North House's Woodcarver's Week

     This past week I found myself up at North House Folks School. They were hosting a wood carver's event that brought many folks with a love of wood together. The event was a really big success and I still find myself sorting out all the subtle things I've learned or experienced while there.
     Fred Livesay and I co-taught 2 spoon carving classes. This was a first for us and I think it went really well. We were able to give the folks in the classes more attention than if we were teaching individually. We both have a different style of spoons, but we use the same basic spoon carving skills and knife grips. this is a good thing for students.
     Roger Abrahamson taught pole lathe bowl turning. Roger has been turning bowls on a pole lathe for many years and knows a great deal about the Nordic style ale bowls I love so much.  Phillipe and Else Odden taught Norwegian Relief carving, both were schooled in a traditional format in Norway. Else is a native Norwegian as well. Harley Refsal a very well known flat plane carver taught a few days as well. Jock Holman taught a really nice letter carving class. Cecilia Schiller a wooden automata class, and last but not least Jon Strom taught a bowl carving class.
     A few of us went up to the Grand Portage National Monument which has a great interpretive center. Grand Portage was a key place during the fur trade for many years and has a very rich history.  During the winter not much of the grounds were accessible but we did get to visit the woodworking shed, which is filled with bark canoes! One of the biggest canoes was a replica of the big canoes that carried nearly tons of fur and gear from the west to the Montreal, measuring in at nearly 40 feet! What a site.
     This was quite a weekend! Besides the day time classes we had a open shop during the evening and plenty of live music, carving and visiting. I think I can say a great time was had by all. I wish I could have got it all on camera but had little time to take photos. I got a few of the classes in the building I was in but there was so much more happening. I hope you will consider attending next years event.
Fred talking about design
Roger talking about bowl turning
some bowls from Roger's personal collection.nice!
Fred at the chalk board
Roger talking about the tooled surface of the old bowls
design talk
Phillipe's ale hens
Happy students
My friend Paul working at the grinder
Philippe showing a student the technique
bark canoes
bark canoes
the canoe in the forground is a 120 year old style long nose canoe, the the big fur trade boat in the back.

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