chest with drawers; pulls and more

First off, nice going to those who pitched in to help that Vermont school teacher with the fundraiser to buy spoon tools. They met their goal quite easily, I think thanks to you blog readers here. These on-screen connections can be alienating sometimes, but at times like this one, it truly is a community feeling. I really do appreciate the feedback I get from this blog, it means a lot.


Tomorrow I’ll deliver this chest with drawers to the Fuller Craft Museum for the exhibition about Plymouth CRAFT. http://fullercraft.org/event/living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft/

I did the bulk of the last-minute junk last week, and a good thing too. Just been knocked out with a flu-ish thing for 5 days. All 4 of us have had it in various forms – so it’s felt like a long time since we’ve had our heads above water.

After watching all the bowl turners at North House a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to come home & turn bowls. But instead, I turned drawer pulls in white oak.

The drove them through the hole I bored in the drawer front, and split the tenon with a chisel.

and drove an oak wedge into the resulting split.

Here is the wedged tenon, just prior to trimming.

These pulls are about 1 1/4″ in diameter.

I made some adjustments to the drawer runners. These things are always fussy…they fit into notches in the stiles, and often I toe-nail through them into the stile. You can see one of those nails out at the rear stile in this shot:

Here you can see one of the drawer runners in the drawer opening above, and the groove in the drawer side below. When all goes well, this is a nice way for a drawer to slide. Especially these heavy oak drawers. There will be a pine panel behind these drawers, but that will have to wait til the exhibit is over. Mid-June I think. After Greenwood Fest…

we’ll put some bleachers out in the sun and have it on highway 61

I only have a few photos for this post – I was too busy to shoot much…

I just got back from teaching two classes at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. http://www.northhouse.org/index.htm   Being thrown into an immersion experience like that at North House reminds me of my beginnings at Country Workshops in the 1980s.

One focus at North House is community, and it is quite palpable. The legendary pizza night, centered around the large wood-fired oven, and finely honed through years of practice is a memorable experience. The classes I was there to teach were part of “Wood Week” which as you can imagine means all the classes offered that week (8 in all) were woodworking. Other disciplines at North House include fiber arts, blacksmithing, food, boatbuilding and more.

All the students in my first class were named Tom. I think. Made it easier…

With three classes at the first session, and five the next, there was no shortage of inspiration, nor of comrades. The evenings were spent in large and small groups exploring spoon and bowl carving, looking at and trying out new tools, techniques, benches and materials. It seems that almost everyone (except me) also plays a musical instrument, so the spoon carving circles were on the periphery of the old-timey music circles. There was much overlap. The best nights ran much later than I could handle.

All the while, Lake Superior was right there, outside the shop windows, and lapping at the courtyard between the buildings. It’s a pretty big lake, I hear. Looked it.

I’m liking these large-group gatherings. Last year I went to three of them, Greenwood Fest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Spoonfest in Edale, UK and Täljfest at Sätergläntan in Sweden. This one had a smaller crowd, but that lent it an intimacy that was nice. I still missed stuff – I got no photographs of the other classes, and few of my own.

Jarrod trying out Dawson Moore’s Spoon Mule:

Tom Dengler kept distracting me with his woodenware:

one of the oak carvings the students did…

I caught up with some old friends, and made some new. Like the other events, this one is run by many hands, including a group of young interns. Nice to see these young people exploring some type of creative outlet involving natural materials. There were a smattering of young people in the classes too, but no group gets higher marks than Spoonfest for adding youth and women to the woodworking community.

These creatures were more common than squirrels.

I had a day off early on, and took a long walk in a state park about half-an-hour away. If this tree were closer to the school, someone would have nabbed it by now…

North House is celebrating their twentieth year – get on their mailing list so you can be a part of their 2nd-double-decade.

