The week-long class focused on making kitchen items from wood, which appealed to me as I was interested in improving my spoon carving ability and developing strategies for carving more efficiently.
I really like the idea of making wood items by hand without the use of machines like a lathe or bandsaw particularly because axes and knives are so portable and can be taken on the road. While Barron Brown at Earthskills introduced me to some carving techniques with spoons, the class with Bob and Doug helped me take those skills to the next level.
During the week at Arrowmont, I improved control of axe and adze and certainly must have increased my upper body strength. Trying some new tools allowed me to develop a desire to acquire new tools — including sharpening tools and axes designed specifically for carving. (I’ll write about those axes in a future post.)
Everyone in class had different interests and each used his/her independent time to pursue those personal projects.
A special project for me was making two bowls from the same cherry tree. Bob used a chainsaw to cut the two companion pieces from the tree trunk. Doug had designed a holder for carving bowls, and I truly enjoyed using it to use to hold wood while I cut with my adze.
How interesting to see the differences between the two sister bowls – one carved and the other turned.
I also experimented with paint and woodburning on handles of knives that I carved.
A highlight was being able to take what I do well – my handmade Native American style flutes — and trade with others. Doug and Bob exchanged one of their a handcrafted bowls each for one of my handmade Native American style flutes.
Having a week to immerse myself in carving and turning with skilled instructors to provide instruction and answer my many questions was terrific. If you get a chance to work with Bob and Doug, don’t hesitate to take the opportunity!