Last weekend was my first class with Plymouth CRAFT, helping 12 intrepid folks carve spoons. What a time we had. (the facebook crowd can see some pictures here https://www.facebook.com/CRAFTPlymouth )
It was held at Overbrook house, http://www.overbrookhouse.com/ a large rambling joint with something interesting around every corner, both rooms we were using were set with a fire in the hearth. On the first day, Denise Lebica was teaching a knitting class in the next room, and on day 2, Paula Marcoux was in the kitchen, teaching a strudel-making session. This was after she had fixed a stellar lunch for everyone both days, cooking parts of it in the hearth. Like her book come to life… http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Fire-Rediscovered-Techniques-Wood-Fired/dp/1612121586
The spoon carvers took over a very large main room, essentially a living room! We shoved the furniture to the walls, moved in some mats & chopping blocks, and had at it. We started with the knife grasps, then moved to actually roughing out spoon blanks. These people were so dedicated they almost missed the lunch bell – until I yelled at them to get away from the tools & go eat.
I was kept pretty busy going from one to the next, checking on the tool use and the emerging spoons. For me, one highlight was that we were given permission to take a cherry sapling that was growing right outside the door. This meant that every student got a chance to carve a spoon from a crook. some were small, but in many ways that’s a good thing. working a small crook as a beginner means you learn the particular demands and challenges without a great outlay of effort and time…cherry can get pretty hard if it dries ahead of you..so good to get through it in short order.
Overbrook is large enough to include accommodations for those who needed overnight lodgings, and Anne Phelan did an outstanding job at the breakfast end of the B&B, as well as a slew of overall helping-out. So many of us had worked together at that un-named museum for years & years, it was fun to be back together again; Pret, Paula, Denise, Anne, Keith, Marie, me – and we had two other alumni, Bryan (spoons) & David (knitting) were signed on as students.
It went so well & we all had such a great time, that we signed up to do it again, both the spoon carving & knitting. Dates are March 14 & 15. Go to Plymouth CRAFT’s site for details, and to sign up: http://plymouthcraft.org/?post_type=tribe_events is Paula adding a foodie workshop? I forget.
I see Mark Atchison’s first class is now listed too – http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=the-fundamentals-of-blacksmithing-a-traditional-perspective You’ve heard me go on about Mark’s work before, without his work, my furniture work would suffer. Great chance to learn some blacksmith work from one of the best.