spring cleaning pt 1

we started spring cleaning here yesterday.  I spent the day in the back yard, burning the winter’s collection of brush/branches, etc. It’s a once-a-year chance to spend the entire day by the riverbank…with nothing to do but feed and watch a fire.

I saw lots of birds during the day’s fire. Didn’t get shots of most of them, but here’s a few. (I don’t know what this looks like on your end, but when I preview it, if I click on the photos, they get pretty large, makes them easier to see. sometimes 2 clicks.) There were ospreys around much of the day, but only briefly when I had a camera in my hands:

The cormorants were fishing; but they were quite skittish. Here they are high-tailing it away:

If I was sitting on the riverbank, the red-breasted mergansers paid no attention to me;

when I was standing they either went up the other side of the river, or flew off.

This week I have a few things coming up. Going out to answer a call “Do you want some wide red oak?” – pretty simple question to answer. So some log-splitting coming up. Then I have to plan out my demo/talk for Fine Woodworking Live  http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/ – it’s my first time working with them. Looks like it will be quite an event.

thanks for all the support from those who have ordered the new videos. I really appreciate it. My setup was a bit clunky, but I went in & made it so those ordering both titles are only paying one shipping fee. I refunded any who got caught in the earlier “double-shipping” debacle. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/new-dvds-carved-oak-boxes-hewing-wooden-bowls-spring-2017/  I have some oak boxes underway, and some hewn bowls. I’ll shoot some of it soon & post some stuff here so any who have not seen the details can get an idea of what the fuss is about…

New DVDs; carving oak boxes & hewing wooden bowls

I just got a shipment from Warren, Maine – 2 boxes of new DVDs from Lie-Nielsen. We’ve had these in the works for a while, but better late than never. The first is Carving Oak Boxes.

This makes the 3rd oak project video; after the wainscot chest & the wainscot chair. I think this one is my favorite – it covers making 2 different boxes – one typical flat-lidded box, with wooden hinges and a till inside. The other is the slant-lidded “desk” box. This has 2 tills, a tray and 4 small drawers inside. The video also covers carving the designs on the desk box – patterns that I have done from the very beginning of my carving career, and have never put in the previous videos on carving.

Here’s the desk box –

——————–

The 2nd video is Hewing Wooden Bowls

Like spoon carving, a whole sub-culture of bowl-carving is gathering quite a bit of momentum. Who can blame them? Axes, adzes and gouges – what could be more fun? I was on a spree of hewing bowls a couple summers ago, and had done an episode of Roy Underhill’s show about this work. Then I went up to Maine to shoot this video shortly after that. Things got in the way, and my bowl-work got shelved for a while, but just lately I have started picking up my bowl-carving tools again.  I think of  this video as an introduction to this work; showing how I split, hew and plan out the shape. Then follow that work with gouges and other shaping. The whole reason I make them is to decorate them, and that is covered too.

Here’s one of the bowls:

 

I have some of each video for sale, price is $40 each, with $3.50 shipping in US. This page has them, with a paypal button for ordering: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/new-dvds-carved-oak-boxes-hewing-wooden-bowls-spring-2017/

Contact me for shipping outside the US – we can figure out pricing. Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net

(I hope this works – I’m a bit clunky with the retail end of blogging. With my spoons, I usually send out an invoice – but there’s usually only a dozen of those at a time. I tried to set this up so it will take you right to payment – so I don’t have to send out invoices. If there’s a wrinkle, bear with me, and we’ll get it sorted. Fingers crossed.)

or you can order directly from Lie-Nielsen https://www.lie-nielsen.com/nodes/4243/home-education-videos

some of my older videos are available to purchase as streaming videos through Lie-Nielsen, instead of buying a physical disc. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/nodes/4228/peter-follansbee

Maureen’s knitting & felting; Greenwood Fest stuff too

I’m in-between spoon batches right now…just started a few new ones yesterday. Meanwhile, Maureen tells me she updated her etsy site, with “spring” colors. For those interested, here’s the site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts

(what am I going to use as her next backdrop? These panels became a chest & a chair…)

3 Felted wool bowls, light green, pink & yellow, stackable, Easter baskets,spring decor, Nature table, Waldorf inspired. open ended play

Two felted wool bowls, light green and yellow, Easter Baskets, spring decoration,Waldorf inspired

 

on other fronts:

Did you see the piece about Dave Fisher from Fine Woodworking? http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/04/07/motc-bowl-carver 

It’s nice to see Dave getting such wide acclaim. We’re thrilled to have him as part of Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest. If you’re in the area, come see some of his work at the opening of the exhibition on Sunday: http://fullercraft.org/event/living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft/ – the show runs til June 25th.

