some Greenwood Fest pictures

I’m getting nowhere sorting Greenwood Fest pictures, so will just post a few here & there rather than trying to write a comprehensive blog post about the event. The wood gets delivered in a dump truck. Easy to unload, but last year we just left a large jumbled heap for people to sift through. This time I asked for (& got) volunteers to sort and lay out the wood so it was less hazardous. Then – I kept worrying we’d run out. Doesn’t look like enough, but it was…

Here’s Curtis Buchanan on his way to work, no doubt some hijinks between him & Darrick Sanderson on the pole lathe there. It was a great pleasure to have Curtis join us this time…

Way back in my woodworking DNA I’m a chairmaker – and I kept going back to Curtis’ sessions to see what he was up to, and to admire his chairs. So much so that I bought this one – I never bought another chairmaker’s chair before.

Barn the Spoon. BOOM.

So much hands-on component, so much real-world connection.

This place was always busy.

The ladyslippers were in full bloom.

 

Robin Wood came over from England. He ran several sessions, this one, with JoJo (seated on the right), about their tool-making operation Wood Tools.

Our old friend Joel Pontz brought his tent, his borrowed dump truck and his eager help. Then he took Jane Mickelborough’s folding spoon class. Here he’s cutting the bridle joint that forms the hinge.


Stopped by Dave Fisher’s pre-fest course on carving bowls, to see just who the quickest ones were who got to sign up for that class. Under 10 minutes I think it took to sell out…


And Dave in a later session demonstrating how he does the finish work on one of his bowls.

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thank you for Greenwood Fest 2018

I am just about done sorting and sifting through my workshop, putting it back together after Greenwood Fest 2018. I’ll post photos from the Fest in the next couple of days, but first I want to offer great thanks to the Plymouth CRAFT board and volunteers for helping Pret, Paula & I to run this event. I don’t have pictures of them all, but there’s a large group of people working very hard to make things run. They all did multi-purpose duties, and we appreciate their support. There’s always the risk of missing someone in a venture like this, and if I do, I’ll sort it out. Here goes: Ben Brewster with his AV help; David Berman, design work (& bed-making); Mary Salcedo & Jake Peters for all their hustle; Rick McKee for help setting up & breaking down; Joel Pontz – the tent and the dump truck, Chris Devine – the WOOD! The staff working in the Greenwood Shop deserve special mention – Elizabeth Creedon, Pat Baker, Charlotte Russell, Caroline Chapin, Janice Card, Kirsten Atchison, and Dorothy Price. Then Marie Pelletier, who shot the photos (& bed-making); Tobias Ecklund and Pär Brask from Morakniv; and Ben Strano and Barry Dima from Fine Woodworking. Pete Mickelborough, Zak Wolstenholme and Sean Vivide for all their pitching in to help. And Bryan MacIntyre, guarding the life.

UPDATE = knew I’d forget some. Mike & Tammy Race, for ferrying people from the bus, hosting in elegance our wayward travelers and their unflagging support of all Plymouth CRAFT endeavors. And Josh Hockenberry for the airport run when we were too swamped.  Pat Kirby for his constant help and smile. I’m sure I’ll add some…

A very special thanks to the hard-working kitchen staff at Pinewoods who kept us all well-fed.

The next big thank-you goes to the incredible instructors who set aside time to travel to us – we’re very lucky to have such great friends.

front row, l-r: Dave Fisher, Darrick Sanderson, Curtis Buchanan, Tim Manney, back row, l-r: JoJo Wood, Robin Wood, Barn the Spoon, Jane Mickelborough, Pete Galbert, Peter Follansbee, Paula Marcoux

Greenwood Fest 2018 instructors

And all you folks who came from far and wide – if you didn’t buy tickets, we couldn’t do it. Here’s the group photos – some got away just before it, but that’s most of you. Thanks.

Greenwood Fest 2018 group

“Spoon-wood” for Jögge Sundqvist

I’ve often wondered when the hell someone would re-write the great Willie Dixon song “Spoonful” for all the spoon-carving crowd. Then I tried for years & couldn’t get it. Once I stopped trying, it came to me. So – sung to the tune of “Spoonful” here are the lyrics I came up with for Greenwood Fest 2018

 

It Could be a spoon made of cherry

It Could be a spoon made of bee-eeech

But one little spoon of Jögge’s precious birch

Is good enough for me-eeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

It could be a spoon made with JoJo

It could be a spoon made with me-eeee

Or just a little spoon that Jane brought from home

a folding spoon from Britt-a-kneeeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

