what to do with all this inspiration?

After Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2016, the biggest problem I have is what to do with all that inspiration. I remember the first evening all the instructors were on-site- it struck me that we had a great lineup assembled, and that I wouldn’t be able to see much of it/them. It’s the nature of working an event like this, rather than attending it. But it was so exciting seeing everyone, and comparing ideas, thoughts, plans – and then the snippets I did see really got the juices flowing.

Dave Jogge & JoJo

We had Beth Moen and Dave Fisher carving bowls with axe and adze, contrasted with Derek (non-stop) Sanderson and Jarrod Stone Dahl turning them on Jarrod’s pole lathe. The spoon contrast was between the Woodland Pixie and the Viking – JoJo Wood and Jögge Sundqvist. Two very different approaches, but both so engrossing that I wished I had eight arms, so I could carve more spoons every day. I showed JoJo a large crook I was going to make a spoon from. “What would you do?” I asked. “Throw that out and carve some straight-grained spoons” came the reply. And yet I hear Jögge talking about “form follows fibers” – there ain’t no one way, I guess.

dave w students

turned bowls

After the event, a bunch of us were talking about what worked, and what could stand some tweaking. April Stone Dahl said earlier she wondered why she was included, not being a spoon carver. Nonsense, says me. I wanted basketry to be a big part of the Greenwood theme, and April’s are some of the nicest baskets I know, without being precious and dainty.


Tim Manney’s approach to both spoon carving and chair making are so different from my own, but he has a tremendous grasp of both crafts. I really like Tim’s work, and his teaching style is very engrossing. He always had a crowd around his bench.

Pret Woodburn and Rick McKee are not as well-known to the web-based woodworking community as our other instructors. But if you’ve been around a Plymouth CRAFT event, then you got to know them. Together they have hewn more wood & talked to more people than anyone except maybe me (well, Roy Underhill too…but you get the point) and they taught these skills for years beyond count. It was a great thrill for me to combine them with these far-flung friends. I knew the fit would be perfect, and it was.

pret hewing

When we decided to call our festival “greenwood” something seemed familiar…and that’s how I thought of having Scott Landis come give us a glimpse into the organization known as Greenwood, and the wonderful work they do, making the world a better place through woodworking and green wood. http://www.greenwoodglobal.org/

The classes afterwards were an added bonus, Tim, Dave and I hung around, while JoJo and Jögge had to work. So we got to rubberneck in their classes, and keep on exploring what to do with sharp edges and lignin fibers.

Back home, I’m working on oak furniture, spoon and bowl carving, a bench in catalpa and white oak, and Pret & I are about to resume some carpentry on the workshop. And I’m eyeing some half-finished baskets, too. If I could only skip sleeping….then I could utilize all this inspiration.

Here’s two views – first, the video our friend Harry Kavouksorian put together for us. Thanks, Harry.

Greenwood Fest 2016 from Harry Kavouksorian on Vimeo.

And the second, a very nice article with slides & video, from Frank Mand. Nice work, Frank. I appreciate it.


I heard we might just be dumb enough to do it again. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, go carve something!

Greenwood Fest article & various photos

run away

For two full weeks, I was surrounded by some of my favorite woodworkers…now it’s pretty quiet, trying to get back into the day-to-day. If you want to re-live Greenwood Fest, here’s some links:


That article and more photos are compiled on Plymouth CRAFT’s facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/CRAFTPlymouth/?fref=ts

a collection or two on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/greenwoodfest2016/  and


I’m sure there’s more.

Plymouth CRAFT’s post-Greenwood Fest workshops

Plymouth CRAFT hosted 2 workshops after the Greenwood Fest 2016. Our model festivals do the workshops first, but we were making things up as we went along, or had scheduling conflicts, or something. So we did them after. One way this was an unexpected benefit is that often you don’t want an event like this to end. So it didn’t have to…

JoJo Wood taught her master class in eating spoons. These are the hardest spoons to make – they HAVE to be right. Cooking spoons & serving spoons can be strange & still work. Just look at my work for evidence of this.

