I thought for sure I put this amazing performance on the blog here before. A search I just made didn’t find it; and without the time or mental energy to be sure, I decided to just post it now…here’s Roy, after one of our Greenwood Fests; story telling for audiences of all ages.
I poked around here all winter, then spring came (according to the calendar) and things got busy. Over 3 weekends between March 22 and April 9, I spent 6 full days driving. That’s getting a bit crazy. The 2nd leg of that trip was my annual trip to Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School. Like always, it was worth the long haul. Here’s pictures.
Because I’m going to be in the car for hours & hours anyway, I take the scenic route. I hate I-95, so here’s a leg-stretching stop among the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
The project was an oak carved box. We used quartersawn red oak, with white pine lids and bottoms. Here’s Paul, carving his box front. On his messy bench, like everyone else’s. It made me come home & clean my shop.
Another box front off to a great start. Carving the box fronts comes after a full day of practice carving.
Our host had some saw sharpening that needed doing. Plenty of light out here.
No trip to Roy’s is complete without a stop or two upstairs at Ed Lebetkin’s tool store. I got out mostly unscathed, I didn’t need a box to haul my tools out like many do.
A snippet of squares.
I warned them that fitting the till is the fussiest part of making this box. They were not disappointed. It was fussy.
Here’s Scott’s wild carving and a deep till.
I’ve had students come to class barefoot, in sandals, flip-flops, etc – but never in spurs. Something new…I had to look up where Montana is, it’s way up there.
All the times I’ve been down there, I’ve never made it out to Elia Bizzari’s shop. We rectified that. What a nice place, great setting. My renewed chair fixation got more inspiration… http://handtoolwoodworking.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/eliabizzarri/?hl=en
Things kept getting busier and busier as the week went on. That’s the point, I guess.
The mornings weren’t great for birding, but some nice views down the creek at one point.
Then back home, jumped into a Plymouth CRAFT demo. Now finishing some furniture, then off to Winterthur later this month. More box classes later in the year, at Lost Art Press’ storefront not-a-school, and at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. (I guess I better send Bob the photos & blurb…) – I think there’s one or two spaces still in the December version at Lost Art. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/pf-2019-teaching-schedule/
Back to the blog now. April has been a whirlwind month for me…and as I look back I see only 2 blog posts all month. When I counted up the final tally, I was out of the house & shop for 15 days out of the month. On top of that was packing and preparation for the various gigs, and unpacking & trying to sort out what’s what. I’m almost all set up again now. And it’s almost May.
I had posted about the barred owl at Roy Underhill’s place, but there was woodworking going on too. Two 3-day spoon carving classes. Lots of spoons underway; something like 18-20 students off & running. Or hewing, I guess.
The trip to Roy’s is a 2-day drive, so that was 10 days away. I came home, unpacked, put tools away and switched gears to prep for a demonstration & slide talk to the Timber Framers’ Guild at their meeting in Portsmouth, NH. https://www.tfguild.org/ Easy, this one was a up & back in one-day affair, but took time to prep. I shot no photos, because I was doing the slide-show bit, then I worked on the wainscot chair I have underway, I think. I honestly forget. It was a very nice crowd, friendly people who chop large mortise & tenons…
Back from that, un-pack, and dive right into prepping for Fine Woodworking Live in Southbridge, Massachusetts. http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/
A one-day spoon carving class, followed by Friday night-Sunday afternoon conference. Hotel woodworking! I had little assigned to me there, a slide talk on Saturday morning, then loafing around hob-nobbing with woodsy types. They got me an assistant to help teach the spoon carving class – Dave Fisher! I wound him up & stood back & watched.
It was great to be able to see a lot of the event, at Greenwood Fest I never get to see the presentations for more than 10-15 minutes at a stretch, so I felt like I got away with something at this event. I didn’t take photos beyond Dave’s demo on bowl-carving. If for some reason you’ve missed Dave’s work thus far, go: https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/
As you see, it truly is hotel-woodworking. Wall-to-wall carpeting, cameras projecting onto screens. It all works out very well, but it’s hard to shoot coherent photos. So these were all I got.