It could be a spoon made from straight wood

Or a crook from your favorite tree-eeee

Barn just made a spoon with his twca cam

That’s good enough for mee-eee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Paula did all of this planning

so we could carve spoons all week

Chris cut the wood from his bucket truck

they both get big thanks from me-eeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

To decorate his spoons with a jackknife

Dave uses sorcery

There’s no way his is an Earthly skill

It’s Way Beyond the likes of me-eeeee

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I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Curtis and Tim have a different way

They bend their Crooks with steam

What’d you expect from chair makers

It’s good enough for me-eeeee

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Some learned spoons from the internet

Some learned spoons from Tee-Veeeee

If you use an axe and a couple of knives

You can trace it back to ol’ Vill-eeeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

Wille Sundqvist

As we’re preparing to start setting up Greenwood Fest tomorrow, news came today that Wille Sundqvist passed away, aged 92 years old. We heard from Jögge earlier this week that the end was near, thus he stayed home in Sweden to be with his father.

We’ll all miss having Jögge with us at the Fest, and our thoughts are with him and his family. I’m so glad it worked out the way it did, he could have easily been on a plane headed our way when Wille’s time came.

There’s no exaggeration about Wille’s impact on so many of our woodworking trajectories…I’ve written and talked at length about what I often call “craft genealogy” and I trace mine back to a very simple event – Bill Coperthwaite bringing Wille Sundqvist down to meet Drew and Louise Langsner, c. 1976. That visit led to the creation of  Country Workshops, where I often traveled to learn from Drew, Louise, Jennie Alexander, Jögge, Curtis Buchanan and Wille Sundqvist – and on & on.

Plymouth CRAFT has dedicated this year’s Greenwood Fest to Wille Sundqvist and his life’s work.

Fare you well, Wille Sundqvist, rest in peace.

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Greenwood Fest 2018 is nearly here

Next Monday, June 4th, the Plymouth CRAFT crew and most instructors descend on Pinewoods Dance Camp in Plymouth Massachusetts to begin setting up Greenwood Fest 2018. We’ve been working pretty steadily prepping stuff for a couple weeks now – Paula wrangling schedules and logistics and Pret & I have been making the next batch of lathes for bowl turning. The first season, we used Jarrod Dahl’s lathes, then last year we built 4 lathes and Jarrod brought 4. This year, we’ll have 8 of our own, and we’re gathering all the necessary gear – hook tools, treadles, mandrels – Plymouth CRAFT will now have the necessary equipment to host bowl turning classes outside of Greenwood Fest. All we’ll need is a venue and an instructor. You can tell I made the poppets for the lathes – the wedges that secure some of them are carved.

I kept thinking I had loads of time, and at one point I did. But no more. So now I have a scramble to finish up whatever I can so I have something to show in the retail “Greenwood Shop.”  Will it be the joined stool? The ladderback chair? The carved box? At least one of those things, I hope.

Once the Fest sold out, we started a waiting list. As we’ve got closer to the date, here & there some people have had to drop out for one reason or another, and people from the waiting list get contacted and some of them drop in. The Fest is still full, but the 7 pre-Fest courses have some spaces and no waiting lists. So for any last-minute people with flexible schedules – we have some openings you might like to jump on. If you missed out on the Fest and can come at the nearly-last minute, the pre-Fest is almost as wild an event as the Fest itself. Or if you’re in the Fest, quit your job and extend your stay forward with us. Mid-day Tues June 5- mid-day Thurs June 7th. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details

Spoon carvers – Jane Mickelborough’s folding spoon class (hinged spoon, we call it both names) has spaces. It’s an amazing exploration of a traditional form from Brittany. Something different from a lot of the spoon carving going on, but rooted in a local tradition. No one alive knows more about those spoons than Jane.

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JoJo Wood’s eating spoon class. Someone can get into this fiercely popular class. JoJo has been part of both our previous Greenwood Fests. I’ve written lots about her work since we met in 2014, and I continue to be so impressed with her amazingly detailed and nuanced spoons. If you’ve paid any attention to spoon carving, she’s one of the top spoon carvers out there.

 

Tim Manney’s class in sharpening is a real eye-opener. In woodworking, sharp tools make everything better. Tim makes tools sharp, easily. He’ll demystify the processes to sharpen all kinds of tools; hatchets, knives, gouges, chisels, most any edge tool. I have often told the story of the first time we offered this class at Plymouth CRAFT – we had beginning woodworkers running around asking “What else can we sharpen?”

