Boxes & more for sale; last for December

First off, thanks to those who responded to Maureen’s work yesterday & today. I greatly appreciate it. Now, a blog update. I know I’ve been posting lots of stuff for sale recently. Being off the road for the past nine months has been very nice, but it also dried up a great portion of my income. The other flip side of that is it gave me lots of time to make things. I hope to return to teaching in person in 2021, we’ll see how things unfold. I am planning an on-line class with Elia Bizzarri http://handtoolwoodworking.com/ where we’ll cover some spoon carving. He & I are planning on testing some stuff this month. We’ll both post details when we have them. It’ll be partially modeled after what Elia & Curtis Buchanan have done with their recent chairmaking stint; but I’ll have axes & knives in hand too.

In January (probably before) I’ll be concentrating on blog posts again, some carving, some chairmaking and spoon carving. I also have a 2nd set of carving drawings pretty much ready to go, but the timing was such that I’d be posting them maybe a week from now. I decided to hold them back til after the holidays. I didn’t want to add to any frenzy – no one needs it this year.

I also plan on getting back to some more video work in January. I’ve been busy trying to get the boxes done for December, but haven’t given up on the video work.

Meantime – I have three boxes and some other craft items as well as some videos & drawings available. Leave me a comment if you’d like to claim any of these, or send an email to peterfollansbee7@gmail.com

Here goes:

CARVED OAK BOX – SOLD
white & red oak, white pine bottom.
H: 8 1/2″ W: 23 3/8″  D: 13″
$1,000 includes shipping in US.

This first box got posted some time ago, but it didn’t sell right off, then other blog posts pushed it aside, and I put it in a chest & forgot it. Found it the other day…the box is some great riven white oak, the lid quartersawn red oak.

This pattern is often found on 17th-century work – a surprising amount of detail in small spaces. Glued & pegged at the corners, bottom nailed on w handmade nails. Handmade iron hinges as well. A lidded till inside.

arcading pattern box
arcading pattern box open

Carved box; oak & pine. Strapwork design with carved lid. SOLD
H: 8 1/4″ W: 23 1/2″ D: 11 3/4″
$1,500 includes shipping in US.

strapwork pattern, with carved lid

This box is a slightly new direction for some of my work. Until recently, I had mostly avoided carving the lids, but last month I made a box from yellow cedar and decided to carve its lid. I had seen a photograph of an English box with a “strapwork” pattern carved in its lid, and decided to do that. I loved the way it looked, and so did two other people at least (it sold & I took an order for a 2nd). My friend Rick DeWolf provides me with great quartersawn oak for my box-carving classes – this year he brought me the wood, but with no classes, I dove into making boxes & boxes. Among that stash was a great piece of 12″ wide perfect quartersawn stock. Bang! Carved the lid, then make a box to go under it.

the lid
open, with till inside
carved ends of box. Wooden hinge

You can see some streakiness through the oak on this box, the result of something or other in the tree. Time will mute all these oak colors together. Patience and patina rule the oaks. For that matter, the pine too. Here’s a photo I’ve posted before, showing a new box on the left, and one about 12 years old on the right. Both red oak and white pine. Both with linseed oil finish. The one on the right has been in use in our house now for 15 years.

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CARVED BOX, S-scroll design – SOLD
H: 7 1/4″ W: 17″ D: 11″
$850 includes shipping in US.

This one’s just a bit smaller than usual. I think the box front carving was either a demo or maybe a video I did this year…however it happened, I found the board all carved – so rather than waste it I made a box to go around it.

S-scroll box
S-scroll box

This one has an extra carving too – the till lid I made from a leftover white oak carving. You’ll only see it when you go fumbling around in the till.

till surprise

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Catalpa bowl
H: 5 3/4″-6″ L: 20 1/2″ W: 12″
$600 includes shipping in US.