I watched Mary May carve a ball & claw foot, she’s always great to see. I’ve known Mary and her work for several years now, but never really get to see her presentations from beginning to end. https://www.marymaycarving.com/carvingschool/ and her Instagram site is here: https://www.instagram.com/marymaywoodcarving/
Then we piled into see a very clear demo from Pete Galbert on turning. I’ve done almost no turning for 3 years so it was very helpful to get a breakdown on his approach. I have a lot of lathe-work coming up, so I went and bought Pete’s new video from Lost Art Press to help me get my turning muscles back. https://lostartpress.com/collections/dvds/products/galbert-turning
It was really a great time. The Fine Woodworking crew worked long and hard to put on this event, I highly recommend it. I’m sure you’ll get wind of it when they announce it for next year.
I just got back from a 10-day trip to Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C. Four of those days were driving, (Blue Ridge Mountains along rte 29 in Virginia above) so 6 days down there working. We had 2 spoon-carving classes of 3 days each – so 20 new spoon carvers unleashed on the world.
When I travel, I don’t access my email. This is good for me, but hard for those trying to get hold of me. So now I’m sifting through what’s on my desk and sorting some photos. Meanwhile, here’s the barred owl (Strix varia) from Roy’s place.
The setting – the dam on the creek…the owl is in this shot, on the curved ash tree below the dam. I didn’t see it at the time.
Here’s an owl more visible, out in the open. We call it “he” but it might be the pair takes turns feeding. Not sure…
Late afternoon, early evening – with raking light
This was going to be a great shot. I forget if it was lunch time or breakfast…but I left my camera in the shop. By the time I went & got it the light changed and the bird was in shadows…
My best flight shot (of maybe 4 shots) – with food in its bill. I assume off to the nest with this…
When it’s against the bark like this, it’s easy to miss. See the overall shots above, that’s where the bird is in there.
read more about barred owls on Cornell’s website: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barred_Owl/overview
I was out collecting some spoon wood today for an upcoming one-on-one session; but was also planning on stock for a couple classes in spoon carving coming up in April.
In three weeks, I’ll pack the car and get back on the road for one of my favorite trips of the year – off to the Woodwright’s School with Roy Underhill. Never a dull moment for certain. This time it’s 2 spoon carving sessions – Roy & I don’t want things to get too simple, so the 2nd class is first, Tue-Thu April 2-5, and the first class, which is now second, is Fri-Sun April 6-8. Turns out some room in both. Come have more fun than you can stand.
Who knows what will happen? You can never tell in Roy’s place, but it will be fun – that much is certain.
Maybe there’ll be time for shrink pots…
I got home yesterday from my trip to Colonial Williamsburg’s Working Wood in the 18th Century conference. Or was it a symposium? This was the 20th year, quite an accomplishment. I had previously attended in 2007; I was especially pleased to be back. Lots of old friends, lots of familiar faces both on stage and in the audience. I took a few lousy photos, but found many on the facebook site from https://www.facebook.com/CWhistorictrades/ – so I “borrowed” many from them. Go to the link to see their whole pile of photos; they got good ones.
First thing I noticed upon loading my gear into the auditorium was that I had left my green wood billets at home. If there is anyplace you can go & expect to get green wood upon asking, Williamsburg is it. One of the carpenters’ crew found me some white oak that was so good that it needed no hewing when I split it. So I showed the camera just how flat the good stuff is when it splits:
The Williamsburg woodworking crowd; Kaare Loftheim, Bill Pavlak, Ted Boscana, Garland Wood, and my old cohort Brian Weldy all had presentations. Here’s Brian & Bill during the tool chest presentation…
And Kaare Loftheim showing the saw till under the lid of a tool chest the crew worked on several years back:
Ted Boscana and his crew of apprentices went through the steps to make some architectural moldings, including some crown/cornice molding. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a great demo of the apprentices pulling Ted through the air as he provided the weight to push down on the plane.
Ken Schwartz, the master blacksmith, led a presentation showing through slides and video how a drawknife and axe were made, then he had members of the coopers’ and wheelwrights’ shops briefly show the tools in use. Here’s a shot showing the axe “bit” and the eye/head:
For me, one great highlight was seeing W. Patrick Edwards’ presentation on Sunday morning.
