Greenwood Fest 2017 instructor: Jögge Sundqvist

not-his-axe
Looks like it should be his axe, but it was borrowed

I’ve spent a lot of time with Jögge Sundqvist in the last 2 years, a couple weeks in Maine in 2015, then in 2016 at Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest and then in Sweden at Täljfest…then we toured around Sweden for a couple weeks. Think I’ve had my fill? Nope.

heres-how

Before I left Sweden, I made sure that if schedules permitted, he’d come back to the US for Greenwood Fest 2017. Lucky for us, the schedules just made it…(he has an exhibition back home right after our event.)

Jögge’s craft skills are firmly rooted in tradition, and his teaching is top-flight. His craft permeates his life; they can’t be separated. He makes you better at woodworking. If you’ve not been around him, here’s your chance. His 2-day class will be making a handle and sheath for a sloyd knife, and learning some carving to go with it. Then in the festival he’ll be doing some demonstrations, and short sessions…spoon carving, decoration – there’s lots to cover.

Jogge w spoon knife
Jogge w spoon knife

jogge

Greenwood Fest registration opens on January 4th. http://www.greenwoodfest.org/

I wrote this post tonight because it was just announced by Lost Art Press that us mono-linguists will be able to read his book once and for all. They are publishing a translation of his updated book Slöjda i trä. Great combo, Jögge & LAP.

https://blog.lostartpress.com/2016/12/28/sloyd-in-wood-by-jogge-sundqvist/#comment-42486

 

Spoon carving

2

I don’t teach or demonstrate spoon carving at the Greenwood Fest. Mainly because we have lots of great spoon carvers there, & I want to concentrate on adding furniture work to that event. I did carve one while Jogge Sundqvist & I did a duo presentation…but the bulk of my handwork there is (and will be in 2017) oak furniture.

pf-jsq
But, I carve spoons a lot. Note, that’s not “I carve a lot of spoons.” There’s a difference, a big difference.

Jarrod carves a lot of spoons. Derek Sanderson too. And Barn carves a lot of spoons. Maybe you’ve been reading Barn Carder’s Advent calendar of spoon carving on his Instagram feed https://www.instagram.com/barnthespoon/   – a really nice thread. I enjoyed it a lot. There was one post yesterday (Dec 23) that got a lot of attention – and I’ll add my two cents’ worth on the thrust of it. Barn outlined some of his criteria for a good spoon, and some of the pitfalls he sees some spoon carvers fall into… here’s a snippet of the post:

“I like my spoons to be functional, and to function well unhindered by style or fashion. As important for me is that the spoons are made with respect to the tools and material. …How often have I heard a maker describe their “work revealing itself from the material” or “the wood talked to me” and thought to myself this is BS. It’s sad because this idea once came from a good place but is now a cliche spouted out by people who often haven’t a clue what they are talking about…”

When I first read it, I thought – what about Jogge Sundqvist and his well-known presentation about the trees talking to him? I’ve now been to Sweden and I think there is magic in the wood-culture there! But I think the tag line in Barn’s “rant” is “this idea once came from a good place…” – he goes on to say there are carvers who haven’t put in the requisite time learning the basics before delving into the far-out end of things – at least that’s how I read it.

4

For me, the trees don’t talk to me, but I had 20 minutes of spoon carving this fall that were the best of the whole year. The spoon in the photos here is easily the best spoon I made in 2016. I knew within the first 20 minutes of  working it that this spoon had everything I like about spoon carving. I described it to several people as “this spoon carved itself.” – Of course the spoon didn’t make itself, but there was little I had to do to get the shape to work, and to flow along the grain of that crook. I’m guilty of making really whacky shaped spoons every so often, but I present them as such. This one is both a free-form shape, and a functional spoon – the best of both worlds for me. I don’t have the discipline of Barn, JoJo Wood, Jarrod Stone Dahl (to name a few) to make lots of straight-grained spoons – for me, the fun is in the crooks; finding the right chunk of wood, and getting the spoon from that. I squirreled away some crooks, and over the next couple of weeks I’m going to split ’em & see if I can get back to that 20 minutes of spoon heaven.

1

At Greenwood Fest you’ll be inundated with spoon carving – and one thing about that is you can get several different perspectives in one spot. Inspiration abounds. Greenwood Fest 2017 details here – http://www.greenwoodfest.org/

I will teach a few spoon carving weekends in the US in 2017, starting at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in February. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes  – later ones will be at Lie-Nielsen in August and Roy Underhill’s in October. I’ll post my whole schedule next week…I’ll surely do it at Plymouth CRAFT too…

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwood Fest instructors: JoJo Wood

img_2522

It’s spoon-heavy this time at Greenwood Fest. For several reasons, primarily because I went to Spoonfest last summer & got to meet a bunch of new people. But…in any event, this spoon carver was coming back no matter what. JoJo Wood was one of the first choices last year, and so again for 2017.

If you are paying attention to spoon carving craze that’s sweeping the world, JoJo is one of the highlights. Her work just stands out in many ways.

JoJo spoon

In the first Greenwood Fest, she brought along her clog knives, and showed us how she roughs out the wooden blanks for the soles of the leather-topped clogs.

jojo

And otherwise, she carved spoons. Her 2-day class in carving eating spoons produced some of the nicest spoons – there were no clunkers at all. Step-by-step she showed how she uses the hatchet and knives to work a disciplined shape that performs just as it should.

do what I'm doing

JoJo & I were on the festival circuit last summer; here in Plymouth, then England & Sweden in August. I got to see a lot of her carving, and it keeps getting better. I wrote a profile of her & her work in Popular Woodworking Magazine, #229, December, 2016.

