May and then into Summer

     It's been a whirl wind since the snow melted. This is a good thing but it always takes me by surprise. I sometimes think that humans relate to time differently in the summer than in the winter. We perceive time differently. In the winter time seems to move slow, you can set out to do all kinds of things in a week and get them done at what seems to be a leisurely pace. Summer time, you sit outside and enjoy the morning, take two sips of coffee and an hour has gone by! Maybe it's all the energy. The forest is full of life, growing leaves, worms rustling leaves (yes you can here them), bees bouncing around looking for things to pollinate, birds of all kinds and they're song, the spring songs are the best. They are full of life set about to create new life. There is a lot going on in spring. I'm part of it as well. Within a few more days I'll be used to the new pace.
    I been working with a museum in Sweden that is having a wooden spoon event and exhibition. I was invited to be one of the highlighted craftperson for the exhibit. I've sent a few of my pole lathe turned bowls, some spoons, and a turned lidded box that has a locking lid. It's interesting and an honor to have been invited. As many of you know I am greatly inspired by the wooden items of Scandinavia. The area I live in, was born and raised in here in Northern Wisconsin is full of the ancestors of Swedish and Norwegian immigrants. I grew up seeing some of the items I create today as a child in the houses of my family and friends. So, it's a great feeling to be part of this exhibition. There is also a spoon carving competition they are hosting and 2 of my spoons made the top 15 out of 200 or so spoons from all over the world. I'm not really the competitive type but it is good to see where you stand in hopes to improve. Here's the spoons that made the top 15. The final vote will be later in August at their Spoonfest which I'll be attended. So I'll be able to see all these great spoons in person. I'll also be teaching a few short classes on spoon carving and design, and giving a talk on cross cultural inspiration and the Internet. I hope to get to a historic bowl turning region while I'm there and visit there museum. It's filled with all kinds of pole lathe turned items. What fun!

     I taught a birch bark canister class at north house last weekend. This is always a good class. I had a blast and the great folks in it made some really nice boxes and canisters. I've used up all my bark reserves so now the pressure is on to get some more for the next year. I did a details write up on how to make these a while back check it out here if you missed it.

    Another highlight to the early summer is a visit from some friends from England. Robin and his daughter JoJo Wood. They will be here for a few weeks helping to build a birch bark canoe and then go for a 2 day paddle in it. You have all seen some of my past posts on the process, but I'll be posting about it again as construction unfolds. We will also be attending The Spoon Gathering down in Milan Mn. This is the countries only spoon carving event so far. It attracts some of the best carvers from around the Midwest but also in the country. It's always a great time with a lot of spoon geeks to chat with. Robin will also be teaching a bowl turning class at North House Folk School. It's full now, but he will be giving a presentation at both North House and The Spoon Gathering on what he calls Adventures in Woodworking. This will be an overview of some for the cool projects he's been involved with over the years. A must attend if you can make it. I'm looking forward to seeing some of JoJo's spoons. In my opinion she is one of the best spoons carvers around. A real inspiration for all of us but also young folks and growing number women carvers.

    My thoughts are still surrounding the ideas of craft, green wood working groups, influencing markets for handmade and handcrafts place in the world and our culture, apprenticeships, helping to create a new way of thinking about what we do and how it influences the world around us. The list is extensive and at the moment I'm trying to tie it all together in my head which may prove to be useless but I'll see where it goes. I'm not ready to write much yet on all that deeper stuff, I got bowls to turn and spoons to carve.

What's a post with some photos...