Spoon carving class in Massachusetts, Mar 14 & 15 Plymouth CRAFT

not much of a view

More snow, but it’s fine with me… I don’t have to be anywhere for quite some time. I get to stay right here, working, writing, playing with the kids and generally having fun. (except I should be paying bills instead of writing this post).  Today’s view was a bit blurry, due to sleet mixed in with the snow. That kept me from sitting by the window all day, and got me to try some work . I opened a small window to see the view, but others in the house get discouraged when I leave a window open on a day like this. 

snow

 

I did get some carving done, back in this spot for a short while…

indoor work area this week

But mostly I messed around with chores. I did take an hour or so to work with the kids, they learned some of the Fibonacci sequence, and we drew spirals until we ran out of paper. They especially liked the idea that this sequence could go on forever.

fibonacci 1

fibonacci 2

I’ve been preparing oak for the joined chest with drawers that I have to make, and it’s a warmup for teaching that class. But I am also carving spoons here and there.

spoons in basket

There’s some left for sale; and more underway. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-a-bowl-or-two-jan-2015/

If you want to come to a spoon class with me, I found out today that my spoon class at Lie-Nielsen in May is full. Ditto the 2 sessions at Roy’s. The only other spoon class I am scheduled to teach in the lower 48 is with Plymouth CRAFT at Overbrook House in Buzzards’ Bay, MA. Dates are March 14 & 15. This class is newly added…here’s the link to the blurb,  http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=carving-wooden-spoons-with-peter-follansbee

and another to the reports from our first go-round. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/spoon-carving-at-plymouth-craft-last-weekend/

If you are way up north, there’s a class in Alaska – here’s that link: http://www.alaskacreativewoodworkers.org/registration-for-the-peter-follansbee-classes-is-open/

for my full schedule thus far, here’s another link. Some box-making, bowl-carving & furniture carving. I doubt I’ll add much, if anything. Once I get travelling, I’ll be glad when I hit a gap & get to stay home again. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015-teaching-schedule/

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2015 update & first spoons

Well, lots going on & not going on around here. Let’s get one thing out of the way. “where are the bird photos?” some have asked. I haven’t been out birding since I-don’t-know-when. Haven’t been to Plymouth Beach for owls at all…it’s frustrating, but time is in short supply all around. maybe this weekend…but it’s been feeder-birds for me. Cardinal in a holly tree, a rather cliche picture. Juncos were around this morning; they’re winter birds here.

cardinal holly

female junco

What’s really been missing is oak. But that’s about to change. I have all of a sudden several joinery projects coming up. So yesterday and today I have been splitting & hewing oak prior to planing. some of my work-sequences have changed some since the workshop shuffle of last summer. More hewing at the outset, and then planing. I used to do it back & forth between the hatchet & plane. I shot none of this work, but here’s a view of the off=cuts, meaning another job to clean up behind! Some stock there for pegs certainly…you can never have too many.

off cuts

The hewing has produced some really amazing chips – this one somehow became a photographic platform for Saruman, who is in the shop to have his broken hand removed from his arm socket. If he weren’t an Istari, we could have just pretended this character was Beren.

saruman

My first batch of spoons are now released from their task last weekend = and are available for sale here: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-a-bowl-or-two-jan-2015/

Spoon carving at Plymouth CRAFT last weekend

Last weekend was my first class with Plymouth CRAFT, helping 12 intrepid folks carve spoons. What a time we had. (the facebook crowd can see some pictures here https://www.facebook.com/CRAFTPlymouth )

spoon carvers

It was held at Overbrook house, http://www.overbrookhouse.com/ a large rambling joint with something interesting around every corner, both rooms we were using were set with a fire in the hearth. On the first day, Denise Lebica was teaching a knitting class in the next room, and on day 2, Paula Marcoux was in the kitchen, teaching a strudel-making session. This was after she had fixed a stellar lunch for everyone both days, cooking parts of it in the hearth. Like her book come to life… http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Fire-Rediscovered-Techniques-Wood-Fired/dp/1612121586

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The spoon carvers took over a very large main room, essentially a living room! We shoved the furniture to the walls, moved in some mats & chopping blocks, and had at it. We started with the knife grasps, then moved to actually roughing out spoon blanks. These people were so dedicated they almost missed the lunch bell – until I yelled at them to get away from the tools & go eat.

