Plymouth CRAFT spoon-carving & sloyd/slojd update

Plymouth CRAFT is now a year old. http://www.plymouthcraft.org/ It’s an organization with which I’m thrilled to be involved.  After a great first year, 2016 looks to be even better. As you have read here, Greenwood Fest in June will be a memorable event. I’ve been working with Paula Marcoux as we coax all the instructors for details about their sessions. We’re close to the point now where Paula & I have to sit and figure out who does what where & when.

In the meantime, Paula took the chicken way out and booked two workshops that happen after the festival. We had wanted to pursue having the instructors stay a few extra days and teach in-depth classes – but the hardest part was deciding how much of that we could do, then who to tap. It being our first venture, we decided to have just 2 classes – that’s enough for now. These classes will be held at the Pinewoods camp where the Greenwood Fest is happening. Dates are Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14 & 15. Tomorrow registration will open for these small classes – one with JoJo Wood and one with Jögge Sundqvist.

jojo hews

JoJo will explore the finer points of spoon design, concentrating on the most demanding spoon, the eating spoon. I spent about 20 minutes carving with JoJo once and it changed the way I approach things. This class will be small, 10 students. And it will push you in ways you can’t fathom.

jojo spoons

See the description here http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=an-in-depth-look-at-the-eating-spoon-with-jojo-wood

Jögge has a treat in store, making a distaff…”A what?” you say. This class is a crash course in Swedish design, tradition, culture and more. Emphasis is on the use of the drawknife, slojd knife, and a couple of other common hand tools. This is a class in technique and thought, not a project-based workshop. Yes, a distaff is a useful thing, for spinners. Here, it’s a symbol.

dull jogge

Here’s his photo of some of his distaffs

Photo by Jögge Sundqvist
photo JöggeSundqvist

http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=distaff-the-passion-of-carving-with-jogge-sundqvist

I’ll be skulking around both of those days, trying to eavesdrop on these two exciting workshops.

If you can’t make it to those classes, or need a warm-up, I have a spoon carving class with a few openings left; coming up in February.

spoons oct 2013

We’ve had great response to spoon carving; each class has its own dynamic. But the common threads are people get started and can’t stop…so come & make some wood chips. http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=spoon-carving-with-peter-follansbee

Then in April, Tim Manney will come down from Maine to teach his methods of steam-bending spoon blanks. This will be a real treat. I have written about Tim’s methods before, and I continue to enjoy his work. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/what-if-a-chairmaker-made-spoons/

drawknife work 2

Tim will be at Greenwood Fest too – I just haven’t got around to posting his bio yet. But this weekend in April is a chance for close instruction in a mind & wood-bending approach to a traditional craft. http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=steam-bent-spoon-work-with-tim-manney

 

Greenwood Fest, June 10-12, 2016 instructor Jögge Sundqvist

Well, this one wasn’t hard.

Jögge Sundqvist fotad av Erik Nordblad-1

Back in 1988, I met Jögge Sundqvist while I was the intern at Country Workshops, Drew & Louise Langsner’s school for green woodworking. Jögge came to teach a class that summer, and to shoot a video for Taunton Press on spoon & bowl carving. The video is a companion to his father Wille’s book Swedish Carving Techniques. He and I were both younger then,

PF & Jogge 1988

and we each went home & focused on this & that. I became the carved oak guy, he became surolle. Although we corresponded once in awhile, we didn’t meet up again for 22 years! https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/one-of-the-most-exciting-classes-ive-been-to/

So last year, when I heard he was coming to the US to teach, I weaseled my way around to get him to come to Lie-Nielsen, where he shot a new video (after the new year sometime…) and taught a 2-day class in Slöyd, mostly with the axe & knife. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/sloyd-w-jogge-at-lie-nielsen/

While he & I were together in Maine in September, I floated the idea of coming back for Greenwood Fest in June 2016. And he said yes. Enough blather. Here’s Jögge’s blurb, in English.

“I am working with handtools in the self-sufficient scandinavian fine craft tradition, making stools, chairs, cupboards, knifes, spoons, sculpture and shelves painted with artist oil colour. Since the age of 4 I learned using the knife and the axe by my father  Wille Sundqvist. Educated at the fine woodcraft Vindeln folkhighscool 1982 – 84. Under the name s u r o l l e  I run a professional small business since 1999 where I make sloyd and fine craft. I also teach and give lectures, and write books.”

His website: http://www.surolle.se/

details on registration in a few weeks. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of notice…

Jogge w spoon knife
Jogge w spoon knife
Jogge Sundqvist at Country Workshops, 2010
Jogge Sundqvist at Country Workshops, 2010

Show Rhythm and Sloyd - surolle 20 x 30 cm

Sloyd w Jogge at Lie-Nielsen

Last weekend was the class Jogge Sundqvist taught at Lie-Nielsen. I managed to stick my nose into it, but did almost no woodwork. Instead, I listened carefully, and tried to get around and see all the students as they worked. I failed in that regard, but there were too many interesting people there!

