Carving Bowls and Spoons

June 19 - 23 (Full)

In these tutorials you learn how to carve wooden spoons, ladles, butter knives and the hand-hewn half-log bowls similar to those that were in use throughout the forested world before the advent of factory made kitchenware. The woodworking techniques for our bowls and spoons are derived from Scandinavia, where woodcarving was common during the long, dark (and cold!) winters. The designs that inspire us today have evolved over many generations and are noted for their elegance, multifaceted form and practicality. Spoons are carved from tight grain; diffuse porous hardwoods – such as apple, birch, dogwood or maple.

Shaping begins with a small carving axe or bow saw. The form is developed and refined using a flat-beveled sloyd knife and various techniques known as “grasps.” Spoon hollows can be formed with a gouge or a hook-blade spoon knife. Hewed bowls can be made from almost any kind of wood, but the softer varieties are mostly preferred. We generally work with tulip poplar, which is fairly soft, but has fine, close grain fiber structure. The bowls are initially hollowed with a curved adze, which can have a short or medium length handle, or with a hefty striking gouge. The bowl exterior is blocked out using a carving axe. Finish work is done with a spokeshave, chisels and assorted paring gouges. The workshop has an especially fine selection of tools for these projects.

Drying woodenware made from fresh wood is covered in the course, along with a thorough discussion of food-safe, penetrating oil finishes.

Tuition for the 5-day tutorials is $1350. Tuition includes use of specialized tools, materials, single occupancy accommodations, and your meals. Class size is limited to 4 students (and in summer, our intern.) Course participants are asked to bring a few basic tools; the more specialized tools are provided.

For a preview of the bowl carving techniques used in this course, go to Drew's bowl carving tutorial that originally appeared in “Woodwork Magazine.” Drew's latest work can be seen on his web site:

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