connections made at Dickinsons Reach

You know you’re getting close…


When you see this little yurt. After Jogge’s class, a small group of friends made a special trip out to Bill Coperthwaite’s place called Dickinsons Reach in Maine. If you aren’t familiar with Bill’s work, his book A Handmade Life is one of my favorite pieces of inspiration. But Bill was more complicated than a book of course.

It’s a nice long walk through the woods to his place, and once you’re there, you have a lot to see.

library yurt



In this case, the connections were a big part of what interested me. It was Bill who connected Jogge’s father, Wille Sundqvist, with Drew and Louise Langsner back in the mid-1970s. That eventually gave the Langsners the idea of starting a series of workshops in woodworking that continue to this day as Country Workshops.

Our semi-host was Peter Lamb who worked closely with Bill for many years, so knew the ins & outs of the place far better than any of the rest of us. I had visited a few times, Drew had been there once, over 35 years ago.

We poked around a bit, Jogge & Louise fixed an excellent supper, and the next day we explored around, talked of crafts, Bill, the various connections and ideas that were floating around. It was quite a time. some photos:

opening up for dinner

This one I stole from Jogge (sorry…) – a pattern Bill made of one of Wille’s spoons. It’s not really the best way to make a spoon, but Bill was trying to record some of the features…

I went out & walked for 2 hours the next morning.

board walk


morning at the mill pond

Showed Jogge this great birch bark bucket…lashed in bark too.

jogge w russian birch work

russian birch work3

Little things like this carved bird really caught my eye. Simple and beautiful.

carved bird

I saw lots of birds outside, but only photographed these two in the main yurt. This bowl is from Siberia.

bowl siberia 3

This shave is for hollowing bowls. Jogge thought it was Swedish.

bowl shave swedish

I know these knives were some of Bill’s favorite forms. Not sure if these are from his Alaska travels or not…

crook'd knives

Masashi Kutsuwa, Follansbee, Drew Langsner, Jogge Sundqvist, Peter Lamb. Louise was out looking for somewhere to swim.

five of us

a previous post about Bill:

Tim Manney’s Instagram feed had some good photos he shot out there recently.


8 thoughts on “connections made at Dickinsons Reach

  1. Peter, You asked me if I knew Baba Rahm Das’s real name. I asked an old aquantance and he said he believes it is Richard Alpert. He used to live near the Lama Foundation (San Christobal), back in the day. Thanks for your blog. I can’t count how many ways the “panel chest class” has inspired and helped me understand and work wood. I’m the jerk that regrettably mentioned Custer, during your class planning agenda. I hope to someday, live that down. Onward!

    Robert Caruthers cell (970)778-2880


  2. Very interesting thoughts Peter. If not for Roy Underhill’s show introducing your work and blog to me I likely wouldn’t have learned of Bill, who has become quite a beacon for me. It’s funny because right around when I really got into woodworking through Roy, yourself and others, I was greatly interested in the work of Helen and Scott Nearing. It was only after buying Bill’s book through reading your blog, that I discovered the connection between Bill and the Nearings. What a great little world we live in!

  3. Lovely to read about your trip to Bill Coperthwaite’s yurt .. his book is how i developed my interest in wood working.. ‘a hand made life’… Judy

  4. Very cool. Thank you for sharing these intimate images of your trip to Bill’s place. It’s on my bucket list – to someday make it to Maine and then someday see that magnificent building in person.

    Joseph Hatch

    Monroe, WI

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