some Greenwood Fest pictures

I’m getting nowhere sorting Greenwood Fest pictures, so will just post a few here & there rather than trying to write a comprehensive blog post about the event. The wood gets delivered in a dump truck. Easy to unload, but last year we just left a large jumbled heap for people to sift through. This time I asked for (& got) volunteers to sort and lay out the wood so it was less hazardous. Then – I kept worrying we’d run out. Doesn’t look like enough, but it was…

Here’s Curtis Buchanan on his way to work, no doubt some hijinks between him & Darrick Sanderson on the pole lathe there. It was a great pleasure to have Curtis join us this time…

Way back in my woodworking DNA I’m a chairmaker – and I kept going back to Curtis’ sessions to see what he was up to, and to admire his chairs. So much so that I bought this one – I never bought another chairmaker’s chair before.

Barn the Spoon. BOOM.

So much hands-on component, so much real-world connection.

This place was always busy.

The ladyslippers were in full bloom.

 

Robin Wood came over from England. He ran several sessions, this one, with JoJo (seated on the right), about their tool-making operation Wood Tools.

Our old friend Joel Pontz brought his tent, his borrowed dump truck and his eager help. Then he took Jane Mickelborough’s folding spoon class. Here he’s cutting the bridle joint that forms the hinge.


Stopped by Dave Fisher’s pre-fest course on carving bowls, to see just who the quickest ones were who got to sign up for that class. Under 10 minutes I think it took to sell out…


And Dave in a later session demonstrating how he does the finish work on one of his bowls.

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“Spoon-wood” for Jögge Sundqvist

I’ve often wondered when the hell someone would re-write the great Willie Dixon song “Spoonful” for all the spoon-carving crowd. Then I tried for years & couldn’t get it. Once I stopped trying, it came to me. So – sung to the tune of “Spoonful” here are the lyrics I came up with for Greenwood Fest 2018

 

It Could be a spoon made of cherry

It Could be a spoon made of bee-eeech

But one little spoon of Jögge’s precious birch

Is good enough for me-eeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

It could be a spoon made with JoJo

It could be a spoon made with me-eeee

Or just a little spoon that Jane brought from home

a folding spoon from Britt-a-kneeeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

It could be a spoon made from straight wood

Or a crook from your favorite tree-eeee

Barn just made a spoon with his twca cam

That’s good enough for mee-eee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Paula did all of this planning

so we could carve spoons all week

Chris cut the wood from his bucket truck

they both get big thanks from me-eeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

To decorate his spoons with a jackknife

Dave uses sorcery

There’s no way his is an Earthly skill

It’s Way Beyond the likes of me-eeeee

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I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Curtis and Tim have a different way

They bend their Crooks with steam

What’d you expect from chair makers

It’s good enough for me-eeeee

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

 

Some learned spoons from the internet

Some learned spoons from Tee-Veeeee

If you use an axe and a couple of knives

You can trace it back to ol’ Vill-eeeee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just wild about that spoon wood

Just wild about that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

That spoon, that spoon, that spoon wood.

Wille Sundqvist

As we’re preparing to start setting up Greenwood Fest tomorrow, news came today that Wille Sundqvist passed away, aged 92 years old. We heard from Jögge earlier this week that the end was near, thus he stayed home in Sweden to be with his father.

We’ll all miss having Jögge with us at the Fest, and our thoughts are with him and his family. I’m so glad it worked out the way it did, he could have easily been on a plane headed our way when Wille’s time came.

There’s no exaggeration about Wille’s impact on so many of our woodworking trajectories…I’ve written and talked at length about what I often call “craft genealogy” and I trace mine back to a very simple event – Bill Coperthwaite bringing Wille Sundqvist down to meet Drew and Louise Langsner, c. 1976. That visit led to the creation of  Country Workshops, where I often traveled to learn from Drew, Louise, Jennie Alexander, Jögge, Curtis Buchanan and Wille Sundqvist – and on & on.

Plymouth CRAFT has dedicated this year’s Greenwood Fest to Wille Sundqvist and his life’s work.