As always, it was great being there for Jogge’s class. His techniques and skills are extraordinary, but so is his outlook on craft and all its significance. I wish this class had been longer, but I still wouldn’t have seen it all. The class wasn’t about making a spoon, or this or that – but about techniques and the whole outlook Jogge uses in his sloyd work. Reading the trees, and seeing what’s inside them…that sort of thing.

Here. you see what a dull teacher he is, as Geoff Chapman busts open a birch section.

dull jogge

We had great weather, so got to have much of our work outside behind the toolworks. Roy Underhill had sharpened this saw for the LN Open House, so we put it to good use.

i'll be your crosscut saw

Really, Jogge is great & all that – but Kenneth, get up off your knees. It’s not like that!

kenneth off your knees

The class made butter spreaders…I forget whose these are. They aren’t mine, that’s for sure. I started two and am not even sure where they are at this point. They’re great for practicing knife techniques.

some butter spreaders

The other “project”was a decorative distaff, one of the fittings for a linen wheel. Jogge showed us some historical examples that displayed a great array of decoration. To me, they looked like turned things made square…here, Masashi, Kenneth & Eric are looking one over & discussing its features.

masashi kenneth eric w geoff in back

When lining up an auger bit for boring, Jogge suggests getting a photographer to help you sight the angles…(I wasn’t the only one – there were about 4 of us at the same angle)

 

line up the brace & bit

On the 2nd day of class, Drew & Louise Langsner showed up, having come up to Maine ahead of Drew’s class there the following weekend..here they are meeting Dave Fisher.

dave fisher w langsners_edited-1

Dave and Eric Goodson both wrote about the class also –

https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/the-maine-woods/

http://ericgoodson.blogspot.com/2015/09/jogges-crew.html

 

 

 

 

“it’s perfect”

The package arrived the other day. I only had a little time to view the spoon & the video at lunch, so when I got home later, I was looking at Wille’s spoon and just wanted to show someone. I took it into the living room, where Daniel was drawing. I said nothing, just handed him the spoon.

He held it, looked it over, and whispered “It’s perfect.” As if it was so good you had to be quiet around it…

 

it's perfect

 

Last fall or summer, I forget which, readers of this blog responded with great enthusiasm for the fund-raising campaign that helped Jogge Sundqvist and others make the film that chronicles his father Wille’s woodworking journey. The film is now available as a DVD – and if you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to go order it. It is a treasure. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’ll love this film. I am so pleased for Wille and especially Jogge to have completed the task of making this film – it’s a great accomplishment. 

Wille Sundqvist
Wille Sundqvist

details here:

The film will be on sale at Drew Langsner’s place  http://countryworkshops.org/books.html  and from Del Stubbs at www.pinewoodforge.com in the US. 36 $.+ shipping.

In the UK it will be sold by Maurice Pyle at www.woodsmithexperience.co.uk for 22 GBP + shipping.

In Scandinavia and other Europe you can buy it from  s u r o l l e.
Mail: jogge@surolle.se

The latest update on the film about Wille Sundqvist

 

 

Wille Sundqvist
Wille Sundqvist

Here’s the latest from Jogge about the film The Spoon the Bowl and the Knife – it includes ordering information, so have at it.

PF

——————

OK, folks.

In this moment I´m waiting for all the DVD´s to come. Then we have to put them in the covers and do the special Kickstarters edition we promised you. So within two weeks the film will be in your mailboxes!

The 31 of january we will have the World Premiere at the Museum of Västerbotten with a lot of specially inivted people, it is the grand opening of the European Capital of Culture 2014 in Umeå the same weekend. The princess will be there, unfortunatly not to see the film, but the red carpet will be rolled out and a rope for Wille to cut on the shopping block as a grand opening ritual.

The film will be on sale at Drew Langsners place www.countryworkshops.org and www.pinewoodforge.com in the US. 36 $.+ shipping.

In the UK it will be sold by Maurice Pyle at www.woodsmithexperience.co.uk for 22 GBP + shipping.

In Scandinavia and other Europe you can buy it from  s u r o l l e.
Mail: jogge@surolle.se

It has been a great investment and a huge job to produce the film, far more than I could have imagined. But I’m happy with the result. We have gained the process of how to carve a spoon and how to turn a bowl. There is some grinding tips and a PDF with all the important carving grasps as Wille shows. The history section with some background on Willes life took a lot of research for images. That part felt important: to explain how it came about that the Swedish craft begun to spread in the United States.

So thanks again everybody for backing this film, you really made me do it.

Please tell friends about “The Spoon, the Bowl and the Knife!
We want it to be spread all over the world.

Regards!

Craftsmen and sloyder Jögge Sundqvist

Jogge is not un-crafty

Tonight after posting my story about shop-moving, some link-following took me to this video that I had never seen before. It’s Jogge telling his 4-walls story, and the story of his alter-ego Surolle. He’s one of the best craftsmen I know, and a great teacher. Also has one of the most colorful websites around.