indoor hewing

 

room view

I was kept pretty busy going from one to the next, checking on the tool use and the emerging spoons. For me, one highlight was that we were given permission to take a cherry sapling that was growing right outside the door. This meant that every student got a chance to carve a spoon from a crook. some were small, but in many ways that’s a good thing. working a small crook as a beginner means you learn the particular demands and challenges without a great outlay of effort and time…cherry can get pretty hard if it dries ahead of you..so good to get through it in short order.

cherry tree

hewing crook

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knife work 2

Overbrook  is large enough to include accommodations for those who needed overnight lodgings, and Anne Phelan did an outstanding job at the breakfast end of the B&B, as well as a slew of overall helping-out. So many of us had worked together at that un-named museum for years & years, it was fun to be back together again; Pret, Paula, Denise, Anne, Keith, Marie, me  – and we had two other alumni, Bryan (spoons) & David (knitting) were signed on as students.    

It went so well & we all had such a great time, that we signed up to do it again, both the spoon carving & knitting. Dates are March 14 & 15. Go to Plymouth CRAFT’s site  for details, and to sign up:  http://plymouthcraft.org/?post_type=tribe_events   is Paula adding a foodie workshop? I forget. 

I see Mark Atchison’s first class is now listed too – http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=the-fundamentals-of-blacksmithing-a-traditional-perspective  You’ve heard me go on about Mark’s work before, without his work, my furniture work would suffer. Great chance to learn some blacksmith work from one of the best. 

 

 

 

one opening in Jan 17/18 spoon class

hook knives

I handled a bunch of hook knives this afternoon (they’re Robin Wood’s hooks – http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/product-category/tools/ ). Otherwise, sharpening, getting chopping blocks together, etc.

There’s room for one more spoon carver – next weekend in Plymouth (well, really Buzzards Bay MA., but close enough) – we allowed for 12 students and have 11. It’s not too late. http://plymouthcraft.org/?tribe_events=carving-wooden-spoons-with-peter-follansbee

We have some birch, cherry and a wood to be named later. Will I see you there?

Tomorrow I’ll do the lefties.

crook with hook

more spoon carving today. One I’ve had hanging around a while is this, my all-time favorite of these “crooks with hooks” – this one in apple, but in the bowl is a bark inclusion that is essentially a deep crack. Oh well, I get to keep it that way…

apple crook

to make this spoon, I stopped looking at the photos of Wille & Jogge’s hooks that I was inspired by…and dove in. I really like the curves this one generated; exaggerated the hook and came up with a satisfying, if useless utensil. I guess limited use, rather than useless. I carved this one last summer at the Lie-Nielsen open house. It’s been around that long. For a sense of scale, it’s about 10″ long. I’m working on a new one in cherry today.

w bark

crack

 

one picture

spoon cross section

I have been carving spoons today, getting ready for my first spoon carving class with Plymouth CRAFT later this month. At the bottom of my basket of spoons-in-progress was this remnant from a mishap. when carving this birch spoon, my knife stuck, I wiggled and the thing split apart. I got something out of it, because I was then able to shave it down its centerline to see the thicknesses at different points along the spoon’s shape. This is still too thick – in the bowl and the handle…but it shows the general shape I’m after.

If I hadn’t blown it, I would have concentrated my next cuts in the areas highlighted in blue below. (On most days, I can shave wood smoother than I can draw blue lines w a mouse.) The underside of the handle I often thin by beveling it towards its outside edges, leaving thickness in the middle of its cross-section. I like to keep the finial/end thicker than the rest of the handle.

thinned

 

Those are some of the things I’m thinking about as I carve these spoons lately. Striving to get the spoons thinner these days.

I don’t know which is worse, busting a spoon while carving it, or while abusing it to close a window  – at least Tim got some use out of his spoon for a while.  http://timmanneychairmaker.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-few-spoons-and-dissection.html

 

 

 

A Man Apart

If you’ve been here a while, you’ve heard me go on about Bill Coperthwaite. There’s a new book coming out this month about Peter Forbes’ and Helen Whybrow’s time spent with Bill. I’m watching the mailbox closely and can’t wait til it gets here.

Picture

Here’s a link for more about the book http://www.billcoperthwaite.net/the-book.html  and there’s a collector’s edition that is a fund-raiser for a project by Peter & Helen called Spoons for All – http://www.billcoperthwaite.net/collectors-edition.html

How could I say no to that? Carving spoons to help make the world a better place? Of course…