I’ve made bowls with axes, adzes & gouges going back to the late 1980s. From time to time I take another stab at them, but usually just winging it. Then, I met Dave Fisher. I’ve watched Dave teach bowl carving a number of times, but I would usually see just some of the steps, not in order. This time, I tried to just follow Dave’s instructions based on his video with Fine Woodworking https://www.finewoodworking.com/videoworkshop/2017/11/carve-greenwood-bowl-david-fisher

It began when Joel Paul https://www.instagram.com/thepunkrockshaker/ kindly gave me 2 chunks of catalpa back in June – the first bowl I made was a gift, this one’s available.

catalpa bowl
catalpa growth rings

You can flip it over and wear it as a helmet. When I shot this photo, I realized I need to carve my initials on the bottom.

underside

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CARVED SPOON #1 – SOLD
rhododendron, L: 9 1/2″ W: 2 1/2″
$100 includes shipping in US

This spoon is made from a “crook” – a naturally bent or curved section from which the spoon derives its shape. The most fun spoons there are to make…

rhododendron spoon #1
side view
carved handle

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large round basket – white ash splints; hickory rims & handle. Hickory bark lashing
14″ diameter at rims, basket height 9″ to handle 18″
$600 including shipping in US.

handle & rims with hickory bark lashing
bottom view, showing spiral weave up the sides

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DVD – Build a Shaving Horse

$42 includes shipping in US
2 discs; 162 minutes.

I have 9 copies left of this video I shot with Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. They have plenty I’m sure, and they offer it as streaming video too. How to make the style of shaving horse developed by Jennie Alexander and adapted by me. Mine’s been in use since the late 1980s. I still use it all the time…


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Carving Drawings
17th-century Style Carving: Devon, England and Ipswich, Massachusetts, set #1
4 pages, 24″ x 36″, rolled in a cardboard tube. 
$66 includes shipping in US.

These have their own page describing them, but in summary – 4 pages 24″ x 36″ of drawings showing several designs I carve in my oak furniture. Full-scale chest panels, framing parts, box front. Step-by-step drawings showing how to establish the patterns…

You can order them directly on this page: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

Greenwood Fest Instructor: Dave Fisher

I have a few more of these introductions – I’ve lost track of time again & again lately & now the opening of registration for our event is coming up tomorrow. so a barrage of instructor profiles. This one’s easy – Dave Fisher.

dave fisher

If life were a horror movie, we’d find out at the end that Dave is actually Satan. He just is too nice, too helpful, patient, talented  – to be for real. So I keep thinking there must be a shoe to drop in the end. But, this ain’t no movie. Dave is actually just the best there is. His bowl carving is head & shoulders above any others I know of today;  certainly in this country. His finish, the forms and shapes, and of course, the carved decoration. Each bowl is a new look at the form. His inscribed carvings knock people over…

Don’t take my word for it – look at his bowls:

dave-fisher-2

img_7699-001

When he’s not carving, Dave is a school teacher, so he knows how to present this work very effectively. We had a class with him last July and it was a big hit. Before the Greenwood Fest, he’ll be teaching  a 2-day class in hewing and carving the bowls – then will be doing that work & more during the festival. He will present a a short (3 hour) session in letter-carving. He does these with a stupid little jack knife…

IMG_8922

img_0299

His blog and website are here https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/ and  http://davidffisher.com/

Greenwood Fest registration opens tomorrow, Wednesday Jan 4th, at 10 am, eastern time. http://www.greenwoodfest.org/

 

Greenwood Fest instructor Beth Moen

Here’s the blurb from Plymouth CRAFT about the current status of Greenwood Fest 2016:

“Greenwood Fest 2016 is sold out, at least temporarily. We expect some spots to open up sporadically, so we highly recommend joining the Waiting List if you missed out on the first round of ticketing. To do so, please email us at CRAFTPlymouth@gmail.com. ”

Meanwhile, I still have a couple of instructors I haven’t introduced yet. I’m very excited to have Beth Moen joining us from Sweden.

Bm5

She is one of the few participants I have yet to meet, so I look forward to getting to see her  a bit. Jogge Sundqvist recommended her with the highest praise – so I was glad she could squeeze us in. Beth will be working on her signature hewn round bowls.

