Inspired

Pete Seeger's banjo

I told you I feel inspired. I remember when Pete Seeger died, I searched the web for a photo of his banjo – this week it served as an idea for some wood carving. I’ve had these items rattling around the house since Greenwood Fest; further inspiration. A bowl by Dave Fisher, large spoon Beth Moen, small spoon Derek Sanderson.

grouping

So I weighed this piece of wood one more time, and  got the same weight as recorded here in April & early June – 14 oz.

weight loss record

here’s where it will go, a replacement handle for my old Viking-style hatchet.

old & new handles

Here is recto:

axe recto

and verso:

axe verso

a favorite quote from Bill Coperthwaite, found in his book A Handmade Life.

I plan on carving spoons this weekend at the Lie-Nielsen Open House, with this hatchet. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/hand-tool-events/USA/109

Meanwhile, some birds around the workshop project, which is roof shingling.

female downy woodpecker (right) feeding male young.

feed me

white breasted nuthatch.

wb nuthatch

red tailed hawk, every day being chased off by grackles, blackbirds, blue jays – you name it, they chase ’em.

rt hawk

Red bellied woodpecker.

rb woodpecker

what to do with all this inspiration?

After Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2016, the biggest problem I have is what to do with all that inspiration. I remember the first evening all the instructors were on-site- it struck me that we had a great lineup assembled, and that I wouldn’t be able to see much of it/them. It’s the nature of working an event like this, rather than attending it. But it was so exciting seeing everyone, and comparing ideas, thoughts, plans – and then the snippets I did see really got the juices flowing.

Dave Jogge & JoJo

We had Beth Moen and Dave Fisher carving bowls with axe and adze, contrasted with Derek (non-stop) Sanderson and Jarrod Stone Dahl turning them on Jarrod’s pole lathe. The spoon contrast was between the Woodland Pixie and the Viking – JoJo Wood and Jögge Sundqvist. Two very different approaches, but both so engrossing that I wished I had eight arms, so I could carve more spoons every day. I showed JoJo a large crook I was going to make a spoon from. “What would you do?” I asked. “Throw that out and carve some straight-grained spoons” came the reply. And yet I hear Jögge talking about “form follows fibers” – there ain’t no one way, I guess.

dave w students

turned bowls

After the event, a bunch of us were talking about what worked, and what could stand some tweaking. April Stone Dahl said earlier she wondered why she was included, not being a spoon carver. Nonsense, says me. I wanted basketry to be a big part of the Greenwood theme, and April’s are some of the nicest baskets I know, without being precious and dainty.

april

Tim Manney’s approach to both spoon carving and chair making are so different from my own, but he has a tremendous grasp of both crafts. I really like Tim’s work, and his teaching style is very engrossing. He always had a crowd around his bench.

Pret Woodburn and Rick McKee are not as well-known to the web-based woodworking community as our other instructors. But if you’ve been around a Plymouth CRAFT event, then you got to know them. Together they have hewn more wood & talked to more people than anyone except maybe me (well, Roy Underhill too…but you get the point) and they taught these skills for years beyond count. It was a great thrill for me to combine them with these far-flung friends. I knew the fit would be perfect, and it was.

pret hewing

When we decided to call our festival “greenwood” something seemed familiar…and that’s how I thought of having Scott Landis come give us a glimpse into the organization known as Greenwood, and the wonderful work they do, making the world a better place through woodworking and green wood. http://www.greenwoodglobal.org/

The classes afterwards were an added bonus, Tim, Dave and I hung around, while JoJo and Jögge had to work. So we got to rubberneck in their classes, and keep on exploring what to do with sharp edges and lignin fibers.

Back home, I’m working on oak furniture, spoon and bowl carving, a bench in catalpa and white oak, and Pret & I are about to resume some carpentry on the workshop. And I’m eyeing some half-finished baskets, too. If I could only skip sleeping….then I could utilize all this inspiration.

Here’s two views – first, the video our friend Harry Kavouksorian put together for us. Thanks, Harry.

Greenwood Fest 2016 from Harry Kavouksorian on Vimeo.

And the second, a very nice article with slides & video, from Frank Mand. Nice work, Frank. I appreciate it.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/news/20160615/national-audience-in-plymouth-for-worlds-best-woodworking-artists 

I heard we might just be dumb enough to do it again. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, go carve something!

Woodworking in Estonia now available from Lost Art Press

WIE_blue_cover_mockup1_1024x1024

Lost Art Press just announced they are now taking orders for their new translation of Woodworking in Estonia – go order yours, don’t even think about it. I saw it as they were working on it, it will open your mind about woodworking.

If you ever thought you’ve seen this book based on the 1969 US version, forget it. You ain’t seen nothin’. If you wasted your eyesight on the online version that was floating around some years ago, even worse. Now you’ll be able to see what this book is meant to be.

Congrats, Chris, John & the rest of LAP cohorts. Nice going.

read some of the story here: https://blog.lostartpress.com/2016/06/26/now-in-the-store-woodworking-in-estonia/

order your copies here https://lostartpress.com/products/woodworking-in-estonia

Up to Lie-Nielsen and back home

Unloaded some photos off my camera today. Now I see where I’ve been.

After Greenwood Fest, I scooted up for a quick trip to Lie-Nielsen to teach a 2-day class in 17th-century carving. The project is/was a carved box. Most of the emphasis is on the carving.