 

If you’re signed up for the Fest, there’s one thing I’ve been meaning to mention for some time. Paint – as far as I can tell, we’ve not addressed painted finishes in our Fest before. Although we have two masters of milk-paint; Curtis Buchanan and Pete Galbert in attendance, in addition to Jögge Sundqvist (who is not afraid of color) – we have a “new-to-you” artisan –  Pen Austin doing some workshops and open demonstrations concerning paint; milk paint and distemper paint.

Pen is British, living in Massachusetts, where she is involved in restoration work in plaster and painted finishes. She trained in architectural conservation and she’s a member of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers of London. Pen was there for the first-ever Plymouth CRAFT event, back in 2014 https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/plymouth-craft/

And featured in Rick McKee’s blog post about building a Shakespearean stage – https://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/playing-marbles/

I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work and also seeing people work with her. Should be something. I hope I can poke my nose into some of her sessions, I’d like to learn a bit more about manipulating paint. Back to my list of to-be-dones. 

 

 

Mount Auburn Cemetery

Every spring, my friend Marie Pelletier & I make a trip into Cambridge/Watertown to Mount Auburn Cemetery to spend a few hours chasing migrating songbirds. It’s a highlight of the year.

Here’s a lousy photograph of a great bird from yesterday – bay breasted warbler (Setophaga castanea) – a bird I had only seen maybe 3 times (all at Mt. Auburn) and yesterday we saw maybe 10 of them.

It is an absolutely magical place. https://mountauburn.org/ Founded in 1831, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a National Historic Landmark. It’s been a birders’ mecca for ages.

I think I must have first gone to Mt. Auburn in the 1980s with Heather Neill https://www.instagram.com/hnartisan/ and the next time I went was in the 1990s, while studying family history. My ancestor Benjamin Fiske (d. 1863) was one of the early inhabitants – and several of his descendants are placed there, including his grandson Benjamin Howe Fiske, but not his son Benjamin Fiske. There’s a story there, but not now. There’s room for me, but my wallet won’t get me in.

Benjamin Fisk at Mt. Auburn

The birds come in each spring, in droves. So once a year (twice this season) we get up crack of dawn and drive into the city, alongside the ordinary commuters. But once we’re in the cemetery, all time stops and the hustle & bustle of the city are someone else’s problems. Our challenge is which way to look, when every tree is full of birds. Some years, we hit it “right” and see dozens and dozens of species, some years, less so. This year was in-between, leaning towards busier rather than slower. It’s no matter, a bad day birding in Mt. Auburn is still a great day.

I don’t know how many times I’ve walked by Auburn Lakes in the cemetery, and yesterday I looked over & said “Hey – A..J. Wilkinson!” He founded the hardware store that bore his name, in the early 1840s, I think. My father worked there from 1942-1975 – the only job he ever had. 

I have some wooden planes that were made for and sold by A J Wilkinson –

 

Here’s photos, scattered from various years’ trips. I’ve also added some warblers and other songbirds from various locations – we’ve seen them there, but to get the best photos, you need better lenses than I have, and more time in Mt. Auburn. Many people we spoke to said “Oh, I live nearby, I come every day…!” If you’re ever in the greater Boston area, go. Birds, trees, flowering plants, 19th-century sculpture, famous people’s graves. The works.  

Then I came home, and took the kids to the library. There I found “North on the Wing: Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring” by Bruce Beehler. looks promising…

Spoons for sale

A small batch of spoons for sale.  A range of crooks, some birch, some cherry. All finished with food-grade flax oil. Shipping included for US, further destinations will require additional postage. The usual arrangements; leave a comment if you’d like one, and let me know if you want to use paypal or send a check.

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spoon 18-13, SOLD

cherry. A small steep crook spoon.

L: 8″  W: 1 3/4″
$75

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Spoon 18-14; SOLD

cherry again. Wide-bladed small serving spoon.

L: 8 1/2″  W: 2 1/4″
$85

 

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Spoon 18-15; birch. A curve and a crook all in one.

L: 9 1/2″  W:  2 1/8″
$85

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Spoon 18-16; SOLD

another birch crook. Slight curve this time…

L:  10″  W:  2 3/8″
$90

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Spoon 18-17; SOLD

cherry again. A small eating spoon, rare for me. I don’t often make them. A great crook.

L: 7″  W:  2″
$75

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Spoon 18-18; SOLD

maple. My favorite of the batch. LARGE serving spoon. Great crook.

L: 14″  W:  3″
$130

 

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Spoon 18-19; SOLD

Another big one/long one. Birch this time. S-scroll carved in the handle.

L: 15 3/8″  W: 2 1/2″
$110