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/