wood carving festival at Saterglantan Sweden “Taljfest”

Well where do I start with this one? I just processed and sorted images from Tajfest the carving festival I taught at in August at the national folk craft school in Sweden. The next couple of blog posts will be mostly images of the things i found inspirational.

Much of the focus of the event was on lectures, I gave a couple and this is my friend Jarrod Stone Dahl giving a talk on his birch bark canoe building.

IMG_5505We were keen to get carving however at the first opportunity, we met Niklas Kalsson who has a great blog and were soon playing with the sami style hook knife with neck loop. Here is Niklas demonstrating then my good friend Barn having a go.



Here is some video

Here we are with a couple of Niklas’s wonderful spoons. I’ll be seeing Niklas again in a few weeks when we are both showing work at the International Folk Crafts and Cultural Products expo in Guizhou China.


This kuksa is one I had seen pictures of on the web but it was lovely to meet it and it’s ,maker in person, it was carved by Magnus Sundelin, great.

IMG_5510 IMG_5509

This one is a blast from the past for me. in 1998 I visited Romania to study old wood crafts and particularly to record the work of turner and carver Ion Constantin. Our interpreter on that trip was Zina Burloiu, a talented chip carver, she visited Edale the year after. Zina was teaching chip carving at Taljfest, folk in the know will spot Barn Carder and Wille Sundqvist amongst her class.


One of the beauties of Saterglantan is the workshops are wonderful, clean tidy with space and all the tools you could ever wish for, count the tormeks here.


A highlight for me was meeting this man, Hans Karlsson. I have used his tools for many years and they are simply excellent. Here he is chatting with his son, Barn and my daughter Jojo about how to get a good edge on a tool. What impressed me most was that despite being close to retirement and having made the best tools there are for many years he was still totally humble and open to learning. He spent a lot of time in my bowl carving class asking about how I used the tools, what worked well and what could be better. That is how you get to be the best.


Food isalways  a joy at Satergladtan here is Jojo using a huge Wille Sundqvist bowl and server.


and here is JanHarm serving from one of Beth Moens glorious bowls.


I had completely forgotten that I had given this plate when teaching there in 2006 so it was a pleasant surprise to see it in use.


What we all really wanted to do however was carve together. There was no time set aside for that during the day but once the official program finished we all got to it in the evening.


and they didn’t stop until the lights went out on the timer at 10pm.IMG_5581and now a few last random images which are too good not to share, this is a very cool bench joint.

IMG_5586 here is the weaving workshop, did you ever see so many hand looms in one place?


I have no idea who made this guy but he appeared since I was there last and I love him. Coat hooks made from a forked branch are a great green woodworking project and this is the best one I have ever seen.

IMG_5524it was a busy 3 day schedule and it was easy to get burnt out but it is a beautiful relaxing place to be.


5 Responses to wood carving festival at Saterglantan Sweden “Taljfest”

  1. Alison J-B October 27, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Deeply envious. What an amazing place and the woody talent there is impressive. Thanks for sharing the photos, Robin.

  2. David Fisher October 31, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Thanks for the video on the neck loop, Robin. I have been wanting to see this in action and do some experimenting. Very helpful.

    • Robin Wood November 1, 2013 at 12:11 am #

      To be fair Dave this is Barns first few seconds and he isn’t using it efficiently, we both got it working much better. Here Barn is using a lot of neck movement to pull the hook through, effectively the neck movement should only be moving the pivot point and the handle movement makes the cut. We all use these long hooks with the fingers of the left hand as a pivot, if you can move that pivot point through the cut it allows you to do a much longer smoother cut which is especially useful for wide flat spoons and bowls.

  3. Henrik Forsberg December 18, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Thank you for remanding me about what a great time it was.The coat hanger was mad by my senior student last year at Sätergläntan, Hyungjun Yong who moved here with his wife so they could become master woodworkers.Both Yong and Im was at sätergläntan for 3years and are some of the best woodworkers i ever met, see for your self http://dalaliv.blogspot.se/2013/03/ta-i-tra-vilka-skickliga-hantverkare.html http://flatplanecarver.blogspot.se/2009/07/extraordinary-flat-plane-work-of-hyung_14.html . Took me awile to realise that the person sleeping in the photo was me, Keep up with the good work

    • Robin Wood December 21, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Ah that makes me happy. Yong was my assistant when I was at Taljfest very nice chap.