Beth  lives in Siljansnäs Dalarna Sweden, and has worked with wood for about 35 years, both with furniture and green wood. Since 1989 she has had a workshop together with AnneLie Karlsson.  Do have a look at their website www.norea.nu . The range of projects Beth and AnneLie make is impressive. It includes shaving horses, furniture, crafts and sloyd. And the bowls – some of which are “almost half a meter in diameter” – I didn’t have to look that up to know that’s a big bowl!

Beth is the lead woodworking instructor at Sätergläntan, the handicraft school in Sweden. http://www.saterglantan.com/ There she teaches sloyd and traditional  wood craft. In her note to me she says “My favorite tool is absolutely the axe – so I am very happy chopping bowls.”

We’ll be very happy having you chop bowls, Beth. Look forward to it.

Skål3

Skål2

Skål1

Skål

Bowl carving tools and video update

I wrote a couple of posts about the spoon carving tools I use; axes, knives and hook knives. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/10400/ and https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/some-spoon-carving-hatchets/

As I have been hewing the tulip poplar bowls, I’ve had some questions about those tools. I’ll show you the tools I use for this work, but I haven’t really concentrated on much bowl carving over the years, so only have a few tools for that work.

The hatchets/axes I use are the same for spoon carving; double-bevels, curved cutting edges. So I’ll skip over those and go right to the adze I use for initial hollowing. It’s made by Hans Karlsson, I got my first one from Country Workshops many years ago & it remains one of their most popular tools. http://countryworkshops.org/Store.html  I just bought this 2nd one this year, knowing that when teaching it would be helpful to have some extra tools for students to try.

new HK adze

 

Here you see the new (left) and old (right) – I’m not sure the old one was ever as long as the new one is…did I really sharpen away that much metal in 25 years?

HK adzes

 

A nice new leather guard made by one of my students, Matt Schror, complete with embossed dragon. (if you’re inclined, write Matt about getting one – matthewschror@gmail.com)

leather guard

Then, gouges. I use mostly bent gouges; those that have a long curve in the shank. My garden-variety ones are Swiss-Made, wide mostly, around 1 1/2″ wide. I use two “sweeps”, # 5 & 7. I have one narrow # 5, about 3/4″ wide, to finish off the shapes when the bowl is dry.

bent gouges

 

The best new gouge I have is one made by Nic Westermann, his “swan neck” gouge. I got mine through Lie-Nielsen. It’s unreal how good Nic’s tools are…

nic's gouge

nic's gouge detail

I sometimes use a few other tools; occasionally a straight-bladed carving gouge, like a wide #5, on the outside of the bowl. In some deep bowls, I have used these gouges, (poorly named “spoon” gouges – though you can’t effectively use them for spoons) – about 3/4″ – 1″ wide. Shallow sweeps, these are clean-up tools.

spoon gouges

When I next indulge in bowl carving tools, it will be some Hans Karlsson gouges that Country Workshops sells. Gotta pay some bills first. http://countryworkshops.org/gouges.html

I use wooden mallets. My friend Drew Langsner, who has made so many hewn bowls it’s not funny, uses a steel hammer, with hooped gouges. Mine are two different weights. the larger hickory one is 30 oz., the smaller one is an equally hard unknown wood, and weighs 18 oz. When I need to remove more wood, I pick up the heavier mallet. (the small mallet was given to me by a student, and to my shame, I’ve lost track of who…if you’re reading, chime in, I’d love to give you credit. It’s a nice mallet – UPDATE, Sept 21, 2017: Greg Miller wrote: ”

Gidday Peter. The mystery mallet was made by me. I gave it to you at WIA 2013, when I was on my Green Woodworking odyssey that year. I spent 2 months in the USA specifically to increase my skills in Green Woodworking. I stayed with Roy for 2 weeks and made a shaving horse there from green wood; I did a week of spoon and bowl carving with Drew Langsner, I went to WIA and plugged in to Peter Galbert, Mary May, the Schwarz, you, Roy, and so many more. A life changing experience. I made your mallet from Sugar Gum (Eugalyptus cladocalyx) and took it to the US to present to you, as a thank you gift. I was there because I had been following your blog for 3 years and you inspired me to undertake my Green Wood Odyssey. Again, thanks, Mate. Glad you like it! Greg Miller.” Clears that up. thanks, Greg.)

