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!

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.

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:

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

Greenwood Fest 2016 instructor profile, Jarrod Stone Dahl

Another in a series of instructor profiles for Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2016. Dates are June 10-12, 2016 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Details in the next few weeks, we’ll announce registration with plenty of notice here, at and facebook, etc…


This instructor announcement wasn’t hard – Jarrod Stone Dahl will indeed be travelling with his wife April. So we get a one-two punch. It’s hard to miss Jarrod’s work if you’ve been following the trajectory of “green woodworking” in recent years. He’s someone who is dedicated to making functional and beautiful spoons, bowls, birch-bark work (anyone need a canoe?) and more. Jarrod & I have corresponded for years, but finally got to meet up last spring when I made a short trip out to North House Folk School, where he is a regular instructor. One of the most appealing aspects of his work for me is his philosophy about handcrafts and their place in our lives. See his post about Spoon-a-geddon on his blog for example.

some blurb:

“Jarrod has been working with wood and birch bark professionally since 1996. He and his wife April both make and sell their handcrafts for a living through their business Woodspirit.

He teaches workshops across the country and internationally. Over the years he has gained extensive knowledge and experience while making birch bark baskets, birch bark boxes, wooden spoons and bowls, as well as cradle boards, birch bark canoes, snowshoes and toboggans.

His main focus is woodturning using only a foot powered lathe and carving spoons with axe and knife. He has spent time in museum archives in the US, Sweden and the UK, studying and researching older work which is a very influential part of his inspiration as a craftsperson. Jarrod brings extensive knowledge of harvesting natural materials, the use of hand tools, and a deeper philosophical, historical and pragmatic approach to handcrafts to his work and his workshops.”

Jarrod has been a part of Spoonfest in the UK and Täljfest in Sweden. I’m very excited to have both Jarrod and April out east here for Greenwood Fest. All the photos here are by Jarrod Stone Dahl, of his work. 

spoon & knife




blue bowl


Greenwood Fest, June 2016 instructor Owen Thomas

As our Plymouth CRAFT group work away at organizing the Greenwood Fest 2016, I have another instructor profile for you. (here’s the previous one on Dave Fisher )

Bowl turning is a huge part of woodworking and there’s lots of ways to do it, but my favorite approach is with green wood, a pole lathe and hook tools. I have dabbled in it for years, following the work of Robin Wood in the UK and Roger Abrahamson here in the US. But for Greenwood Fest, we’ve got someone who really knows it. We are excited to have a great bowl turner from England, Owen Thomas, come join us. Owen & I not yet met, but have several mutual friends and I’ve been watching Owen’s work on the web for quite a while.


Here’s his blurb

“Owen has been a woodworking professional for the past 10 years. Around 6 years ago, he discovered the world of green woodworking and pole lathe turning. Since then, he has applied himself to building his skills and improving his knowledge and techniques. He is now one of the small handful of professional pole lathe bowl turners in the UK and one of the only turners in the world to use the nesting technique on the pole lathe. Aside from producing bowls and spoons for sale, he regularly demonstrates and teaches at woodworking events, including the annual Spoonfest in the UK.”  and his website here and

I grabbed another piece off his website:

“I have been lucky to have worked with and learned from some of the renowned masters of woodworking in the world. On my journey I have lived in Mike Abbotts chair making workshop, apprenticed with Barn The Spoon at a spoon carving shop in London and learned to make my own tools from Robin Wood in a workshop on the Pennine Way.”

One thing in particular about Owen’s work is his nests of bowls. These are a set that he cuts from one large blank. Rather than turn the whole interior into shavings, he cuts a successively smaller bowls from the inside of a larger bowl. This might not seem like much, but think about this – he’s using a bent tool to go in and cut the outside of one, and the inside of the larger bowl, which means much of the time he can’t see what’s happening. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be able to see what I’m cutting when I work wood. He also makes beautiful spoons. He’ll be doing some bowl turning and hopefully some forging of the specialized hook tools he uses. And I bet he’ll carve a spoon or two. How can he resist?



plate1 copy

Image of Breakfast Bowl

Image of Dolphin Spoon

here’s a feature about his work, note the bird songs as he works away at his lathe. No wonder I like him!

Here’s the Plymouth CRAFT site, we’ll have some details about Greenwood Fest before too long. It will all be announced here, there & everywhere.