If you missed out on Greenwood Fest tickets, you can still be a part of the pre-fest scene, which will amount to about a 3/4 size festival! There’s still openings in Jane Mickelborough’s Folding Spoon class and Tim Manney’s Sharpening class. Jane’s spoons are really among the most exciting things happening in the spoon world right now. Rooted in local (Breton) tradition, a fascinating way to learn some history and craft at the same time.

folding-5

Here’s some of the story: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/jane-mickelboroughs-folding-spoons/ 

Tim’s sharpening class is a real eye-opener. We had it at Plymouth CRAFT one weekend, and people were running around asking “what else can I sharpen?” Sharpening is of course essential, but often gets short-shrift. But those who take the time to learn it have an edge over all the procrastinators…

hollow-ground-hatchet

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/sharpening-w-tim-manney-at-plymouth-craft/

Sign up for either of these here: https://www.plymouthcraft.org/greenwood-fest-courses

Fuller Craft Museum this weekend

It’s going to be a busy weekend at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. I’m heading there Saturday as part of the audience, to see Terry Martin & Zina Burloiu. http://fullercraft.org/event/deep-collaboration-demonstration-show-and-lecture-from-terry-martin-zina-manesa-burloiu/

I remember reading about Zina’s spoon carving and her chip carving, way back when in the old Woodwork magazine. I still have the article, it tells a fascinating story about her first trip from Romania to the US, where she took part in a turning conference. Must have been the 1990s, if I remember right.

The next time I saw her work in “print” was on Robin Wood’s blog about the first Täljfest at Sätergläntan. There she is, showing Wille Sundqvist her chip carving…and when I saw this, I remembered the Woodwork article.

http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/10/26/wood-carving-festival-saterglantan-sweden-taljfest/

Then, when our friends at Fuller Craft began talking to Plymouth CRAFT about an exhibition, I was barely paying attention – “yes, of course I’ll be a part of it…”  Then my friend Denise Lebica mentioned that the same weekend, Zina Burloiu was going to be there. I jumped at the chance to see her & her work in person. It’s not just Zina’s work, of course. I don’t want to short-change Terry Martin, her collaborator for many years. Here is a link to Terry’s site, which includes the background of their collaboration: http://terrymartinwoodartist.com/new_direction.html

Terry kindly sent me a couple of shots of Zina’s chip carving:

 

Then on Sunday I’ll be back as a participant in the opening of the Plymouth CRAFT exhibition, “Living Traditions: The Handwork of Plymouth CRAFT” – http://fullercraft.org/event/living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft/

The day includes a reception and a panel discussion in the afternoon:  http://fullercraft.org/event/opening-reception-for-living-traditions-the-handwork-of-plymouth-craft-and-ellen-schiffman-the-52-box-project/

So a couple of round trips to Brockton. I’m spoiled with my new commute of 15 steps outside the door. I’m going to have to get in the car for this…

 

some birds & others

The workshop is proving to be a pretty good blind for photographing the yard birds. and in between the rainy days, I’ve got a few walks in, to check up on spring arrivals.

Even with all the rain, this robin felt the need for a bath – (if you’re in Europe, think thrush. This is Turdus migratorius.)

This resting red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) shows the red breast pretty well. there’s been several around lately, chasing the smelt up the river.

Awake from his nap:

Downy woodpecker, (Picoides pubescens)  male. The most common woodpecker around here, smallest too.

 

female:

Here’s what buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) look like flying away from me:

The common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  shows great color this time of year.

This male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) must have been wet, his crest is smooshed down…makes him look funny.

Across the river, two red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) sitting side-by-side. Another indication of spring, it’s a nesting/mating sign.

On our walks recently found a few things:

Turkey vulture, (Cathartes aura) a sign of spring around here

This red-tailed hawk  is particularly tolerant of people. Probably not a good thing, but I often find him/her around the same area, un-skittish.

Out of range of my camera’s lens, but had to snap one of this coyote. They’re around here a lot, but usually out of sight.

I must have been right behind this raccoon, but didn’t see it anywhere.

There was a bunch of deer, (well, not by Minnesota standards) – looking at this it’s no wonder people think reindeer can fly.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) too – looks like he’s herding that Canada goose.

 

 

a few new spoons for sale, March 27 2017

I’ve been slowly working my way through a pile of cherry spoon wood. All but one or two of this batch is from the same tree. And most all are crooks, bent/curved sections which lend the spoons their shape.

A couple of these got picked by people on a waiting list for spoons. I never intended there to be such a thing, but sometimes I get requests between postings of spoons for sale.

spoons listed are here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-for-sale-march-2017/  or at the top of the menu on the blog’s front page. Leave a comment here (the page for some reason doesn’t accept comments…) if you’d like to order a spoon. Paypal is the easiest way, or you can send a check. Let me know which payment method you prefer. The price  includes shipping in the US, otherwise, we’ll calculate some additional shipping costs.

All the spoons are finished with food-safe flax oil. If for some reason, anyone is not happy with their spoon, just contact me & we can do a return/refund.

thanks as always,

PF

photos from this week

We got out early on the vernal equinox, to see the sunrise over the trees on the riverbank. While we waited, these red-breasted mergansers came along, chasing the fish along the river.  The other fish-chaser, great blue heron left the scene, water was too high for him.

The sun hit the workshop before it hit us down at the river.

Inside, I’m a sucker for raking light.Now that I finished the chest with drawers, this one is next. Needs some trimming here & there, and fitting the lid. Then when someone buys it, initials carved in the blank area on the center muntin.

Here’s the first 2 (of 8) panels I carved for a bedstead I am making for a customer.

A couple of boxes underway. The front of this one was a carving sample for my recent class in North House Folk School.

Here I’m working on cutting the rabbets for another, smaller box. 

Here it is, test-fitted. Next is to make the till parts, and assemble it.

we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston the other day. the kids are studying Greek myths, and we went to look at Greek art, mostly sculpture & pottery. I saw patterns everywhere. I probably hadn’t been in those galleries since the 1980s. Amazing stuff.