 

 

http://www.surolle.se/

 

here’s the last time I worked with him:

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/one-of-the-most-exciting-classes-ive-been-to/

 

And some have asked about how you order the video about his father Wille. When it’s available from Country Workshops, I’ll let you know here. Don’t worry, you’ll hear all about it.

more about Wille Sundqvist and the upcoming film

I got a note back from Jogge Sundqvist the other day, when I wrote to congratulate him on the immediate success of the kickstarter fundraising. Here’s part of what he wrote:

“YES.

This is just overwhelming!

I haven´t in my deepest imagination ever thought that we should reach the goal so quickly. Within 24 hrs…

This is so helpful, not just the money, it also strengthens everyone involved in self-confidence and trust in the movie to be something really good.

And everyone involved in the film is full of humility and wonder at the response we’ve had to make the film about Wille.

We have a little way to go before our actual budget… I hope you still want to continue to spread the word about the film, every little contribution is incredibly valuable to make a film of high artistic quality and with a clear content.

Hi 5. he, he”

So if you are inclined, there’s still plenty of time to donate to this project. Here’s the kickstarter link,  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/761142325/the-spoon-the-bowl-and-the-knife-craftsman-wille-s?ref=recently_launched   or if you prefer, you can send a check to Drew.

Make it out to:

Country Workshops – Sundqvist video project

990 Black Pine Ridge Road

Marshall, NC 28753

 

BUT – you might ask:  What’s all the fuss about Wille Sundqvist and some wooden spoons? Ha! You’d be amazed.

Wille Sundqvist spoon
Wille Sundqvist spoon

As the years keep ticking by, I often think about connections and chronologies. May times people will think about events in their lives, and how one simple happening might turn your life this direction or that…and I think that without Wille, I might not be a joiner/woodworker today. Certainly not a spoon carver. And yet we barely know each other…

I first heard of Wille of course from Drew Langsner, whom I met in 1980. That was the start of my woodworking career, although you wouldn’t have seen it coming then! I have often told the story of how I got to Drew’s Country Workshops to learn traditional woodworking. I was a mainstay there in the 2nd half of the 1980s and early 1990s (til I got a job…).

But how did Country Workshops begin? Drew has told me and many others the story many times, and a while back wrote it down in one of the Country Workshops e-newsletters. http://www.countryworkshops.org/newsletter31/  (scroll down to “CW History” – and if you haven’t yet, you can sign up for their free newsletter. It always has good stuff in it, besides update on classes and tools, etc.)

The gist of it is that Bill Coperthwaite brought Wille Sundqvist to meet Drew & Louise in 1976 or 77. Drew had a couple days’ worth of lessons from Wille, and was wanting more. Thus the idea of inviting him to come teach a workshop, which led to the Langsners hosting woodworking classes ever since.

Drew included Wille in his first woodworking how-to book, Country Woodcraft, in 1978. That’s where I first saw/heard of Wille.

Wille Sundqvist 1978
Wille Sundqvist 1978

Then as I became a regular student at Country Workshops, I often heard stories of Wille’s craft and his  teaching, and also saw examples of his work. As it turned out, I met his son Jogge first, in 1988. Then a few years later I was able to attend one of Wille’s classes.

willie's class PF JA etc

Here is a quote from Wille’s book, Swedish Carving Techniques (Taunton Press, 1990):

“Carving something with a knife or an ax is a very tangible way to get a sense of design. Because the object being made doesn’t have to be secured in any way, it’s easy to move it to different positions and see its lines and shape grow out of the blank. A three-dimensional object isn’t just a picture. It’s an infinite number of pictures, and all of the pictures must find harmony within the object. The lines of the object must compose one unit, congruent from whatever direction it is seen. Carving teaches design.”

And that is really a big part of it. Wille’s spoons are very deceptive. Unlike any furniture work I do, these are subtractive woodworking – you’re cutting wood away & leaving just the right bits. You hope. Each cut means something. There’s so many layers to what Wille teaches – the postures, the tools, the design. You learn about wood and how it grows; and its strengths and weaknesses. Also about the tools, the edge and how it slices. If you have ever seen me use a hatchet, that work comes to me from Wille, some of it directly and much of it through Drew & Jogge.

To me, the spoon carving is a revolutionary act. It helps cut through the mass-produced cheap culture that we have absorbed like zombies. Such a simple household implement, taken to extraordinary heights. Why shouldn’t our most basic kitchen stuff be beautiful? Out with plastic! Think about Coperthwaite and his quote “I want to live in a world where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things.” 

The kickstarter campaign runs for 4o more days and at this writing is over $7,000. That’s not counting whatever got donated directly to Drew or Jogge. Thanks to everyone from here who helped. If you’re inclined, please spread the word. 

More links to some related material: 

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/how-did-i-get-started-country-workshops-the-langsners-is-how/

http://www.countryworkshops.org/newsletter11/wille.html

http://www.surolle.se/

http://www.herondance.org/reflections/bill-coperthwaite/