Fare you well, Wille Sundqvist, rest in peace.

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Greenwood Fest 2018 is nearly here

Next Monday, June 4th, the Plymouth CRAFT crew and most instructors descend on Pinewoods Dance Camp in Plymouth Massachusetts to begin setting up Greenwood Fest 2018. We’ve been working pretty steadily prepping stuff for a couple weeks now – Paula wrangling schedules and logistics and Pret & I have been making the next batch of lathes for bowl turning. The first season, we used Jarrod Dahl’s lathes, then last year we built 4 lathes and Jarrod brought 4. This year, we’ll have 8 of our own, and we’re gathering all the necessary gear – hook tools, treadles, mandrels – Plymouth CRAFT will now have the necessary equipment to host bowl turning classes outside of Greenwood Fest. All we’ll need is a venue and an instructor. You can tell I made the poppets for the lathes – the wedges that secure some of them are carved.

I kept thinking I had loads of time, and at one point I did. But no more. So now I have a scramble to finish up whatever I can so I have something to show in the retail “Greenwood Shop.”  Will it be the joined stool? The ladderback chair? The carved box? At least one of those things, I hope.

Once the Fest sold out, we started a waiting list. As we’ve got closer to the date, here & there some people have had to drop out for one reason or another, and people from the waiting list get contacted and some of them drop in. The Fest is still full, but the 7 pre-Fest courses have some spaces and no waiting lists. So for any last-minute people with flexible schedules – we have some openings you might like to jump on. If you missed out on the Fest and can come at the nearly-last minute, the pre-Fest is almost as wild an event as the Fest itself. Or if you’re in the Fest, quit your job and extend your stay forward with us. Mid-day Tues June 5- mid-day Thurs June 7th. https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details

Spoon carvers – Jane Mickelborough’s folding spoon class (hinged spoon, we call it both names) has spaces. It’s an amazing exploration of a traditional form from Brittany. Something different from a lot of the spoon carving going on, but rooted in a local tradition. No one alive knows more about those spoons than Jane.

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JoJo Wood’s eating spoon class. Someone can get into this fiercely popular class. JoJo has been part of both our previous Greenwood Fests. I’ve written lots about her work since we met in 2014, and I continue to be so impressed with her amazingly detailed and nuanced spoons. If you’ve paid any attention to spoon carving, she’s one of the top spoon carvers out there.

 

Tim Manney’s class in sharpening is a real eye-opener. In woodworking, sharp tools make everything better. Tim makes tools sharp, easily. He’ll demystify the processes to sharpen all kinds of tools; hatchets, knives, gouges, chisels, most any edge tool. I have often told the story of the first time we offered this class at Plymouth CRAFT – we had beginning woodworkers running around asking “What else can we sharpen?”

 

If you’re signed up for the Fest, there’s one thing I’ve been meaning to mention for some time. Paint – as far as I can tell, we’ve not addressed painted finishes in our Fest before. Although we have two masters of milk-paint; Curtis Buchanan and Pete Galbert in attendance, in addition to Jögge Sundqvist (who is not afraid of color) – we have a “new-to-you” artisan –  Pen Austin doing some workshops and open demonstrations concerning paint; milk paint and distemper paint.

Pen is British, living in Massachusetts, where she is involved in restoration work in plaster and painted finishes. She trained in architectural conservation and she’s a member of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers of London. Pen was there for the first-ever Plymouth CRAFT event, back in 2014 https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/plymouth-craft/

And featured in Rick McKee’s blog post about building a Shakespearean stage – https://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/playing-marbles/

I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work and also seeing people work with her. Should be something. I hope I can poke my nose into some of her sessions, I’d like to learn a bit more about manipulating paint. Back to my list of to-be-dones. 

 

 

Spoons for sale

A small batch of spoons for sale.  A range of crooks, some birch, some cherry. All finished with food-grade flax oil. Shipping included for US, further destinations will require additional postage. The usual arrangements; leave a comment if you’d like one, and let me know if you want to use paypal or send a check.

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spoon 18-13, SOLD

cherry. A small steep crook spoon.

