Friday, August 27, 2010

Country Workshops with Jögge Sundqvist

I made it down to Country Workshops for one day only before stomach problems chased me back home, but it was well worth the drive.

Jögge Sundqvist is an excellent instructor and extremely likable person. I learned a ton of things from him in a short period of time, such as: the correct way to use an axe and adze, and the details that must be considered in bowl design.

The finished thickness of the walls and floor of the bowl is about 5/16". The ends, however, need to be three times as thick to account for the endgrain. Bowls are canted on the ends so the endgrain fibers are increased in length. This prevents liquid from leaching out of the ends and makes it less likely to crack.

Wooden bowls were used for all manner of things including dough, meat, and milk. In Norway and Sweden, "ale geese" bowls were made to hold beer.

During class, logs were split (taking care to avoid the pith), bark was removed, insides were hollowed, and outsides were carved to shape.

There are several ways to dry a bowl at this point. If it's small enough, you can use a microwave. Larger bowls can be stored in paper bags with air holes (which may result in spalting, so be careful) or wrapped in cloth and stowed in the basement or other cool place. You can even bury it in a pile of shavings for a few weeks.

If you carve green wood, as we did, you'll have to wait until the bowl is dry to achieve a finished, smooth surface.

I missed the days spent on spoon carving and proper knife holds, unfortunately, but I have Jögge's video, Carving Swedish Woodenware, for reference.

There are still spaces available in Jögge's next class, which is September 6-11. The video below will give you some idea of the layout and class structure.

The owners, Drew and Louise Langsner, couldn't be more gracious. They are sweet, gentle people and Louise is a heck of a cook.

When you take a class at Country Workshops, you become part of the family. The informal, friendly atmosphere and rustic, remote setting can provide the perfect getaway from a hectic life.

The spoons above were carved by Jögge Sundqvist. The bowl was carved by Drew Langsner.

You can view the video in a larger format here.

Designs for the bowl dogs we used at Country Workshops can be found in their free online newsletter.


Dyami Plotke said...

Sorry to hear you have to leave early, but I'm glad you made it home safe.

Considering you were only there for one day, you learned a ton! Thanks for sharing it with us and enjoy using your newly learned axe skills (I know you've got a soft spot for them).

Charles "Sunshine" Davis said...

Great vid! Especially for only being able to stay one day. This is one class that I'd like to take one day... the tools, the environment... seems like it would be very enjoyable skill to learn in a very pleasing to the soul environement.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman said...

This stuff is great! Thanks for taking the time and sharing. Hope you feel better soon!

Jake said...

Thanks, I really love the background music selection. You are so cool.

Anonymous said...

Cool video & great music. That looks like a really fun class.
W have our mo-jo's turned on full blast for your speedy recovery.
Thanks Kari.

John Cashman said...

It breaks my heart to hear you had such a short and painful trip. I hope you are back to your old self soon.

JimK said...

Sorry to hear you had to cut your class short. I know you must be terribly disappointed. Hopefully you'll be able to go back soon and finish the class... or maybe a trip to Sweden is in order.
Get Well Soon... we're all rooting for you. ;-)

Vic Hubbard said...

Another GREAT video, Kari. I'm sorry you still feel so horrible. If your doctor doesn't get you feelin' well soon, tell him/her I'm flyin' out to knock him/her up side the head!! Happy Birthday, too ;o) I hope you and Nancy have a wonderful day together. You two are a couple of my all time favorite people!!

Gye Greene said...

OK -- I'll bite: Why would you need to go thru special procedures to dry a bowl? Can'cha just put it on a shelf (out of direct sunlight) and wait a few months?


Gye Greene said...

Oh: Glad you were able to make at least **one** day...


Kari Hultman said...

Dyami, I'm so glad I made it for one day at least. He's a great instructor.

Sunshine, it's very peaceful and laid back. A perfect vacation for many woodworkers.

Thanks, TAATJ!

Jake, glad you liked it. :o) (Cool? you haven't met me yet. I'm a goofball.)

Thanks, Anon. It was a great class, due in part to the other students—a fun bunch of guys.

Thanks, John. I feel better and am just waiting for more tests. Sounds like it might be my gall bladder. I'm hoping they'll need to remove it and that it weighs 10 pounds. heh.

Jim, a trip to Sweden would be great!

Thanks, Vic. I feel better and have a large bag of tricks for when the nausea hits again, so it's cool. You're one of our favorite people, too!!! I wish you and Sylvia were going to WIA, because we will both be there.

Gye, that's a great question. It's very likely that the bowl will crack on the ends if you just sit it on a shelf to dry. This is because the ends dry more quickly than the inside of the bowl (since grain is essentially like a bunch of straws). By wrapping it and storing it in a cool place, you slow the drying process so the bowl can dry evenly. Air, sun, heat, and wind will dry your bowl more quickly and should be avoided.

Gordon Meffert said...

Kari -
Very nice video and music "High on a Mountain Top". Is this music available? I haven't been able to find it. Thanks for sharing. Get Well.

Kari Hultman said...

Gordon, the song is "High On A Mountaintop" by Loretta Lynn. It's from the album she made with Jack White (of the White Stripes) called "Van Wilder."

Liz said...

Kari, your video and posts make me want to make bowls and spoons!

I hope you feel better soon ... I had the whole gall bladder thing a couple years back and it's no fun at all. One tip -- limit your intake of fats. That helped me feel ok until the surgery.

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks, Liz. I suppose that means I should lay off the ice cream. : (

Unknown said...

Kari, we missed you. One thing we tried to convince Jogge was to add some of the class content to his website. He is considering add at least discriptions and possibly short videos covering the "grasps".

He is worried about too much of his material getting "into the wild". He does make his living by his crafts and his workshops.

It is hard to balance the time needed to do a great marketing job on the net and need to protect oneself from intellectual property theft and plain old share or evangelizing ideas that need spreading. (This may be an topic for a near future blog post.

Steve Branam said...

Great video! I like the big heavy carving benches they've made out of 2x10's bolted together, with the Veritas Wonder Dog and upside-down pipe clamps to hold the work in place. I froze and rewatched those parts of the video a number of times. If Jogge does consent to putting some of this online, my vote would for some info about those. I made a small one of these bowls several years ago using Drew's book, and the hardest part was just holding the chunk of log in place.

So sorry you only got to stay one day. I hope you'll get a chance to go back soon.

james conrad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kari Hultman said...

Will, I was sorry to leave for more reasons than just the class. I would have liked to have gotten to know everyone better. For people like Jogge, there is definitely a fine line between offering too much free info and not enough marketing, as you pointed out. I guess the trick is to show just enough to entice people— sort of like a movie trailer.

Steve--yeah! I loved the benches. They were calling them bowl dogs. That's why I showed them so much in the video--I thought that people might like to make their own. Those were not made by Jogge--they belonged to the students who brought them to class. I was very sorry to miss the knife grasps, which they covered the day before I arrived.

Jan Michael Hedlund said...

Jögge isnt he from Sweden iam from sweden so i know who he is

Kari Hultman said...

Jan Michael, yes he is from Sweden. I believe he's from the northern region. The weather, he said, is similar to Alaska—six months of round the clock sun and six months of nighttime. said...

Hi: I found your picture of 4 spoons that is in this Blog post, over on Creative Commons. Did you put it there? Or do you need to tell them it’s yours? I have used it to promote Greenwoodworking and spooncarving. Should I stop and purge it from everywhere I have used it?
Hoping you are well
Karl F Newman

Kari Hultman said...

Thank you for letting me know, Karl. It's okay to use the photo.