loose ends

The days are flying by, and Greenwood Fest is coming up next. I have been poking away at a few things. The workshop project is moving ahead. We’ve been siding it, once Pret & I figured out window placement. I don’t have any shots of it lately; I’ll get some next time I work on it.

Here’s the bowl horse Pret made for Dave Fisher’s class – we saw this the other day. But on last Saturday, Pret & I got to try it out. Plymouth CRAFT was once again presenting their stuff at Pinefest – http://www.pinebarrensalliance.org/pinefesthome.asp 

bowl horse detail

Here’s Pret using the horse –

pret & bowl horse

and shortly after we started making slight adjustments. We’ll wait for Dave to show us what’s really what with this thing.

1st adjustment

While I was carving spoons at the event, a woman came to tell me about a “Rev war” spoon she had in her collection. She later brought it over and I asked if I could photograph it. It looks like this:

spoon

spoon back

spoon bowl

spoon profile

I was interested because I often wonder “what does an American wooden spoon look like?” –  so I asked what the provenance was, how she knew it was a Revolutionary War-era spoon. Well, she said, her husband’s father was a pattern-maker, and he lived to be 100 years old. So her husband grew up around this sort of thing.

I said nothing. A rare moment…

It’s Daniel’s baseball season again – here is an epic-looking swing, but I think it was a foul ball.

epic swing

I get a good bit of spoon carving in during the batting practice before the games…not only am I the only carver in the stands, I’m the only one I can see doing anything not involving a smartphone. Sad…

the only carver in the stands

 

game spoons
game spoons

And while working on the shop, every day the hawks get harassed & chased. It’s a hard life..

RT hawk 2

RT hawk

hawk & crow

trip to Roy Underhill’s

barred owl
barred owl “Who cooks for you??”

Some photos from my trip down to the Woodwright’s School & Woodwright’s shop, aka Roy Underhill’s place. Always a highlight of the year. we had a 2-day spoon carving class during which I apparently took zero pictures. so just imagine that class…otherwise, just photos & captions.

one & a half desk boxes
desk box & 1/2 for the show

 

i was here before
I have a feeling I’ve been here before

After rehearsal, we stopped by the school & crashed Tom Calisto’s saw-making class.

one & a half saws
1 1/2 saws
saw handle
a saw handle getting refinements

At the mill, we had 2 days of spoons, then set up for hewing & carving bowls.

katy turns her back
Katy has seen it all before, so she turns her back on the work

 

ready for bowl class
bowls, tools, shrink pots & more at the workshop

 

spread out
out in the country, you can spread the action out…

 

js hewing inside bowl
Janet was a confirmed spoon freak, until she hewed a bowl

 

spokeshave
in town, at the school – with a spokeshave

 

school group
a school group came by, it felt like old times for Roy & me

 

boring shrink pot
boring out for the optional bonus shrink pot project

 

more boring
I prefer this type of auger – here Roy gives it a spin

 

big chips
these chips have some substance

 

view
I can’t wait til my shop looks like this again, except the mini-shaving horse

 

wren of carolina
the Wren of Carolina

 

Stupid me – I forgot Tim Manney!

FH010002
he’s not holding a cricket, he’s carving a spoon!

Sorta. Tim will be an integral part of our Greenwood Fest next month, and way back when I was posting bios about the presenters, I asked Tim for a blurb. One thing he stinks at is self-promotion. So I asked for more info, and somehow it got past me & I once in a while kept thinking “I gotta write up Tim…” – So sorry, Tim, it took so long. Look forward to seeing you in Plymouth next month. 

Tim makes excellent chairs, tools, and spoons. He’s particularly passionate about spoon-carving.

IMG_8790

IMG_0573

I’ve written before about one approach he uses, which is to steam-bend blanks for spoon carving. Don’t dismiss this as some whacky notion – it’s another example of using spoon carving to learn some further-flung techniques applicable to many woodworking tasks. Tim knows wood technology very well, his chair-making is top-notch. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/what-if-a-chairmaker-made-spoons/

At the Festival Tim will lead some students through the process he uses for steam-bending spoon blanks, and demonstrating some ladderback chairmaking techniques. Make sure you get to see Tim in action.