Some of the many people there, apologies for not including everyone – there was a lot happening:

Jarrod Dahl, https://www.instagram.com/jarrod__dahl/

Roger Abrahamson,  https://www.instagram.com/rogerabrahamson/

Fred Livesay,  https://www.instagram.com/hand2mouthcrafts/

Phil Odden & Else Bigton  http://www.norskwoodworks.com/

Harley Refsal  http://www.northhouse.org/courses/courses/instructor.cfm/iid/86

Dawson Moore  https://www.instagram.com/michigansloyd/

Tom & Kitty Latane https://www.facebook.com/thomas.latane

Tom Dengler https://www.instagram.com/twodengler/

Joined chest class

This past weekend was the wrap-up to the joined chest class at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/ One weekend a month, for five months, with homework is a tall order.

chest-front
Matt’s chest front assembled

In addition to the outlay of cash, these students made the commitment of time – that is really striking to me. I appreciate them signing on for this class, and Bob Van Dyke for making it possible. We had some struggles, mostly related to wood supply; and also had a lot of fun making these chests. When I was a student many years ago, Jennie Alexander used to have us all make the same ladderback chair in the class, there was no deviation. I remember once JA suggested just making the chairs, piling them in a heap, and each student taking one home. That didn’t fly, but it illustrated the general notion of a class project.

carving
Rick doing more carving

My workshops are usually nothing like that. I seem to be dumb enough to say to each student, yea – you could add this or that, make this change – why not carve the side frames and panels – so there’s a lot of variation in these projects. And because of the amount of work involved, each student was at a different point in their chest. The way the class worked, I’d cover two topics each weekend,  – layout, joinery/carving, decoration/tills, floors, etc.

Then I’d wander from bench to bench to see where the students were, and what they needed. In between classes, I’d often send them blog posts that served as notes for what we just did, or what was coming up. When it ran smoothly anyway…here’s pictures. Some awful. some ok.

detail
molded edge, peg holes. panel

A pile of chest parts; ready for test-fitting

stack-of-chest

White balance out the window – but framed now, & panels cut to size.

frame

Stock prep. Dwight lays his planes on their sides, I see.

stock-prep

what are these guys doing rooting around in my chest?

thieves

Oh, trying to suss out the till lid scenario.

tills

Tidy bevels on panels.

beveled-panels

Rick’s tool box – dynamite from 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

tool-box

Pine lid installed

lid

Back home in daylight again. Started linseed oil. A few moldings left, some drawer pulls & done. then it goes to Fuller Craft Museum for the exhibition about Plymouth CRAFT.

daylight-again

I have two more oak classes at CVSWW – a weekend of carving in May, and later in the fall, a 4-day class in making a carved oak box. Link at the top. Box dates aren’t set yet, but I think it will be late September or early October. I forget…

 

chipping away at things

 

Got a smattering of snow the other day.,..this was the view from my desk yesterday morning.

desk-window

I write blog posts around photographs, so when there’s no photos, there’s no blog. I’ve been splitting my time many different ways lately, some work (slowly) on the shop; installing cement board to shield the walls from the wood stove. Hardly worth a photo….pretty uninspiring.

One thing I have done lately is collecting some cherry crooks for spoon carving. A friend cut down a large cherry tree, and I swooped in for the upper branches. Lots of crooks there, some burls too. Those are mostly new for me, I turned a burl bowl once…but I’m going to try carving these.

crooks-hiding-in-the-snow

burl

I started two new versions of a spoon with a hook under its handle (a crook with a hook) – I dug out this one I never finished, it’s apple.

apple-hook

bark-in-bowl

A very exaggerated form here, but I was very happy with the profile. The hooks are usually/always a lot smaller than this…but I really liked the curves here. This one got abandoned because of a void in the bowl. You can see a crack with trapped bark and grit there. It’s quite deep, no way to salvage this one. So it stands as a sample…

I have two in cherry underway, (one very large one, one more sane-sized) but neither have the sinuous curve this one has. Where’s those other big crooks?

three-hooks

next-crook

In the mail a couple of weeks ago arrived two spoons – I was very pleased with the overall forms and carving, but the finial on the lighter (dogwood) spoon knocked me out…Micah Green is the carver, see his stuff on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/whittlerjoel/

two-spoons


mouse

 

This weekend I’m back in Connecticut to teach the continuing joined chest class…

better-chest-view

This time, drawers and lids. So next week, I should have a finished chest finally….it will ultimately go in the exhibition at Fuller Craft Museum – featuring the artisans from Plymouth Craft. This show will be up into June during Greenwood Fest… http://fullercraft.org/event/living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft/  There will be lots more about this exhibition as it comes together. One feature during the exhibition and the festival will be Jogge Sundqvist’s Rhythym & Slojd presentation. More details to come…

UPDATE – I forgot to tell you, Maureen has put some of her knitting & felted stuff on sale. Apparently spring will come at some point, so time to move some winter stuff along. Here’s the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts

Sale Hand knit hand dyed scarf, blue and periwinkle lace waves scarf, merino wool hand dyed yarn, woman's scarf, long

 

Teaching schedule 2017

I’m as behind as usual, but I just spent some time listing my teaching schedule as it now stands for 2017. It will be listed at the top of the blog,  – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/teaching-schedule-for-2017/  – but I’ve copied it below here for now.