 

mallets

Bench work I keep pretty simple. On a stout low bench, I use 3 pegs and a wedge to fasten the blank for adze work.

3 pegs & wedge

At the workbench, I added long wooden dogs to hold the shaped bowl for detail work inside & out. A notch on the inside face helps grip the handles.

long dog

Small bowls get blocks stacked inside to grab them in the face vise.

trimming sides of bowl

VIDEO UPDATE:

I have 5 videos out with Lie-Nielsen, two on decorative carving for furniture, one on making an oak framed (wainscot) chest, same for a chair, and the most recent one on spoon carving.

video covers

I shot a new one this spring on making carved oak boxes…with more to come later. Many of you have written & asked about downloading the videos, instead of buying a physical disc. Lie-Nielsen has been working on setting up streaming of their instructional videos, and the first few are now available on their website. They tell me they are re-arranging the website, but right now the video titles are here:  https://www.lie-nielsen.com/search?q=Peter+Follansbee

I had been selling the spoon one, but now you can just order any or all from LN…the only one for which I have copies left is the wainscot chair video, https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/book-dvds/

 

 

bowls & spoons for sale; hewing a bowl

Today I posted a page with a couple of hewn bowls, and what spoons I have ready to go. I have several spoons nearly ready; but those I’ll take with me to Roy’s place, & finish them down there. So what I have now is on the blog, then there’ll be more in mid-August. As usual, leave a comment if you’d like to order something. Any questions, send an email to Peter.Follansbee@verizon.net

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/a-few-spoons-and-bowls-late-july-2014/

Meanwhile, here’s some of what I did yesterday. 

 

A day like this:

summer's day

distractions galore

mallards

redtail juvy

But I persevered and roughed out one of the last bowls from the stash of birch I have around here. Most of the ones I’ve been doing are upside-down. I start like this:

hewing the bottom

hew the broad inner face of the split bolt flat. This becomes the bottom of the bowl.

Then mark out the saddle-shaped interior of the bowl. Now the bowl is held down to a low bench with three pegs and a wedge. (well, take my word for it that there’s 3. You can only see 2 in this shot) Simple, but it works pretty well. If I end up doing these bowls regularly, then it might be time to look closely at Dave Fisher’s bowl horse…

3 pegs & wedge

 

 

I then make a few saw kerfs to help break stuff up when the next hewing begins.

 

saw kerfs

 

I just begin chopping into the midst of these kerfs to remove the excess material. Now it’s a double-bevel hatchet, not the joiner’s hatchet I used to flatten the bottom.

axe work inside

axe work inside 2

 

Then comes adze work. Just like the hatchet, you want to keep the tool’s edge out of your leg.

adze stance 1

adze stance

I do some standing, then some seated. All in all, about 15-20 minutes of hewing ought to get me there.

braced adze work 1

braced adze work 2

adze detail

Then it’s on to gouge & mallet work, then more hewing.

gouge & mallet

more hewing

 

then it rained.

 

 

Home for a little while; bowls & spoons

I got home from Maine trip #2 on Sunday night. Monday kinda floundered, then on Tues it was off to a small island off the coast of America to see Heather & Pat. Heather’s show was outstanding as usual. Here’s one of my favorites, but the web doesn’t do it justice by half. The light in it is amazing. 

Coat-Guard-Crow1

 

(go to Heather’s blog and click on the paintings to see ‘em larger, then click the quill/feather in the teacup to read the notes) http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/ 

here’s the gallery’s page of Heather’s work http://www.granarygallery.com/searchresults.php?page=1&artistId=11674&artist=Heather+Neill&start=1

kids & HN

we had a great, whirlwind one-day trip. Then back home to attempt to develop some routine or the semblance of one. Wednesday I mostly worked on hewn bowls; then Thursday spoons. today some of each.

bowl day
bowl day

The great part about spoon day is I can take it outside, and have the kids with me. The river, the birds – what could be better? 

spoon day
spoon day

I have used ring-porous woods like oak, ash and hickory all my working days. I rarely have made spoons or bowls from ring porous woods because they split so easily. But sometimes I throw the rules out the window & see what happens. Catalpa is a very light-weight hardwood. I have made a couple of bowls from it before, and I had one small one kicking around ready to be finished.

