JARROD DAHL P.O. Box 1 Ashland WI 54806
JARROD DAHL has been working with wood professionally since 1996 and making and selling his work through the business name Woodspirit Handcraft since 2007. He sells at his online web shop, at classes and events, and in shops and galleries throughout the country. He teaches workshops locally, nationally and internationally, and focuses on a range of traditional wooden handcrafts and hand tool skills. These include spoon carving, turning with a foot powered lathe, a wide range of basketry and general green woodworking.
His current focus as a maker is woodturning and spoon carving. He specializes in using a foot-powered spring pole lathe and carving spoons with axe and knife. He is one of the leading pole lathe turners in the world. His skills include turning nested bowls and end grain cups with integral handles from one piece of wood. He also designs and forges his own turning hooks. He has recently expanded his turning interests by building and incorporating a Japanese electric lathe into his turning repertoire. He traveled to Japan in 2018 & 2019 to study and learn from woodturners in the turning villages of Ishikawa Prefecture and Takayama.
He is an advocate for Traditional Crafts, for their use and relevance in daily life and promoting the skills needed to make them. Through teaching, Jarrod has passed on his knowledge and experience to thousands of students from university continuing education courses to community centers on Ojibwe reservations. He shares his knowledge of harvesting natural materials, the use of simple hand tools, and a deeper philosophical, historical and pragmatic approach to handcrafts, with course participants. He is proud to be one of the most proficient instructors in his field. Among the many skills he shares with students are knife carving, steam bending, harvesting root, willow, and birch bark, basketry, making cradle boards, toboggans, building birch bark canoes, and forging tools.
Jarrod often travels to teach and has a commitment to cultural craft exchange. He also has had apprentices who engage in more in-depth study with Jarrod from 3 weeks to several months, from the US and Japan. Through his travels, coupled with his deep interest in and advocacy for traditional crafts, and his participation in social media, he has made connections and maintained friendships with craftspeople around the world regardless of their genre of choice. He has brought many international instructors to the US to share their knowledge and skills. Connecting with the global craft community is something he continues to do on a daily basis and believes is very important.
As a designer and maker Jarrod has had an impact on the green wood working community through sharing his designs and process as a maker. Among the many designs he has developed for end grain cups and mugs, he is particularly known for refining his production of an Irish drinking vessel called a Lamhog which can only be made on a pole lathe because of its integrated handle. He has designed spoons and locking lidded boxes based on traditional Swedish and Norwegian designs. He has developed designs for Scandinavian ale bowls and Japanese soup bowls. His style as a designer has been described as subtle, without decoration, and focused on the purity of curve and form. Currently Jarrod is using a Japanese style electric lathe and urushi lacquer on his work in addition to traditional milk paint and linseed oil finish.
Jarrod has maintained a blog since 2011 and writes articles for various publications including Mortise & Tenon Magazine and Popular Woodworking. He is currently writing a book on Pole Lathe Turning that will be published through Lost Art Press in 2020. Over the past few years Jarrod has spent time in museum archives and collections in Japan, the United States, Sweden and the UK, studying and researching older work which is a very influential part of his inspiration as a craftsperson.
Jarrod has experience in working with governing bodies, in a leadership role and as a team member. Jarrod was an organizer and founding member of Traditional Ways Gathering, a primitive skills sharing festival of more than 200 participants. He has been Board President for the local food co-op and is currently a Lead Instructor at North House Folk School as an advisor for the blacksmithing, basketry, and woodcarving programs and facilities. Jarrod has an in depth understanding of governance systems and group dynamics. He has studied and supports the Policy Governance System.
The ideas and/or ethos surrounding craft is something that Jarrod thinks about in depth and from a big picture viewpoint. His ideas can be critical, thought provoking, and expressed openly to raise the status of the traditional crafts, the people making it and how our culture sees these craft objects—their use and place in our modern world.
Full Time, Greenwoodworker/Maker/Craftsperson, Northern Wisconsin — 2007-Present
Making, marketing, and selling traditional wooden and birch bark handcraft online and through select galleries, teaching handcraft nationally and internationally, writing/advocating for traditional handcrafts, birch bark canoe builder. (see Craft Instructor below)
Craft Instructor/Lecturer/Demonstrator, 2001-Present
Private Lessons, Group Classes and Workshops, Festivals, Events, Craft and Folk Schools, Universities, Museums, and Tribal Cultural Centers. Includes workshops on ash basketry, birch bark basketry and canisters, spoon carving, bowl and cup carving, timber framing, snowshoe building and weaving, toboggan building, birch bark canoe building, pole lathe turning, riving and splitting wood, carving canoe paddles, Cree snow shovel making, forging and making crooked knives, pole lathe hooks and other woodworking tools, design, skill building and decorating workshops, shrink pots and other greenwood working projects. Guiding and training apprentices, short-term interns, and assistants in greenwood working and handcraft business practices.