Greenwood Fest June 2016

I’m home. For a good long while now. I have lots of sorting to do, so I can get ready for some woodworking, and some local workshops with Plymouth CRAFT.

While trying to catch up on a few things, I noticed this on their Facebook page:



Plymouth CRAFT created an event: June 10-12, 2016:  Greenwood Fest

Paula Marcoux included a little snippet, in effect just trying to get you aware of the dates. Then meanwhile, you’ll have to take our word for it that it will be worth your time.

“Three days of hands-on learning, with a dreamteam of international instructors, in a beautiful piney woods camp setting. Okay, so we don’t even have a website up for this event yet, but it’s time to mark your calendars. Much more coming soon.”


I’ll let you know more when things are ready, should be pretty soon. Worth the wait…


The best laid-plans, etc…

Last summer, I set up my lathe outside, to turn some balusters for a theater stage…I did manage to turn a few, but have many more to go. But the deadline got extended to next summer – so that project got shelved quickly.

overall by DRF

From time to time, I had one or two small turning bits to deal with, but otherwise, I kept a tarp over the lathe. But I didn’t like to see its feet getting wet when it rained, and in general kept thinking I’d knock it back apart & store it until spring. One thing after another…and there it sat. I had a wainscot chair on my list of things to make this winter, so I thought I’d do the front stiles for that, then the lathe could come down.

chair stile

Then, I got a pile of short riven sections of black walnut. I decided they were tailor-made for a joint stool in walnut…which I needed like a hole in the head. But I’d like to have some oak-alternatives in the next joinery book, so think of this as a preview. what that meant is that I shuffled my schedule some, to plane, mortise and then turn the stiles for the stool. Here’s a sky-view of the turning work:

sky view overall

sky view

One more –

sky view two

stool parts

Now they’re done, and the lathe is tucked away for the winter. So in one post we go from shorts & a T-shirt, long sleeves & pants, to sweater/vest & hat. The common thread? Horizontal stripes it seems. Maybe by next spring, I’ll have miraculously solved my temporary shop situation and will set up once & for all…

I kept the bowl lathe set up, and even turned a couple of them the other day…hope to get to more soon.


jumping once again on the Bowl Lathe bandwagon

 I took a break from basket making last week to finally build myself a dedicated lathe for turning bowls. Mine is based on the ones we used when I was a student this spring in Robin Wood’s bowl-turning course at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN.

I think I first saw this style of lathe in the book Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, by Carole A. Morris (York Archeaological Trust/Council for British Archeaology, 2000), then in the work done by Robin Wood and others…

First off, I jobbed out the long slot cut in the 3″ thick beech plank. I traded Michael Burrey some carving work for his labor – I coulda done it, if I wanted to…

bench slot


Then came boring the hole for the legs. Legs like these angle out in two directions; to the side, and to the end. I mark out two angled lines off a centerline to help me sight one angle for these legs. Then use an adjustable bevel aligned on this line to get the other. This is based on the ideas I learned from Curtis Buchanan and Drew Langsner in making windsor chairs. (Drew is teaching a session at Woodworking in America that covers in detail this notion – setting the geometry to get these angles right. )

In a case like a bench, or this lathe – I’m not too concerned about these being “just exactly perfect.” 



This spiral auger is probably a nineteenth century one; it’s about 1 1/4″ or so…some now call it a T-auger, but it’s really just an auger. The ones that fit in braces are auger bits.



A detail showing the bevel to help line things up. 

auger detail


Here’s a bird’s eye view – showing how the auger aligns with the scribed line on the bench. So you sight that, centered on the line, then the bevel takes care of the 2nd angle. 



Here’s the two poppets set into the slot. One taller than the other, these could have been longer still, but I worked with what I had. These are oak cutoffs from timber work. 

big poppet little poppet


Now wedge from below. I just eyeballed the angled mortise, then made wedges to fit. 


wedge detail


The shorter poppet gets a bent pike inserted in the top. Then I slid this over to the taller poppet, to mark where I’ll bore for the straight pike. 

bent pike detail


Jumped ahead a step or two – here’s the tool rest arrangement. The tool rest support is just wedged into a slot cut in the outside face of the taller poppet. The too rest is pivoted into the top of the smaller poppet. Simple. 

tool rest


a 14′ sapling, lashed at its bottom end to a small tree on the bank above me, then resting in the cruck of two 2x4s – Now, the transition from the relatively still craft of basketmaking, to the aerobic craft of bowl turning. I need some practice.