catalpa end grain
catalpa end grain

 

Here’s the one from way back when; and the post it came from. One of the horrible things about keeping this blog is all my unfinished stuff is still there, taunting me:  https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=catalpa

catalpa bowl back at the museum

I remember southern visitors to the museum telling me about the fishermen who loved catalpa trees for the worms that ate the foliage – great bait. some said the best. They called it “catawba” – but it’s the same tree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa    I am lately reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and it’s in there, “…the class was wriggling like a bucketful of catawba worms…”  Turns out that Catawba is a name of both the tree and a group of Native people in the Carolinas, and someone made a mistake with the tree’s name, and we ended up with catalpa. I always knew it as the cigar tree, because of the long seed pods. we used to whip them around when we were kids.

catalpa bowl

catalpa bowl 2

The other ring-porous wood I have to sample lately is really rare – American Chestnut. Or so I’m told. It was a tree planted about 15 years ago; and got some trimming done recently. It’s healthy now…but time will tell. Chances are it will succumb to the blight that all but wiped out the American Chestnut. http://www.acf.org/

It’s not a great wood for spoons, quite the opposite I would expect, but I have some small limbs and will see what happens. It’s high in tannic acid, turned my tools black as quick as you please.

chestnut end grain

 

The first birch bowl I was making sold before I could really get it here on the blog…but now I have finished the next 2 birch bowls, just applied flax oil to them today. I’ll post them for sale in the next day or 2. The first one is the most common orientation of the bowl in the split blank – the rim of the bowl is the inner wide surface of the halved log. Then I carved some gouge-cut decoration along the upper edge of each side. 

birch bowl right side up overall

birch bowl right side up

The next one is what I call “upside-down” – you hew the split face of the log and make that the bottom of the bowl. I learned this from Drew Langsner, who learned it from his Swedish friends. Smaller bowl, but lots of fun with the shapes. 

birch bowl upside down overall

birch bowl upside down detail

 

There’s still a few spoons left on the etsy site – don’t be daunted by Etsy. it’s easy to sign up, free too.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeterFollansbee

 

 

Whoops – wrong bowls

Sunday is the first day of bowl-turning class with Robin Wood – but I have been hewing bowls lately.

row of bowls

I have only ever made these one-at-a-time, and then usually years between versions. Right now, I am working on a batch of about 6 or 8 of them. One thing I miss is having room to really photograph some of the process, and a store of scrap wood to shim, wedge & otherwise cobble stuff in place. Had to use a carved rail to shim the underside of this bowl while I shaved the end grain.

clamping

Some of them are the “upside-down” orientation. I have most of these ready for drying, so I plan on finishing them later in June. But by then, my head will be filled with the possibilities of turned bowls and wh0-knows-what-else from my trip to the North House Folk School. http://www.northhouse.org/ 

Exciting times.

 

upside down

I have known Drew Langsner for 34 years and he’s been making these longer than that. Here is a link to the Country Workshops site, with Drew’s article about how he works these bowls. http://countryworkshops.org/Carving%20Large%20Bowls.html

And don’t forget the youtube site Country Workshops has with the Bengt Lidstrom video 

lunch-time bowl carving

I want to be David Fisher when I grow up – well, not really; but I really like Dave’s stuff. We met briefly when he & his family visited my shop at Plimoth once…and I look at his website whenever I get a chance, to see what’s new. http://davidffisher.com/home

At lunch the other day, I borrowed the artisan’s woodshop at the museum, and started hewing out a small bowl from birch. I had split it at home, and used my large hewing hatchet to form the rough top & bottom faces. Then at the shop, I got out my adze, and hollowed the inside first. 

adze

Then started in hewing the sides. 

hewing

I only had a medium-sized gouge with me, so got the inside generally formed. Here, my left fingers are hugging the outside of the bowl, guiding the gouge. My thumb keeps the bevel in place, the movement comes from low in my body, with both forearms pressed against my sides. Fun stuff. 

gouge posture

 Then lunch hour was up & time to get back to work.