Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DVD Review: Carving Swedish Woodenware

I first heard about the Carving Swedish Woodenware dvd (1990) from a blog post by Peter Follansbee and immediately contacted Drew Langsner about purchasing a copy.

Jögge Sundqvist packs a huge amount of information into one hour and shows you with complete clarity how to make a dough bowl and spoon using only hand tools.

First, he splits a log in two and explains why he chooses one half over the other for the dough bowl. Then, he uses his axe to create a flat surface on the convex side that will become the bottom of the bowl. He rough-shapes the inside with an adze and explains the proper tool grip and stance for maximum leverage.

Next, he uses gouges to finish the inside, then works the outside with an axe. Jögge talks during the entire film, explaining safe procedures, bowl design, and tool use.

When the outside of the bowl is shaped, he refines it at the workbench with spokeshave, drawknife, and plane.

I was surprised to see that he did not use a shaving horse. Instead, he worked the dough bowl on a workbench and tree stump and carved the spoons in his lap.

The second half of the film shows how to carve spoons. He shows two ways to rough out the shape: with a turning saw and with an axe. He explains what to look for when choosing a branch and how to shape the spoon for ease of use.

Always safety conscious, Jögge spends a lot of time explaining proper knife grips and how, by using these techniques, you cannot cut yourself.

He shapes the spoons with straight and crooked knives and gouges, and then shows how to carve decorative elements.

Jögge uses linseed oil (not boiled) on spoons and bowls for a natural finish.

The photo above shows all the tools you need if you'd like to make your own woodenware. And the first "tool" on your list should be Jögge's video. I cannot say enough good things about it.


If you're interested in learning from Jögge in person, there is still room in one of the classes that he's teaching this summer at Country Workshops: Swedish Sloyd Craft