Archive for September, 2011

Carvings from the Gathering

September 19, 2011 2 comments

Well I am nothing if not prolific in my carving.  I would love to say it was a hobby, but as you can see it boarders on obsession.

There are a couple of Walnut spoons and a small ladle.  I like the gray color since most Nebraska walnut is pretty dark.  There is also a Honey Locust scoop with a chipped carved handle that goes all of the way around, and finally a Lilac stir or large spreader.  Yuri gave me a few of these Lilac blanks that were Frank’s.  They are fun to carve as they are essentially straight sticks and you have  provide the insight to make them pop to life.

I can not wait to go back to the Gathering and I hope they let me teach again.

Categories: Honey Locust, Walnut


September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I love to carve spatulas.  I think they are the most used item in our kitchen.  For a beginner they do not require a hook or crooked knife. Although I do like to make the front slightly concave.  The back is convex in both directions making a very shallow sphere.  Spatulas usually come from the top half of a crook.  These 2 are Walnut and an Honey Locust and were carved at the Traditional Ways Gathering.  Both have some chip carving details and the Honey Locust is wrapped in waxed hemp.

I should be able to sell them for $20 each which puts a few dollars in my pocket.

Categories: Honey Locust, Spatula, Walnut Tags:

Buckthorn and Box wood frog

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is another Frog based spoon.  I carved one like this several years ago and I liked the contrast in wood.  The frog is box wood that started as a square with a hole thru the middle.  The frog is then carved around the spoon allowing the legs to wrap around the handle.  The picture is pretty shabby as my camera is on its last hours of life.

Old Crooked Knife

September 11, 2011 2 comments

One of the neat things about the Gathering was the trade blanket.  In this event people take turns laying out items they would like to trade.  Once you lay out an item any other person can lay down another item in trade.  You can barter or choose to accept, or not, any of the offerings.  The catch is there is no talking.  I scored this old hook knife in one such trade offering up a pair of Crab Apple Salad Tongs.  It right handed, but I think I can create a bevel on both sides with a bit of work.  Hopefully it will not take me three years like the walnut handle in the last post.

The story on the this knife is that it was found in the 60’s in an old mine in northern WI.  No other information was known and I am excited to have it.

Categories: Carving Knife Tags: , ,

Walnut Carving Knife – Pinewood Forge blade

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

A few years ago, I bought a blade from Del at Pinewood forge with expectations of making my own handle.  Well better late than never.  The handle is walnut and somewhat mimics Del’s handles.  I carved the frog on the end since I like to carve frogs – go figure.  I am pretty pleased with how it turned out and it carved well.

You can and should check out Pinewood Forge.  Del is a master at knife making, and he and Mary (his wife) are first class people in general.  I highly recommend all of his knifes and if you feel up to it make your own handle like I did.  Only don’t wait three years.



Categories: Uncategorized

Ash Basket

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is the nice ash basket that April made for my wife.  Watching the work that goes into harvesting the ash and sizing the material makes one appreciate it even more.  The ash log is pounded which allows the growth rings to be peeled.  The wood is then soaked and sized.  My explanation is pretty sad, but luckily April has a much better description on her and Jarrod’s site.

Thanks again to April for making this basket for us.  It will see much use at the local farmers markets.


Categories: Uncategorized

Traditional Ways Gathering

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently had the opportunity to attend a traditional ways gathering in WI.  The setting was a stretch of beach along lake Superior.  I was camped maybe 30 yards from the water.  Being a Nebraska boy it was hard to tell the difference from the ocean.  I arrived Saturday morning and was greeted by my friend Jarrod one of the organizers.  After a brief conversion I set up camp.  I am slowly turning my Jeep into a micro RV as it easily sleeps 1 and could do 2 if needed.  Others arrived through out the day – mostly instructors who were to arrive on Sat.  My friend Yuri and his family set up camp close to mine.  This was my first actual teaching gig, but Yuri had done this before so I followed his lead.  Sunday we all set up shop for a symposium of sorts where arriving gatherers could see what skills they could work on through out the week.  It was hard to keep track of all the happening, but here are some that I can remember.

Long Bow Making, Hide tanning, knitting, needle work, earth oven sculpture, wilderness cooking, knife making, earth insulation, singing, dancing, yoga, writing and that is not even half.  Yuri was focusing on eating spoons, and I was working on spatulas.

I taught my first class on Monday afternoon and again on Wednesday.  On the off days I carved and mentored attendees as we socialized for hours.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot about what works and what I need to alter and improve the next go around.

In total about 15 people came thru the classes with maybe 10 finished spatulas completed.  It was great to see success.

The picture below is just a small representation of the gathering, but you should check out their website as it explains far better than I ever could.  I meet many people I can now call friends and cannot wait to go back again.

Lake Superior Traditional Ways Gathering


Categories: Uncategorized