Thursday, June 3, 2010

Things Are Shaping Up

In preparation for the class I'm taking in August at Country Workshops on making traditional Swedish woodenware, I've been practicing making spoons.

While watching Jögge Sundqvist's video is helping me improve, and my spoons are starting to look more usable, I still don't quite "get" carving.

I'm used to building up, not taking away. As a graphic designer, I add things to a blank page; I build up a composition. In woodworking, we join pieces together to build a table or chair. But in spoon carving, you take everything away from the wood blank that doesn't resemble a spoon.

I've learned a few things along the way: carving green wood is much easier than dry; keeping an eye on your support hand's location in relation to the knife is a must; straight-grained wood is best for carving; chia pets are the best gifts ever.
Not only are my spoons shaping up, so am I. My current physique is called "pome-pear" and that's not going to help matters when I'm swinging an axe and adze and gasping for air.

So I've started walking four miles, doing thirty pushups, and eating 1400 calories or less each day (granted, I'm only on day number three).

At class this summer, I'll be rubbing elbows with Peter "HatchetMan" Follansbee, and I don't want to seem as green to carving as the wood we're chopping.