Here’s what he wrote:

“I started carving spoons on a stump behind my college dorm, quickly got obsessed, and started tracking down everyone that I could learn anything about spooncarving from.  After meeting Curtis Buchanan at Country Workshops, he invited me to live and work with him in Tennessee and learn to make Windsor chairs.  Working with Curtis in his small chair shop gave me a model of how to run a small production workshop and I’ve been building my life around that model ever since.

After leaving Tennessee and moving to Maine I started making chairs, but with the help of another Windsor chairmaker, Pete Galbert, I found a niche for myself making hand tools.  Pete and I collaborated on the design of a reamer and an adze and I have spent the last four years producing those tools to order.  The tools are a product of the combination of our experience in building chairs, prolific prototyping, and endless experimentation.  It’s a fun process.  The results are tools that are easy to control and, we hope, intuitive to use.

I currently work out of a small workshop in Maine where I produce the tools that Pete and I designed, make Windsor and ladderback chairs, and continue to obsessively carve spoons.  Spoon carving is the foundation of all of my woodworking and it continues to provide a playground for shape, form, function, and aesthetics that informs everything else.”

a gallery of some of Tim’s work:

His Instagram page is here: https://www.instagram.com/tim.manney/ 

the summer of Fests

It’s quite a festive year for some of us – Going in reverse chronological order, the circus I’m in has expanded so that I’ll be travelling to Sweden & England this summer, in addition to my usual East Coast wanderings.

The last one is Täljfest at Sätergläntan in Sweden. Among the many participants are Del Stubbs, renowned knife-maker to the spoon world, working on his fan birds; Jögge Sundqvist, inspiring us all with his extraordinary work, Beth Moen, carver of giant bowls, (her favorite tools is the axe!); Anja Sundberg, whose work is almost as colorful (more colorful?) than Jögge’s; and Jojo Wood. (it’s the Year of JoJo).  There’s more craftspeople to come, too. It’s my first trip to that part of the world, I’m beside myself with excitement. I cant’ believe I get to be a part of this. https://www.facebook.com/taljfest/?fref=nf and http://www.saterglantan.com/evenemang/taljfest/ 

 

 

The middle festival for me is Spoonfest in Edale, Derbyshire, England. http://spoonfest.co.uk/

It’s the reverse British invasion, four Americans coming for the pre-fest courses; me, Fred Livesay, Jarrod Stone Dahl, and Alexander Yerks. Among others are Magnus Sundelin- I’m thrilled to be in such company. that’s just the sessions beforehand, then the whole thing kicks off for 3 days…with Robin Wood, Barn Carder and I-don’t-know-who-else. Spoonfest is the legend, and this is my first time getting to it. I’m looking forward to meeting all those spoon-crazed people!

 

Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest is the first, coming up in early June. http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?page_id=2189

Plymouth CRAFT

Spoonfest was our inspiration; some common threads are JoJo Wood, Jarrod Stone Dahl, Jögge Sundqvist, Beth Moen – but we have Owen Thomas, Dave Fisher, Tim Manney, April Stone Dahl and others coming too. Later this month, I’ll be getting some lists of wood needs, and other preparations. It will be here before you know it, and before I’m ready. Thankfully, CRAFT is in better hands than mine, so I just have to show up & introduce some people and cut wood…

