.

 

Roger has been a pole-lathe bowl turner himself for many years, and had once visited my shop at Plimoth. He made a couple of bowls, traipsed around the shop helping people and generally sharing his skills. same with Jarrod.

 

But of course, Robin was the show – his teaching style is just what you’d expect, based on the writings on his blog. Extremely knowledgeable, patient, and helpful. His English was pretty good too. Axe work, bowl turning, tool making, bowl design, history – we covered a lot of ground.

An added bonus was the spoons there – I brought a couple but really the star there was far and away the youngster Jojo Wood. More on that later.

The facility was excellent – windows on three sides looking out to Lake Superior. It was a pretty big lake. I didn’t really have the time or the money for this class, but had decided that I have let a few opportunities go by in recent years, and this one I drew the line. I’m glad I did.

Here’s some photos – If I tell you all about it, I’ll be here all night. I’ll use captions. 

 

grand marais harbor
socked in fog, first 3 days. 

 

robin turning
Robin shows us how it’s done

 

robin turning 3
Robin turning

 

class at work
we get at it, Jojo hews spoons

 

lathe
simple lathe

 

lathe 2
tool rest view
inspiration 1
inspiration was everywhere
inspiration 2
detail of Robin’s bowl
inspiration 3
beech bowl
first or second
my chamfer is OK
inside bowl
Robin hollowing
inspiration 4
an old one Roger brought to show us
roger
Roger said it felt like work, but he does it w ease
jarrod
after helping people all day, Jarrod couldn’t wait to make a bowl
jarrod peels fast
Jarrod peels bark fast
jarrod peels fast 2
This was too thick, but I’d never seen it done before

 

 

birch work
a sample Jarrod showed me on
sunshine
sun came out day 4
sunshine 2
the big lake they call….
inspiration 6
This looks like one of Jarrod’s
banjo gig
Jarrod, Jeremy, and Roger on banjo
jojo hews
Jojo 10 spoons a week

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Bowl class, tip of the iceberg

  1. Hi Peter,

    Will you be joining Robin and company at the spoon gathering this weekend in Milan, MN?

    Love the blog, thanks for your inspiration,
    Dave

    • David – much as I’d like to, I’m back in Massachusetts, toiling away trying to catch up with what’s been left behind. My family for instance…
      have fun
      PF

  2. Wow looks like you had a great time there. Wish I could have joined you! I am inspired to build myselfa new lathe and get bowl turning again.
    Thanks for the posts. I really enjoy following them

  3. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to take a class for once? Last summer I took my first class at Country Workshops after 15 years of teaching classes at Highland Woodworking in Atlanta. What a beautiful thing. Thanks for your encouragement to try that out through this blog! I grew up in northern Wis. near the lake so it pulls at my heart to see it show up on your blog.

  4. http://vk.com/id4387490?z=album-50101165_180854152

    Fri, 6 Jun 2014 00:52:54 +0000 от “Peter Follansbee, joiner’s notes” : >pfollansbee posted: “For decades I have worked wood surrounded by people – dozens, scores, hundreds, thousands of people. But in one sense, I work wood primarily in isolation. All these people were visitors to the museum, so watching me work. In many cases, I met woodworkers ” >

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