L: 8″  W: 1 3/4″
$75

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Spoon 18-14; SOLD

cherry again. Wide-bladed small serving spoon.

L: 8 1/2″  W: 2 1/4″
$85

 

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Spoon 18-15; birch. A curve and a crook all in one.

L: 9 1/2″  W:  2 1/8″
$85

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Spoon 18-16; SOLD

another birch crook. Slight curve this time…

L:  10″  W:  2 3/8″
$90

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Spoon 18-17; SOLD

cherry again. A small eating spoon, rare for me. I don’t often make them. A great crook.

L: 7″  W:  2″
$75

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Spoon 18-18; SOLD

maple. My favorite of the batch. LARGE serving spoon. Great crook.

L: 14″  W:  3″
$130

 

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Spoon 18-19; SOLD

Another big one/long one. Birch this time. S-scroll carved in the handle.

L: 15 3/8″  W: 2 1/2″
$110

Carve a Hinged Spoon w Jane Mickelborough

The Plymouth CRAFT crew is moving into full-tilt preparation for our third annual Greenwood Fest. Tickets are sold out for the fest, but there is space in one unique spoon carving class beforehand. Jane Mickelborough lives in Brittany and there she stumbled into a rich tradition of spoon carving unlike anything else we’ve seen – the folding (or hinged) spoons made in that region during the 18th and 19th centuries.

student’s spoons in Jane’s class last year at Spoonfest

She taught the folding spoon class last year at Greenwood Fest and at Spoonfest in England. Her blog post from the other day says the Plymouth class this season is the only one she’s teaching this year. https://janeswoodenspoons.blogspot.fr/2018/05/teaching-how-to-make-folding-spoons.html

Here’s Jane helping one of the students driving the hinge pin into a spoon blank.

And one of her folding spoons, complete with colored wax inlay.

Signing up for Jane’s class brings you into the pre-Fest activities – hers is one of 7 classes running at once, so you’ll be swept up in lots of interesting action between sessions, at mealtimes and evenings. I think of it as 3/4 of another Greenwood Fest. The price of $500 includes 2 full days of instruction; all materials; 2 nights lodging & 7 meals.

There’s also 2 spots I think in Tim Manney’s sharpening class. I’ve posted about this experience before; https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/sharpening-w-tim-manney-at-plymouth-craft/

I remember one student yelling “what else can we sharpen?” during one of Tim’s classes…

 

https://www.greenwoodfest.org/course-details

Splitting three spoon blanks

Some limbs/logs are too thick for 2 spoon blanks, and too thin for 4. For oak furniture, I was taught to usually split in halves. But sometimes you can get three out if things go well. I first saw splitting in thirds done by Robin Wood and Jarrod Dahl at North House Folk School in 2014. Here they used 3 axes struck with a wooden club to bust out bowl turning blanks. Robin tells me that this is how all the bowls from the Mary Rose were oriented in the log. He’s on the right, Jarrod next. 2nd from the left is Roger Abrahamson. http://www.rogerabrahamson.com/index.html

Later, Deneb Puchalski showed me his take on it during a spoon class he & I did at Lie-Nielsen. Here’s a grey birch bolt, about 5″ in diameter, that I split in thirds. This small stuff you just need one hatchet, no helpers. I started by drawing a peace sign, or Mercedes Benz insignia on the end grain. Or forget that stuff, and drawer three lines from the pith out to the bark, dividing the piece into thirds.


To start the split, take a hatchet and put its toe right at the pith. I tilt the hatchet so only its toe is hitting the wood. The last thing I want is this split to go past the pith in the other direction. Give it a knock with a wooden club.

Not too hard, I just want to start the split.

Then take the hatchet out, turn the piece and do the same for the other two radial lines.

Keep going around and around, and each time whack it a bit harder…and the splits will begin to develop.

 

At a certain point, you just are committed and drive the hatchet all the way. It usually does this – knocks one third out from the other two.

What fun!

Then take one of your chunky thirds and knock the pith off and go ahead and carve your spoon from it. And the other two…

Red tail hawk from today.