Lead Instructor, North House Folk School, Grand Marais MN—April 2017-present
Teaching workshops, supporting and guiding school interns, assisting in instructor retreats and events, recruiting new instructors within the US and abroad, part of a committee that is exploring what the schools mission means and its role in the broader craft culture of the US and beyond. Instructor- 2009-Present—Currently teaching 3-5 workshops annually including Spoon Carving two times a year, Pole lathe turning, and a five day workshop called All from One Tree
Custom Home Builder/Carpenter/Woodworker, Northern Wisconsin—1998-2007
Self-employed/General Contractor specializing in log and timber construction, custom dormer builds, wooden shingle roofs. Building design and drafting. Sign carving, cabinetry, finish carpentry, general carpentry.
Boat Building Apprentice, Seasonal, Northern Wisconsin—1997-2000
Wooden boat restoration, new boat construction, lofting, finish work; paint and varnish
Blacksmith Apprentice, Part-time, Northern Wisconsin—1997-1998
Basic smithing operations and assisting with various projects and tasks
COURSES, EVENTS, ARTICLES, & AWARDS
May 2019 “Craft from America 2019”, Gallery Cadocco, Tokyo, Japan, Jarrod’s work exhibited along with other craftspeople from the US, led by Entoten Gallery, San Diego, CA.
May 2019, Instructor, Port Townsend School of Woodworking, 2-day Spoon Carving Course & 5-day Greenwood Working Course,
May 2019, Instructor, Hearth Folk School, Sebastopol, CA, 2 day pole lathe turning
May 2019, Instructor, Oakland, CA, 2 day spoon carving at the O2 Compound
April 2019, Instructor, North House Folk School, 4 day spoon carving workshop
April 2019, Instructor, Ashland WI, taught workshop on the pedagogy of teaching spoon carving
March 2019, North House Folk School, attended annual instructor retreat.
March 2019, Gifu, Japan, Studied Urushi lacquer application techniques with Madoka Kutsuwa
March 2019, Takayama, Japan, Studied woodturning turning techniques and tool forging with master woodturner Kawakami Kenichi
March 2019, Mino-shi, Japan, Instructor, Gifu Forest Academy, Taught One Tree: 5 day green woodworking workshop
March 2019, was part of the organizing team that invited and hosted Japanese Woodworkers, Shinichi Moriguchi and Masashi Kutsuwa to North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN for Wood Week Event
November 2018-present, hired and currently training Joey Traynor in green woodworking, spoon carving and turning.
Oct 2018, Instructor, North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN, 3-day Pole Lathe Turning workshop
Oct 2018, Instructor, North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN, 3-day Spoon Carving workshop
Sept 2018 Recipient of the Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board to train Jonah Lindsley in Green Wood Working.
Sept 2018, Instructor, Plymouth Craft, Plymouth MA, 2 1/2 day Birch Bark Canister class
Sept 2018, Instructor, Peter Galbert School of Woodworking, NH, 2-day Spoon Carving
Sept 2018, Instructor, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport ME, 5-day Greenwood Working course.
August 2018, Instructor, Spoonfest, Edale, UK, Pre-fest Advanced Spoon Carving course and 3 short workshops.
June-July 2018, Hosted and trained Masataka Iwahashi (from Japan) in pole lathe turning and spoon carving
June 2018, Co-Instructor, North House Folk School, 2-day Spoon Carving
May 2018, Instructor, Port Townsend School of Woodworking, 5-day Greenwood Working class, and 2-day Spoon Carving
May 2018, Instructor, Sebastopol, CA, 2-day Spoon Carving
April 2018, Recipient of an Artist Development Grant from Chequamegon Bay Arts Council to Study Japanese Lacquerware and Turning Techniques in Japan.
April 2018, Instructor, Ashland WI, Taught two-day Spoon Carving workshop
April 2018, Instructor, Ashland WI, Taught a three-day Spoon Carving for Instructors workshop.
April 2018, Instructor/facilitator/presenter, North House Folk School Annual Instructor Retreat, Grand Marais, MN. Co-taught a 2 day Spoon Carving workshop, facilitated group discussions, and gave a photo presentation on my travels in Japan.