Upcoming classes

wb nuthatch good light
white breasted nuthatch

the winter is gradually letting go around here; my workshop is almost all-cut & ready for raising. (Then the real work begins of finishing it off so I can use it!) – and soon I’ll be travelling out & about to teach classes. Here’s a reminder of the upcoming classes –

frame & panel

April 1-3  I’ll be at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, the project is making a carved frame & panel in oak. We’ll work with riven oak, planing it to size, cutting the joinery, and carving the panel (& frame if time allows) and then bevelling the panel and fitting it in the frame. All the basics of 17th-century joiner’s work, wrapped into five pieces of wood. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes/29-speciality-weekend-classes/510-build-and-carve-this-frame-panel-with-peter-follansbee.html

nov spoons blog post photo
On May 7 & 8, I’ll be back at Lie-Nielsen, with two days of spoon carving. May is my favorite time to be in Maine. Spoon carving is, as you might know, sweeping the world. Come see what it’s all about, or if you’ve already carved a lot of spoons, come & we’ll explore some of the finer points of spoon design. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/126

carved box

June is mostly taken up with Greenwood Fest, but right after it, I’ll pack up again for Warren, Maine. This time at Lie-Nielsen we’re making a carved box. Last year we developed a short version of this course; jumping right to learning the carvings, then designing the box’s patterns. We’ll assemble the box with wooden pins securing rabbet joints, then nail the bottom on, following 17th-century practice. A wooden hinge engages cleats under the lid. Come join us and eventually your house will be as full of boxes as mine. https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/129

In the “classes that ain’t mine” department, I want to bring your attention to two at Plymouth CRAFT –

 

drawknife work 2

Tim's spoon 1

Tim Manney’s coming down from Maine to Plymouth to show a different take on spoon carving – he will show you how to steam-bend a straight-grained piece of green wood to a shape that is perfect for a well-designed spoon. Don’t be mystified by the steam-bending – it’s a simple process that will take you in new directions with spoon carving, and other woodworking too. Tim is part of the Greenwood Fest this spring in Plymouth, but here’s a chance to spend some concentrated time in a small group exploring spoon design, tool use and more.

http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=steam-bent-spoon-work-with-tim-manney

IMG_6113

One offering from later in the season – After Greenwood Fest, Dave Fisher is coming back to Plymouth to lead 12 students through the process of bowl-carving. If you’ve seen his work – (you have, haven’t you?), you know Dave’s a master at this. He puts a lot of thought into his bowls, and will show you how to really advance your visions in this engrossing workshop. I’ll be peering in the windows for this one for sure, unless he sings some Barry Manilow songs… 

http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=bowl-carving-with-dave-fisher

Some spoons etc for sale, March 6, 2016

spoons

In between framing the workshop & working on some wainscot chairs, I have been carving some spoons…

I posted a few for sale, the page is here, or at the header of the blog there’s a link. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-etc-for-sale-march-6-2016/ 

If you’d like to order something, just leave a comment or send an email. Paypal is easiest, or you can send a check. Thanks as always.
Warm weather coming, time to finish up that timber frame!

day off to clean up & sort stuff

Mostly this winter has looked like this in our neighborhood.

 

before the snow

Then the other day, it looked like this:

upriver

Most winters I like it like that…but this winter I’ve been framing the workshop, so trying to get every outdoor day’s work I can. But it looks like for the next week, the shop will be covered up, thus:

shop w tarps

After this storm the other day, I was able to uncover the work-site, and finished cutting the rafters we had laid out. But tonight I’ll cover it again, the prediction is for more snow for the next couple of days. I can’t complain, I’ve got pretty far, considering the season. And I love the look of the snow, and the quiet.

A couple of days ago, one of the many emails from Popular Woodworking was one I was waiting for – April Stone Dahl’s new video about her black ash basketry is available for download, or for ordering the physical disc.   http://www.shopwoodworking.com/traditional-basket-weaving-dvd

I got the download and have been watching it. April did a great job – I kept watching for the cuts – and there are several long shots, where she makes much of the basket in “real” time and talks us through the whole thing. It’s a great job –  here’s the intro:

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Last fall, Heather Neill was kind enough to hand-me-down her Nikon D300, so my D80 became a dedicated bird-shooting camera…(now I don’t switch lenses, which always led to dust on the sensor..) – but that means I hardly ever load the photos from that camera to the machine here. today, I got a backlog of pictures sifted & sorted. Here’s some from the past month: