Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fort Hunter Day

Dan showed how to make a framed
panel by hand.
Two friends and I set up shop at Fort Hunter Day this past Sunday. We had a steady stream of interested folks stop by our tents throughout the day.

I demonstrated chip carving and dovetailing and learned a few things from the experience.

One woman who was a quilter mentioned that a particular knife cut I was making was called "pumpkin seed" in quilting. It's not surprising to hear that there's a crossover between crafts. In fact, many of the same patterns found in chip carving are also found in fraktur paintings.
Alan did some carving and
sharpened handsaws.

Another woman with an eastern European accent asked where I had seen the design that I had carved on my gothic stool. I told her it was from a book, and she said that she recognized the pattern. "Is traditional Transylvanian rosette," she said.  How cool is that??

One guy stopped by and asked me (tongue-in-cheek), "Where's your husband? He does nice work!" From that I learned to not set up my booth next to my friend (Dan) who had no doubt put him up to it.

My Transylvanian Gothic Stool.
We borrowed the spill plane that I  had made for the York Agricultural & Industrial Museum and shaved spills for the kids. After we explained what they were used for (the original matchstick), we told them that they were also Harry Potter wands. It was a big hit.

I had two boxes sitting near one another in my booth. One was a walnut and spalted maple sliding lid box with fine, thin dovetails. The other was a chip carved pine box with chunky, awkwardly large dovetails.

Without exception, every visitor who noticed the boxes reached for the chip carved box. Not one person commented on the walnut box. I think that most people look for furniture with dovetailed drawers because they've been told they're a sign of a well-made piece, but perhaps only another woodworker actually admires dovetails.

It seems to me that most non-woodworkers will notice ornamentation or interesting figure or a nice finish, but not joinery.  It makes sense.  We might not know what makes a good quality quilt, but we would certainly notice the fabric and colors.

We set up our booths at 7:15 that morning and broke down our tents by 6:30 p.m.  We were completely exhausted. The woman in charge of our area asked if we would consider doing it again next year and I said we'd think about it.

Yesterday, a friend sent me photos that he had taken that day. When I saw the last one, I forgot all about how tired I had been and decided right then I'd do it again. How could I say "no" to those faces?

The three photos from Fort Hunter were taken by Robert Newmyer. Thanks, Bob!


Ralph Boumenot said...

I wouldn't be able to say no to inquistive faces of those youngsters neither.

Anonymous said...

Ok .. that was quit a commercial for carving ("Without exception, every visitor reached for the chip carved box").

Must find time to learn how to carve! :o)

Kari Hultman said...

Ralph, I remember those two kids in particular. They were adorable.

Marilyn, I should add that Alan's Shaker oval boxes turn everyone's heads. They're gorgeous.

Robert Newmyer said...

To extend what you were saying above about joinery, I'd mention whitework quilts that are super intricate stitching on a white background. Casual buyers walk right past them, but the quilters are right there looking closely at the work.

Shannon said...

That last photo just about sums it up doesn't it. I experience the same thing every Saturday at the Steppingstone Museum (still looking for volunteer help BTW) when the kids come in wide eyed and wanting to try everything. Watching two tiny girls trying to power the treadle table saw was a blast, and seeing a little boy drill holes with an eggbeater contentedly for hours is something to witness. But above all, the spills get them every time! Kids of all ages just can't get enough of those curly things. Great work spreading the infection Kari!

Adam Weigand said...

Sorry I missed it Kari. Looks like you, and everyone one else had a great time!

Bob said...

Oh Kari.
I could spend way too much time perusing your posts, both past and present.
I think I would have been right there with those little guys watching in bright eyed admiration.
Well, until my feet and back started to complain of course. Their enthusiasm I could share. Their youthfulness is another thing altogether.
You're doing good. Do it!

Kari Hultman said...

Bob, maybe in most (all?) crafts, it's how a piece is made rather than the showy aspects that make it quality.

Shannon, I'm thinking about making another spill plane to take with me to shows since it was a huge hit. I have to return this one to the museum.

Adam, our guild needs to have another get-together soon. We met a couple folks whose shops would make great field trips.

Thanks, Bob! :o)

Steve Branam said...

Beautiful carving, Kari!

Calvin said...

Thanks for this useful post! Very inspiring. Love the crafts =)