Friday, February 26, 2010

Woodworking is Truth, Truth Woodworking

If only the poetry we studied in high school had been like the following, I might have actually enjoyed it.

As it was, reading poetry at best bored me and at worst frustrated me. I was like, "Geez, get to the point!"

But in Drew Langsner's latest newsletter from Country Workshops, he included some poems that 6th and 7th grade students wrote in a class taught by his friend, a teacher in Saudi Arabia. The exercise was to write a poem about handmade spoons and butter paddles:

I enter the room

And see the wood blocks

Waiting to be carved.

~Haiku by Riya Benoy


plain, brown

chiseling, sanding, chiseling

It is almost done.

sanding, oiling, admiring

smooth, finished


~Diamante by Phillip Parent


Creativity comes in every way –

A block of wood might

Really be important,

Varying in shape and size –

Never ending forms, each spoon

Getting better each day.

~Acrostic by Taylor Bell

A rough block of wood,



Beautiful with walnut oil,

First light, then dark.


~Free Verse by Kaily Saltaformaggio

Making things with our hands is a form of poetry. And I was lucky enough to enroll in a hand tool class being taught by Jögge Sundqvist this summer at Country Workshops where we'll learn to make bowls and spoons, Swedish style.

Hopefully, I'll come away from the course well versed in making them.


The spoons in the top photo were carved by Jögge Sundqvist.

The spoons in the second photo were carved by Drew Langsner.


EMBO said...

And perhaps write your own Ode on a Swedish Spoon?

Pete said...


Have fun at the class. I aim to take at least one chairmaking class from Drew- his book is great, I'm sure any classes there are fantastic. I'm sure you know they teach blacksmithing/tool making classes there as well.

Also, I think you'll like this:*+from+Item_e1+WHERE+Status%3C%3E%27Hidden%27+and+ItemClass1%3D%27Gift+Sets+%26+Craftsman%27%27s+Collections%27+and+ItemClass2%3D%27Planes+with+decorative+touch%27
It's a long link but worth the effort...


Kari Hultman said...

Emily, well played!

Pete--thanks for the link!!! What a cool dragon plane. I saved the images to a folder for reference. I'm really looking forward to the class at C.W. Peter Follansbee will be in the same class as well, which will be fun.

Dave Brock said...

A great extension to a worthy carving project. The poetry brings everything full circle. Excellent!

rgdaniel said...

I think of pen turning as the haiku of woodworking... I've managed a few decent sonnets as well... but not yet ready to dive into anything in the "epic" category...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a poet so I won't even try. But I was at Woodcraft and the had this 3x3x12 piece of Macassar Ebony. I kept turning the piece over and over and seeing a marble esque vase in it. I could pass it up so I bought the wood.

Once I buy a lathe I'll let you know if I freed the vase.

Tico Vogt said...

Hi Kari,
Country Workshops is the greatest! I went there with my young family in 1994 for a week of bowl and spoon carving. The Langsners are incredible hosts and what they offer in food,knowledge,and the land they have worked is totally inspiring. I'll e-mail you a couple pictures of
two carved pieces I completed.

Good choice in vacation selection.


Kari Hultman said...

Dave, it was a thoughtful project for the students. I just hope the same isn't expected of us at Country Workshops. :D

Bob, woodworking and turning is poetry in and of itself. And you've made some very lovely haikus on your lathe.

Michael, what a great phrase!

Tico, I've heard wonderful things about the workshops and the cooking. That it's located so far off the beaten path is also appealing.

Unknown said...

Kari, turns out we're not going to meet this summer. Jogge's first class filled before I could get in. I'm in the second class that starts a couple of weeks later. I begged and pleaded with Drew to get in the class you are in and no go.

I'm really looking forward to the class. The Langsners sound like such fun people.

Kari Hultman said...

Will, I'm sorry to hear I won't get to meet you. I was looking forward to taking the class with two friends (you and Peter Follansbee). I'm glad you were able to get into the second class, though. I'm not surprised it filled up as quickly as it did.

kanishk said...
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