In addition, I hope to offer one-on-one instruction here at my new shop. I still have a few bits to finish off first, but just wanted to let people know. there’s 2 benches, and lots of tools. As I think about format, it could be pretty flexible. Students could come for technique-based sessions, like the spoon carving or furniture carving I do. Or we could focus on a project, like the carved boxes. If anyone is interested, email me to discuss your ideas. Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net  I’ll post more about these when I am closer to being ready. Hopefully within 2 months.

snowy-view

Meanwhile, here’s the classes & more at the usual schools…

Teaching Schedule for 2017

The beginning of this year got away from me, so I am just now posting my teaching schedule for 2017. In addition to these classes, exhibition, and other presentations, I hope to offer one-on-one sessions here at my new shop. I have a little fine tuning to finish up, then I can sort that out. I picture these being either techniques, like spoon carving or  carving 17th century patterns; but maybe these could be project oriented too. If anyone is interested, they can email me ( Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net ) & we can tailor something to suit, and go over specifics.

Here’s the schedule as is stands now – there will likely be things added here & there. Right now, there’s nothing with Plymouth CRAFT other than the Greenwood Fest, and I know that we’ll do a few classes during the year. So, more to come.

 

February 18th & 19th, Spoon Carving, CVSWWspoon carving

Spoon carving class at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. This will be our first time offering this class at Bob Van Dyke’s place. It’s filling up, good winter work, inside carving spoons. I’ll bring some fresh wood, some knives – grab your hatchet & come to CT. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes 

 

February 28-March 4, North House Folk School

Carved Decoration--17th Century English Style

 

I’ll take part in Wood Week at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. It will be my first time teaching there, I was a student a few years ago, and found the school and the people to be great. I’ll be working on carving 17th-century style designs for furniture decoration and also giving a talk..  http://www.northhouse.org/programs/events/woodcarverweek.htm

 

March 18-June 25, exhibition at Fuller Craft Museum

 

OpeningReceptionPhoto

Starting in March, my work will be represented in conjunction with a Plymouth CRAFT exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. There’s an opening reception on Sunday April 9th. Details here http://fullercraft.org/event/living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft/ and http://fullercraft.org/event/opening-reception-for-living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft-and-ellen-schiffman-the-52-box-project/  There will be some more collaboration between Plymouth CRAFT and Fuller Craft, part of which happens during Greenwood Fest.

 

April 21-23, Fine Woodworking Live, Southbridge MA

I’ll be part of the group at Fine Woodworking Live in Southbridge, Massachusetts. http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/ I’ll be doing presentations about oak joinery, including the carving. It’s quite a line-up, my first time with Fine Woodworking…

 

May 20 & 21, 17th-c style carving , CVSWW

carving detail 2

I’ll be back at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking to do a 2-day class in 17th-century style carving. This one is always fun, because we carve patterns that give Bob the creeps…he sees faces in every design. Very unsettling.

June 6-11, Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest.

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, outdoor and food

It was such a big hit last year, we were dumb enough to do it again. Still some spaces in some pre-fest classes, and a waiting list for the festival. many got in from the waiting list last year.  https://www.greenwoodfest.org/

 

August 19 & 20, Spoon Carving at Lie-Nielsen

dave & the crook

I’ll be up at Lie-Nielsen for 2 days of spoon carving. One of my favorite trips of the year. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/156

 

Late September – Make a Carved Box, CVSWW

carved box

 

We haven’t set the dates yet, but this will probably be a four-day class, around a weekend in September. We’ll carve and assemble a box typical of the 17th-century work I have specialized in for all these years. My only box class this year…details soon.

 

Oct 6-8  Spoon Carving, Woodwright’s School.

 

Peter-Spoon-Hatchet.jpg

I’ll be teaching spoon carving down at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School. Fun happens there.

