315 hours carving without a single plaster, record?

Thank you Fritiof Runhall and my merry band of spooncarving students for a wonderful couple of weeks. For Fritiof’s second course we again had some of the best carvers in the country. Here are Steve Tomlin and Barn the spoon chatting about the finer elements of spoon design.

 One of the things that was nice about Fritiof was that he worked with a very simple small and cheap toolkit, when you have superb skills simple tools are enough. The bark sheaths are simple to make and work well. The larger hook is home made the smaller one is by Svante Djarve and after 10 years heavy use is ground down considerably.

Different folk record their learning in different ways, digital photography has made things much easier though I am unsure about video. Increasingly folk want to video at courses but I find it rather intrusive when demonstrating a technique to look up and see a bank of iphones staring back. A sketchbook is still a great way to learn and record, if you can draw it you can understand it.

 Close attention while Fritiof signs his work with a delicate carving technique.

Steve and Barn were both taken by Fritof’s tiny sculptural bowl, Steve carved a copy to take home.

 Very impressive work and a far better way to remember than taking photos.

Some of Steve’s work at the end of the course I liked the way he would see a feature he liked on a spoon handle or the birds head and just carve a copy of that for reference.

 Fritiof taught us to work right and left handed, this helps a lot to achieve symmetry when carving as when you turn the piece to work right handed on the reverse side the tool is inevitably at a slightly different angle. This is Hannah working with her gorgeous Stefan Ronnqvist axe right handed…

 

 and left handed

not to be outdone this is me having a go left handed. It is surprising how awkward it feels at first but how quick it is to pick it up.

 We spent a lot of time working with crooked timber and finding interesting shapes to make ladles, eating spoons and small bowls. This bowl was carved from the buttress of a a Norway spruce but you can see how it could be made from the bent cherry behind.

 Of course all this carving is no good if it doesn’t make useful stuff and the best way to inspire folk to use it and to test out how well it works is to put it on the table.

Lunchtime, bread soup and cheese with as many wooden bowls and spoons as I can find excuse for.

 Everyone made really wonderful work and through both of Fritiof’s courses (315 person hours carving) we did not use a single plaster. This just goes to show with good technique cuts are not inevitable. Here are Dave, Sharif and Hannah working on their big spoons with hooks.

And last I should mention Alastair who I think gets the prize for longest travel by bike to one of my courses, he rode from Telford about 75 miles with camping gear.

There are just a few places still available on my spoon and bowl carving courses later in October and November details here.

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4 Responses to 315 hours carving without a single plaster, record?

  1. stevetomlincrafts October 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    hi Rob,huge thanks for organising the course with Fritiof and talking me into having a place on it. I was expecting to be inspired but not to learn so much about carving. He was a terrific teacher, very generous with his knowledge, creative and good fun too.cheers,Steve

  2. York Steiner School October 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Robyn, could you give some details about the birch bark sheafs on the spoon knives?

  3. Robin Wood October 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Del Stubbs has a nice tutorial for the sheaths for straight knives here http://www.pinewoodforge.com/sheath.making.htmlMake a few of those then adapt it for the spoon knives.

  4. mrcharly October 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Hmm-I'm tempted to try that technique using some old bicycle tyres. Thanks.

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