It begins with accurate, well-thought-out hatchet work:


JoJo hewn spoon

Then, she was not bashful about telling all the old duffers where to cut their spoons to shape…


Working right beside Chris, saying “have faith, cut it like this…”

do what I'm doing

Meanwhile, Jogge Sundqvist taught his distaff class…a real challenging exercise in shapes, knife, hatchet & drawknife work, & design.

tin can openerThe tin-can opener grasp can be hard to grasp. Jogge helps illustrate proper technique.

here's how

Showing where some of these cuts are applicable in spoon carving.

how to get in tight spaces

These students made excellent examples…

great distaffs

Except this one – it doesn’t count. It’s Dave Fisher!

this one doesn't count

His class in bowl-carving is next – July 30/31 http://www.plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=bowl-carving-with-dave-fisher

dave bowl hewing


3 days of peace, love & Sloyd

more photos.

apparently our group drank 6 times as much coffee as the ordinary dance group they host at Pinewoods Dance Camp. And almost no decaf.

jarrod's coffee

I didn’t catch whose tool basket it was…but there were sights like this all over.

tool basket

an overall shot of the area outside the dining hall, near the woodpile. I think there was always a crowd and action there.

gathering place

Like this.

stomping at the woodpile

Wade (right) tried to sneak into our group photo, posing as Derek Sanderson.

wade tried to sneak in

That’s how we noticed he was missing. Back row – Dave Fisher, Peter Follansbee, Paula Marcoux, front: JoJo Wood, Jarrod Stone Dahl, April Stone Dahl, Tim Manney, Beth Moen, Jogge Sundqvist, Pret Woodburn, Rick McKee.

group minus numb 16

Imagine Derek Sanderson, #16.

derek turning

Our friend Marie Pelletier, as always, shooting the event. Here, getting a group shot of the Wille Sundqvist & Bill Coperthwaite Slojd Fellowhips to Beth Moen & JoJo Wood. Peter Lamb on the left.

marie w awards people

she did it again. Beth was always well=behaved.

she did it again

A highlight for many of us was seeing these guys, who made JoJo look old. A.J., now an old-timer at spoon carving was along with his dad Alex again.


Gabriel from BC here adzing out a bird bowl.

gabriel w adze

Dave Fisher.

dave fisher


bowl & dave

JoJo Wood, of course.



Me & Jogge Sundqvist sat for a couple hours, holding forth about spoons, design, tradition, people…etc.



PF & JSQ 2

I made exactly one spoon during the whole event.

PF one spoon

thanks to all, attendees, instructors, Plymouth CRAFT board & volunteers, Pinewoods Dance camp crew & staff – Nathan Goodwin for shooting wth my camera, so I had more pictures.


some shots from Greenwood Fest 2016 part the first

working an event like this, you don’t get to see it much. I saw some stuff last night on Instagram. here’s a few photos I shot in preparation and while walking over to where I was working on Friday afternoon – the opening of Greenwood Fest 2016.

JoJo warned me she likes to ruin pictures:

she warned me

Beth Moen (foreground) and JoJo Wood in back, finding some yellow birch to see how it works.

north american woods

Moving in – wow.

moving in

“I’m so happy” he said.  He always says that…


I'm so happy

Tim & I looked at an old ladderback chair, always fun.

found a chair to show Tim

Are you proposing to me?

are you proposing to me

Don’t you people have anything to do?

don't you people have anything to do

one of those Plymouth ponds…

long pond

Will there be any stars in my crown?

will there be any stars in my crown

Save one for me…

save me one

waiting to hew…

pret & rick's site

Waiting to carve…

waiting to carve



I told him to stop all this free learning…Darrick couldn’t wait.

I told him no free learning

Somewhere in the mayhem, Paula found time for a laugh with Ben Brewster & JoJo Wood

found time for a laugh

Hey Jarrod – I shot it too – on your back.

I shot it too

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 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


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


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


wren of carolina
the Wren of Carolina