JoJo hewn spoon

Come see for yourself. Your spoons will take off. Her eating spoon class before the festival is not to be missed. We expect it to sell out, so if you want to get in it, registration opens January 4th. http://www.greenwoodfest.org/  I’ll have reminders here, and the Plymouth CRAFT newsletter will announce it too. sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already (under the “registration” tab on the GWF site). 

Greenwood Fest instructors: Barn Carder

Part of my job in Greenwood Fest is lining up the instructors. In one sense, it’s easy – I write or call some friends and offer them a paying job. It another sense, this round 2 is hard, because I have to leave some people out so we can have some new people in. And which new people? There ain’t enough room for all of us…

We’re very pleased to include Barn Carder this time.

barn-concentrating

 

Here’s the page for Greenwood Fest; http://www.greenwoodfest.org/

Like many of us from the US, I first heard of Barn through Robin Wood’s blog. And last summer I was lucky enough to go over to Derbyshire for Spoonfest, the largest international gathering of spoon carvers. Robin and Barn co-founded Spoonfest. There, I got to meet & spend a good amount of time with Barn. You’re going to love getting to know him. We ask each participant to send us a short blurb about themselves, and everyone who has ever had to write those knows how awful they are. Here’s Barn’s:

“No one in Britain knows more about crafting a spoon from green wood than Barn The Spoon” – The Guardian

Barn really does love spoons, he has been fully immersed in the Wood Culture Renaissance for a while now and there doesn’t seem to be any letting up. Recognised for his unique depth of knowledge, and artisanal approach to production carving. He adapts simple, traditional designs to sell to a modern market. From living in the woods and peddling spoons on foot, to a high street shop in London and setting up The Green Wood Guild he keeps himself busy with fresh wood fibres and sharp tools.

fig-spoon

That’s all well & good – but another element that is missing in that description is humor.  Barn has a great approach to his teaching. He’s really consumed with spoon carving, and has a great willingness to share that passion. His manner and methods are infectious. This will be Barn’s first time teaching in the US, he’ll teach a session before the festival, and be there throughout as well. He has a lot of web presence, so you can find stuff about him, and the Greenwood Guild that he is involved with easily. He’s got an Instagram feed – https://www.instagram.com/barnthespoon/

20150903_barn_the_spoon_woods_099_patricia_niven

But for me, the video clip that best presents Barn is the one he & Robin Wood did for Hole & Corner:

Greenwood Fest 2017

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, outdoor and food

Paula Marcoux has been working like the madwoman that she is, getting the website ready for Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2017. Last year, we dribbled out announcements about the instructors one-by-one. This year, she’s got it almost all ready to go in one fell swoop. http://www.greenwoodfest.org/

I will write posts about them as we go – for example, Roy Underhill. Do I really need to write about Roy?

roy & shavings 3

For now you can look over the website for the festival, and the SEVEN courses beforehand. Lots of great instructors; a huge pile of wood, this time plenty of coffee, and more fun than you can stand. Registration January 4th.

see you there?

Last spoons for sale Dec 2016 – SOLD OUT.

UPDATE – 

There were only a few spoons available, and they sold out quickly. Thanks to all who support my efforts here, for those who missed out on this batch, there will be more. I’ll try for some soon, but certainly after the New Year. 

thanks again, everyone. 
PF

 

a few last spoons for sale…paypal is simplest. Pick out a spoon, leave a comment & I’ll send an invoice. Prices include shipping in US. Elsewhere will require an additional charge. Finish is flax oil. It’s been fun delving into spoon carving again – building the shop left me little time. That is now changing and I plan on having them for sale regularly again in 2017. Thanks as always for the support.

Dec spoon 1 –  SOLD

birch. A little-big spoon. From a short, but nice crook in a birch limb.

L: 7″ W:  2 3/8″
$60

spoon-dec-1-overall

spoon-dec-1-side

——————–

Dec Spoon 2.    SOLD

Also birch, a great crook that a friend gave me a couple of weeks ago.

L: 9 1/4″  W: 2 1/4″

$75

spoon-dec-2-overall

spoon-dec-2-side

———————-

Dec spoon 3 – SOLD  

birch again. Slightly longer serving spoon/cooking spoon.

L: 9 1/2″  W: 2 1/2″

$70

spoon-dec-3-overall

——————–

Dec spoon 4. SOLD

Cherry, streaky heartwood & sapwood.

L: 10 1/4″  W: 2 1/2″

$75

spoon-dec-4-overall

—————–

Dec spoon 5    SOLD

A longer birch serving/cooking spoon.

L: 12 1/4″   W: 2 3/4″

$80

spoon-dec-5-overall

——————-

Dec spoon 6;   SOLD

cherry. A nice accident; I roughed this spoon out & then lost track of it. Its color deepened over that time to a nice nut-brown.

L:  11 1/2″  W:  3″

$85

spoon-dec-6-overall

spoon-dec-6-side

—————

Dec spoon 7. – SOLD

Cherry again. A huge crook. Some ripples in the grain of the handle. A big spoon.

L:  13 3/4″  W: 3 1/4″

$120

spoon-dec-7-overall

spoon-dec-7-side

——————–

Dec spoon 8 – SOLD.

Birch. My best spoon of 2016. It really made itself, the crook was so good. I had little to do…

L:  15 1/4″  W:  3″

$120

spoon-dec-8-overall

 

Jögge Sundqvist at TEDxUmea

One of the highlight’s of last year’s Greenwood Fest put on by Plymouth CRAFT was the presentation by Jogge Sundqvist called Rhythm & Slojd…
for a long time, a short version was available on the web. then it was gone. Now it’s back. but for the real thing, get on Plymouth CRAFT’s newsletter mailing list, so you find out about Greenwood Fest 2017 – http://www.plymouthcraft.org/contact