They’ve moved the classroom there, now using benches back-to-back. Seems like a nice arrangement. 
double bench LN

Dwight got the “coolest shirt” recognition. 

dwight cool shirt

Bill brought an old  brace for show & tell. I have no way to know its age. 17th/18th century? who knows…it’s really well done, no matter when. 
hand forged brace

brace

chuck

I dragged JoJo Wood along. Decorative carving is not her bag, but she took to it like gangbusters. 

jojo carves decoration

jojo carving decoration

She told me Edale is as far from the sea as you can get in England, so after all that time in the car, we had to see some Maine coast. Here’s Owl’s Head

owls head

sunset

Back home I have several things underway. I know this is stupid, but I assembled my workbench inside the unfinished shop. It’s stored here, was going to sit under a tarp, so why not have it assembled? we’ve never really looked at how it’s built – so here is the white pine top, approx. 4″x 17″ x 8′. On an oak frame. Wedged through tenons on the long rails. The frame runs 24″ deep. I have an oak shelf/plank that fills in the space to make up the rest of the bench top.

bench assembly

The front leg at my right hand-end. Holes for holdfast in the leg. A blind tenon at the top of the leg into a mortise in the underside of the bench. It just goes “thunk” and is done. Just 2 mortises in the bench top. It rests on the top edge of the side aprons behind the front legs.

bench end

Before I positioned the back shelf/plank. I have no recollection of why I framed the rear legs the way I did. But the loose block that rests between the back leg and the rear edge of the workbench top is a spacer to support the shelf. Weird, but it works. Once the shelf is in place, I never think about it again.

back leg

shelf is pegged down to the two spacers, and has one registration peg between it & the bench top.

peg

The bench in situ. A sliding deadman occasionally gets some use. Chopping block moves to the left hand end of this view. Now to finish the shop around the bench & lathe.

in situ

 

 

 

 

Greenwood Fest article & various photos

run away

For two full weeks, I was surrounded by some of my favorite woodworkers…now it’s pretty quiet, trying to get back into the day-to-day. If you want to re-live Greenwood Fest, here’s some links:

http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/news/20160615/national-audience-in-plymouth-for-worlds-best-woodworking-artists

That article and more photos are compiled on Plymouth CRAFT’s facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/CRAFTPlymouth/?fref=ts

a collection or two on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/greenwoodfest2016/  and

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/greenwoodfest/

I’m sure there’s more.

Plymouth CRAFT’s post-Greenwood Fest workshops

Plymouth CRAFT hosted 2 workshops after the Greenwood Fest 2016. Our model festivals do the workshops first, but we were making things up as we went along, or had scheduling conflicts, or something. So we did them after. One way this was an unexpected benefit is that often you don’t want an event like this to end. So it didn’t have to…

JoJo Wood taught her master class in eating spoons. These are the hardest spoons to make – they HAVE to be right. Cooking spoons & serving spoons can be strange & still work. Just look at my work for evidence of this.

It begins with accurate, well-thought-out hatchet work:

hewing

JoJo hewn spoon

Then, she was not bashful about telling all the old duffers where to cut their spoons to shape…

instruction

Working right beside Chris, saying “have faith, cut it like this…”

do what I'm doing

Meanwhile, Jogge Sundqvist taught his distaff class…a real challenging exercise in shapes, knife, hatchet & drawknife work, & design.

tin can openerThe tin-can opener grasp can be hard to grasp. Jogge helps illustrate proper technique.

here's how

Showing where some of these cuts are applicable in spoon carving.

how to get in tight spaces

These students made excellent examples…

great distaffs

Except this one – it doesn’t count. It’s Dave Fisher!

this one doesn't count

His class in bowl-carving is next – July 30/31 http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=bowl-carving-with-dave-fisher

dave bowl hewing

 

Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?

paula

If you have been to an event put on by Plymouth CRAFT, then you already know.

If you came to Greenwood Fest 2016, then you found out.

I said it there, & now I’m saying it again. If it were not for Paula Marcoux, none of it would happen.

We have many dedicated volunteers, board-members, guest instructors, etc – but altogether we can’t keep up with her.

The beginnings of Plymouth CRAFT stem from her vision. Once a bunch of us had moved on from our museum roots, she came up with the idea for forming this non-profit to teach various crafts. We all would have just kept saying, “yea, that’s a good idea, we should do it…” – but she went ahead and did it. So we just followed her lead.

I joke that when the idea for a Greenwood event came up, I said “bad idea, too much work.” But I also said I’d like to go to it, and she just listened to the 2nd part. I’m glad she did. We figured the notion was in the wind, following the great success of Robin Wood & Barn Carder with Spoonfest. So someone was going to do it in the US, and Paula decided it would be us.

Every email that got sent to Plymouth CRAFT about Greenwood Fest was answered by Paula. She personally handled everybody’s requests and comments.

Did all the registration stuff, and handled it when anyone needed to reschedule, refund – all that sort of thing. Sorted the waiting list, and delivered the news to those that squeaked in once spots opened up.

Then brought her bike to the event so she could get around the spread-out campus quickly enough to handle each emergency, request, or other logistical arrangements.

Paula also handled the after-classes planning & registration, then made lunch for 30 of us both of those days. And breakfast for nearly that many.

Those of us who have known her for decades are used to it, but I don’t want to take her work for granted.

So, here’s to the one who made it happen – Paula – thanks for Greenwood Fest 2016.

 

photo by Rick McKee

http://www.plymouthcraft.org/

Paula’s website including info about her book Cooking with Fire  http://themagnificentleaven.com//The_Magnificent_Leaven/About.html