April 2018, The Quest for Mastery Through Production Work, article published in Mortise and Tenon Magazine
March 2018, Instructor, Craft House, Fukushima, Japan. Taught a 2 day pole lathe workshop on lidded boxes.
March 2018, Student of Takehito Nakajima, Master woodturner, Yamanaka Onsen, Ishikawa, Japan. Studied with Takehito-san for 3 days focusing on forging turning hooks and turning technique on Yamanaka style lathe.
March 2018, Instructor, Gifu Forest Academy, Gifu, Japan. Taught a 5 day Greenwood working workshop
November 2017-March 2018- hosted and trained Tom Bartlett in pole lathe turning and spoon carving.
October 2017-Instructor/presenter Gothenburg, Sweden, Pole Lathe Turning workshop in Gothenburg and lectures/demonstrations at museums in Borås and Skara with support from Hemslojden, Sweden.
September 2017-Instructor, Brook House Wood, Herefordshire, UK, pole lathe turning-locking lidded boxes and handled vessels.
Septemeber 2017-Instructor, Green Wood Guild, London UK, two beginners pole lathe turning workshops
June 2017—Recipient of Traditional Crafts Apprenticeship Grant from the Arts Board of Pennsylvania. To teach Jeff Kuchak pole lathe turning and spoon carving for 2 weeks.
June 2017—Instructor/presenter Greenwood Fest 2017, an international greenwoodworking event, Plymouth, MA, US
September 2016—Instructor, Port Townsend School of Woodworking, Port Townsend, WA
August 2016—Instructor/presenter Taljfest, international wood carving event at Saterglantan Craft School, Injon, Sweden, Recipient of the Slojd Fellowship Award for achievement as a craftsperson in the Green Wood Working Tradition.
August 2011-2016—Instructor/presenter SpoonFest, international spoon carving event, Edale, UK
August 2016—Turned Handled Vessels, article published in Popular Woodworking Magazine
August 2016—Woodnote, short essay published in Living Wood Magazine
June 2016—Instructor/presenter, Greenwood Fest 2016, Plymouth MA
October 2015—The Art of Spoon Carving, How-to-DVD filmed and published in partnership with Popular Woodworking Magazine
October 2015—Presenter/Instructor, Fresh Cut Wood Turning Symposium, North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN
September 2015—Presenter at Woodworking in America, national woodworking convention Kansas City, MO
August 2015—Museum/archive research, Jorvik Center, York UK, pole lathe turned vessels circa 1200AD
May 2015—Presenter, Handworks, National Hand tool event, Amana, IA
September 2014—Instructor/presenter, Skedfest, Spoon carving event, Nynas, Sweden
September 2014—Lecturer, Boras, Linkoping, Goteborg, Sweden
September 2014—Museum/Archive Research on pole lathe turned vessels circa 1600-1800ad, Boras, Sweden
August 2002-2014—Instructor, Traditional Ways Gathering, a traditional skills sharing event, Odanah, WI
July 2014—Museum/Archive Research, Vesterhiem, Norwegian American Museum, Deborah, IA, turned ale bowls, wooden spoons
2007-2016—Birch Bark Canoe builder. I have built 10 canoes to date. 1-10 foot, 3-16 foot, 2-12 foot, 4 -14 foot boats. Taught 4 people how to build them two of which have gone on to build more.
2000-2014—Taught 100’s of workshops in toboggan building, snowshoe making, spoon carving, green-woodworking, cradle board making, basketry, blacksmithing at a variety of venues, Northland College, University of Stevens Point-Treehaven, Bad River, Red Cliff, St.Croix Bands of Ojibwa Indians, Porcupine Mnt Folk School, Clear Water Folk School.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES
2011-2017—Elected and served on Chequamegon Food Cooperative’s Board of Directors. Board President for 3 years; one of which was during the coops expansion to new store location.
2002-2018—Board of Directors, Traditional Ways, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to sharing traditional skills. The organization runs an annual, week long, skills gathering that is attended by over 200 people. Instructor Coordinator which involves organizing over 50 workshops taught by 30-40 instructors.
1999-2001—Member and part of the founding team that formed Trout Brook Timber Frame, a worker’s owned cooperative specializing in timber frame construction in Northern Wisconsin.
2000-2001—Founding Board Member of the Clear Water Folk School, a 501(c)3 non-profit folk school in the Chequamegon Bay Area in Northern Wisconsin