The Apprenticeship Project Continues- Update/Reboot

Winter has finally arrived in northern Wisconsin. We've seen sub zero(f) temps and plenty of snow. This year, February sees me in my shop every day and in a making groove. I've been turning lots of end grain handled mugs and developing a few other designs that I want to offer to my product line. I'm digging it. If folks really want a daily feed you should follow me over on Instagram. I've also been tying my hand at the long-form style of Instagram posts lately, they are like a mini blog post. As usual I try to add some thought provoking material to these posts inspired by our daily life here, making traditional handcraft.

Over the month of January a fellow named Charlie Ryland stayed with us as an intro apprentice. He's spent the month working with me and a few days working with April. Charlie has a pretty good foundation in woodworking and was a great help around the shop. For the apprentice work we focused a lot of our time together on spoon carving. I taught him how to rough out blanks and billets to my specifications. Later we carved spoons side by side in order to get him vetted into The Greenwood Spooncarvers Collective (I'll write more on that soon enough) and also add to my inventory of eating spoons I sell on my web shop.  Charlie also helped me sort some of my ideas on handcraft, having to listen to me talk endlessly about art, craft, design, intention, and all the wild tangential subjects and roads I like to go down. He also helped sort some of the ideas we've had for the ongoing apprenticeship projects we have here at our place.

As for the apprentice project I wrote about in a post or two ago, with critiques on this blog, I'm sorry to write that I had to end it for now, due to a few unexpected circumstances. Sorry for dropping the ball on that one, maybe someday?  

I am hell bent on the focus though....

I still am working toward adding an apprenticeship opportunity here with me and my work. I've learned a lot over the past few months and I'm slowly building up more ideas as to how to work it for the long term. At some point both April and I would like to see long term apprenticeships here for as long as 7-10 months.  It'll take quite a commitment on both ours and the would be apprentice's parts but we are committed to the idea. We feel that a long term experience will be the only way to impart, share, and teach some of the core fundamentals of traditional craft. Immersion is a key factor.

As we flush out ideas, temper our experiences with desired outcomes, and think about how to transfer skill, thinking, perspective, lifestyle and all that goes into making a living making traditional handcraft I'll keep updating our experiences here.

Stay tuned.....

For the rise of the craftperson class... 

One of April's hand pounded black ash, pack baskets ready to final rim lashing. Almost ready to send to it's new owner.

a batch or handled mugs ready for the oil/wax bath. These can only be turned on a pole lathe.

spoons get carved here and there. 

Jarrod Dahl1 Comment