Spoons for sale, Nov 2016

I read somewhere that I haven’t been doing much woodworking lately! And I kept thinking about this all season, as I worked on building a shop by hand. Certainly, 2016 has been a slow year for me, furniture-wise and woodenware-wise. And the spoons are really something that fell by the wayside. Turns out carpentry makes me more tired than joinery. So I only have a few spoons for sale right now. I did update a page of a few furniture items I have available for sale – including 2 boxes and a stool at reduced prices. A couple of these are stuff that there’s no room for in the new workshop; two things are from around the house. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/furniture-for-sale-fall-2016/

I’m slowly getting back to making custom furniture, in my typical carved oak style. Feel free to contact me if you’re looking for something like that. I also hope to add one-on-one student sessions here. More on that to come.

Here’s the spoons for sale – paypal works the easiest, I can send you an invoice. Just leave a comment if there’s a spoon you want. Prices include shipping in US, outside the states, I’ll add something for shipping. If you would rather, you can send a check. Just let me know…

I forgot to mention, Maureen has some new stuff on her etsy site too – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts

thanks,
Peter Follansbee

 

Spoons for Sale

Spoon 01 –  SOLD

serving spoon, made from an English wood, maybe Rowan.

L: 9 1/2″

$75.

spoon-nov-01

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Spoon 09 – apple – SOLD

another in a long series of odd-ball spoon-ish sculptures. This was made during a demonstration, and I didn’t have enough wood with me. This branch was quite weird, and I had to really work at it to get a spoon out of it!

L: 12″

$70

spoon-nov-09

THE SPOONS BELOW HERE ARE SOLD AS OF WEDNESDAY NOV 30. I HOPE TO FINISH SOME MORE IN THE NEXT WEEK AND POST THEM RIGHT AWAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. 

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Spoon 02 – birch serving spoon. SOLD

L: 11″

$80

spoon-nov-02

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Spoon 03 – SOLD

This small server might be rowan also. I started several spoons while I was in England, finished them here. Lost track of which wood was which.

L: 9 3/4″

$70

spoon-nov-03

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spoon-nov-04

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Spoon 05 – SOLD

this extra long cooking spoon is from an apple tree right here in my yard.

L: 15″

$90

spoon-nov-05

spoon-nov-05-detail

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Spoon 06 – willow – SOLD

my favorite spoon of the batch. Fred Livesay split a crook of willow right when we got to Spoonfest in England, and it was too thick for what he wanted. So he split it again, and handed me this small section to carve. Thanks, Fred.

L: 8″

$75

spoon-nov-06-side

spoon-nov-06-overall

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Spoon 07 – SOLD

rowan or cherry

Another hard wood serving spoon.

L: 9 3/4″

$75

spoon-nov-07

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Spoon 08 – apple – SOLD

A nice little crook for a spoon.

L: 8″

$70

spoon-nov-08

spoon-nov-08-overall

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inspired by students

I did some carving today, in white pine, for window trim in the workshop. The pattern I cut was inspired by the students in the joined chest class at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. This design has been evolving for a while now, I wrote about the basic version of this pattern five years ago  https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/patterns-patterns/  This one has the additional step of hollowing the surface, and then doubling up the design.

double-braid

We carved single rows of this in the class, then first one, then another student asked about doubling them up. So I copied them in this case…Here’s some of what I did. The outline is based on margins and horizontal centerlines. I mark off the spacing with a compass, and strike a punch to give me a starting point for the pattern. Then I strike the arcs with a large, #7 gouge. For the doubled braid, the first rows of strikes look like a stack of curved Vs or seagulls…

first-cuts

Then I turn the gouge around, and strike going the other way, toward the outer margins.

flip-gouge

After the vertical strikes, I angle the tool downwards a bit, and remove a crescent chip.
chips

After this step, it now looks like a stack of handlebar mustaches.

 

stack-of-mustaches

Then I go at it some more with the large #7, and begin to connect the arcs…

large-gouge

A shallow #5 gouge snips out some areas between the arcs, making space for some shadows.

5-gouge

Then I used a #8 gouge to hollow the flat parts that remain…this cut is a pivoting quarter-arc…over & over.

hollow-w-gouge

hollow-pt-1-done

some go this way, some go that way…

hollowing

I shot some short video of carving some of this pattern. No edits, some fumbling around is included.

cutting braid from Peter Follansbee on Vimeo.

 

hollowing braid from Peter Follansbee on Vimeo.