His introductory story about an abrupt change of career early on in his life made me grin from ear to ear. If you get a chance to see Patrick as a presenter, jump. http://wpatrickedwards.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-risk-of-living-as-process-of-life.html
Don Williams de-mystified finishing on Sunday – (yes, it finished with finishing) – Don made it so accessible that I wanted to try some, instead of my usual cop-out linseed oil. http://donsbarn.com/the-barn/ His demonstration of the winding sticks-with-feet was especially good.
Jane Rees is often a fixture at the Williamsburg conference,and it was great to catch up with her again. So many historic tool questions were diverted from the audience to the stage, then down to the front row with “I don’t know, let’s ask Jane” http://www.reestools.co.uk/books/
Jane understood when she heard I ducked out for half a day to go see eagles on the James River.
and then there was Roy Underhill. Do I have to say anything? Keynote speaker, moderator of a discussion panel, all around helpful schlepping on & off stage, native guide around CW; and poker-of-sacred-cows. When Roy is around, I stick close, because something worth seeing is going to happen.
My presentation was sponsored by EAIA; other sponsors were SAPFM and Fine Woodworking. My thanks to them for helping make it happen.
On any of my southerly trips, I try to get over to see my greatest friends; Heather Neill and her wife Pat. It’s always too much fun in too short a time when we visit. Here’s a sampling of Heather’s work, both painting & writing: http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/2017/07/18/in-my-element/
Her Instragram is here https://www.instagram.com/hnartisan/
I woke up to this idyllic sight today. Won’t make it to working in the shop today…but tomorrow I will.
I’ve been meaning to get my teaching schedule posted here; but have been too busy getting stuff together…Next week I’ll be part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Working Wood Conference. I haven’t been there since 2007, here’s a shot from then, with Jennie Alexander pontificating while I get set to turn something.
It’s sold out, so if you got a ticket, I’ll see you there. https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/learn/conferences/working-wood
Next month, I’ll be back at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking for a 2-day class in carving oak; February 17 & 18. https://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes The exercises we’ll carve are all based on ones I learned from studying period furniture; chests, boxes, cupboards, church furniture in England and more. Here’s a snippet of what to expect.
In April I’ll be down to Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School for 3 days of spoon carving. It’s full, but I think you can get on a waiting list. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. http://www.woodwrightschool.com/classes/spoon-carving-plus-with-peter-follansbee
Later in April (20-22nd) ’ll be part of Fine Woodworking Live in Southbridge Massachusetts; including a one-day intro to spoon carving. With Dave Fisher as assistant!! I’m just going to step back & watch Dave… http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/about-fww-live/
I think I’m doing furniture-related stuff too, maybe a talk as well. I’d look into it, but I still have next week’s thing to prep!
May – getting ready for June.
June 5-10; Greenwood Fest 2018. Plymouth CRAFT’s 3rd time around with Greenwood Fest. Held at Pinewoods Dance Camp in Plymouth Massachusetts. 2-day workshops beforehand and a 3-day festival. Demonstrations, hands-on sessions, big pile of spoon wood (or bowls if you’re inclined); lodging & meals all part of the scene. Tickets go on sale February 2nd, 10am eastern time. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/ How fast will it sell out? I predict less than a day…so don’t hesitate.
here’s last year’s group shot:
July – Can’t forget Lie-Nielsen. Spoon carving, July 21 & 22. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/191
That’s all I have for certain right now. We’re planning a long session for making a joint stool at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. Like the chest project we did there twice, this would be one-weekend-per month for a few months. Maybe 4. So 8 days of classes. Unlike the chest, this project would require little or no homework. Split the log, make the boards, cut joinery, do turning! And make the stool. Haven’t figure the time frame yet. I might have a trip overseas in November, so I’m waiting to get that sorted first.
I also offer one-on-one classes here at my shop in Kingston Massachusetts.
Spoon carving, the oak furniture carvings I do, or various projects – like a carved box. Rate is $500 a day. I have all the tools necessary, wood and reference materials. We have lunch together, lodging and other meals on your own; but Plymouth is 10 minutes away with all its options for both. Expensive, yes. But one-on-one instruction can cover a lot of ground. I have time available in March, then again starting in September. July and August are too hot to share a small space!