Comparing Apples and Oranges

The Guest Cabin

When Country Workshops started offering 5-day summer workshops in 1978 Drew and Louise Langsner decided that tuition would include meals and materials. In addition, the shop would provide the required specialty tools for most courses. At the beginning we provided a camping area, but in the early 80’s we refurbished the original farmhouse here, which then became a summer dorm. We also built the log Guest Cabin (with 2 rooms) and created 2 rooms above the workshop. Tuition for winter tutorials includes your private room. These are available as an optional “extra” for summer workshops.

Tools. From our start we began to acquire high quality tools that would be available during class. We have also made a concerted effort to care for and maintain our collection. Class participants and our guest teachers consistently tell us that our tool selection is superior to what they see at other woodworking schools. Many of these tools are also available to purchase from the Country Workshops Store.

For more on tuition pricing go to: www.countryworkshops.org/Prices.html

Class Calendar Update

If you have questions about our classes please don’t hesitate to phone Drew and Louise. (828 656 2280 Mon-Sat 9-6 EST) Enrollment can be by phone, post or e-mail. A printable registration form is on our web site at: www.countryworkshops.org/Registration.html

Winter Tutorials
Winter Tutorials are limited to 4 students. Tuition includes materials, meals and your private room. Specialized tools are provided for all of these classes. Drew Langsner is the instructor.

January 30 - February 3: Rustic Windsor Chairmaking - 2 openings
February 13 - 17: Carving Bowls and Spoons - Full
February 27 - March 2: Carving Bowls and Spoons - 2 openings
March 26 - 30: Making a Corner Cabinet
April 9 - 13: Rustic Windsor Chairmaking

Spring Weekends
Spring Weekends are similar to our Tutorials. Students arrive Friday evening (for move in and supper) and class runs Saturday – Sunday. A private room, meals and specialty tools are provided.

April 28 - 29: Spoon Carving (Drew Langsner)
May 5 - 6: Bowl Carving (Drew Langsner) - 1 opening
June 2 - 3: Willow Basketry (Louise Langsner)

Students work at shaving horses.

Summer Workshops with Guest Instructors
Summer workshops average 8 students. Tuition includes materials, meals and a shared room. (Private rooms are also available.) Specialized tools are provided for all courses, with the exception of Japanese Woodworking and Toolmaking for Woodworkers.

June 11 - 16: Ladderback Chairmaking (Drew Langsner)
June 25 - 30: Japanese Woodworking – Making A Shoji (Carl Swensson)
August 13 - 18: Coopering (Carl Swensson)
August 27 - 31: Toolmaking for Woodworkers (Hans Karlsson) - Full
September 10 - 15: Wooden Boat Basics (Douglas Brooks)


When we published our 2012 print catalog we added a new sheath knife from Swedish toolmaker Svante Djärv. This is an excellent value for a hand-forged knife that comes with a custom fitted hand-stitched leather sheath. Drew has found this knife to be particularly good for his personal carving, and while teaching classes. The knife size hits a perfect mid-point between being a small (detail) knife and a large (roughing) knife. We now offer just the knife, for those who don’t need a sheath -- or if you want to make your own. The blade is 5/8” x 2-3/4” and it’s fitted to a typical, generous Svante handle.

SD-11 Sloyd knife with leather sheath
SD-12 Sloyd knife without sheath

On Sale

These are closeouts with reduced prices while we have inventory.

JS-01 Slöjda i Trä by Jögge Sundqvist
MA-02 Going With the Grain by Mike Abbott


The Garden Kitchen

at Country Workshops

For years students and guest instructors at Country Workshops have been asking Louise Langsner when she would write a book with recipes from the meals that we serve. Louise has a special knack for preparing healthy dishes that are also taste treats, with many ingredients coming straight from her gardens. Her broad cooking interests include international menus, with favorite dishes coming from Asia, Mexico and most recently, Italy.

Louise has been writing down these recipes for years. But actually getting a book together is a big challenge, especially for someone who prefers to be in the garden. One special “problem” is that Louise is always changing how she goes about the task of preparing a particular dish. Louise works with what’s available in the garden and what she finds that looks particularly good when she’s grocery shopping before a class. The recipes are always changing.

We are happy to announce that this wonderful array of knowledge is beginning to appear on Louise’s new web blog, appropriately called “The Garden Kitchen.” Recipes (along with stories and photos) will be added over time and as we get feedback from viewers. And they can even be modified on the blog. This is something new for us, so has to be considered a work in progress. Which is what a blog is. (We think!)

Louise and Drew wish to thank their daughter Naomi for the graphics and technical effort that makes this possible. Blog viewers are welcome to post comments and to ask questions. Just go to: http://louiselangsner.wordpress.com/about/

Cooking Lessons at Country Workshops

This is available for spouses and friends of woodworking class participants who would like to be here during one of our scheduled classes. (And for woodworkers who tell us that they would return just for the wonderful meals.) If you would like to enjoy those dishes at home, we invite you to share some time in the garden and kitchen with Louise. Learn to bake breads with whole grains and a sourdough starter, harvest fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, and explore techniques and recipes for healthy menus from around the world.

Cooking with Louise can be attended during any of our class weeks. Instruction is approximately 4 hours each day, beginning after lunch. The tuition is $575 for 5-day courses and $675 for 6-day courses. This includes your shared room and meals -- of course. Limited to one student during each session. Phone us if you have questions or would like to sign up.



Bill Harvey's black birch butter knife.

Regular readers of this newsletter already know about the Butter Knife Project. Swedish Smör knivar are (usually) simple carved implements that are used when serving butter or spreads (like pesto or humus.) For years we used “spreaders” as the introductory project in spoon carving classes. But spreaders are practical and using them adds a nice hand-made touch to any table setting. They can also be an excellent gift, or a comfortably priced hand-carved item to sell.

When Jögge Sundqvist was teaching at Country Workshops in 2010 he occupied some of his personal time working on a batch of his production version. At that time Drew was thinking about gifts to take on our Japan Craft Tour. Before leaving, he made 29. And Drew had been corresponding with Norman Stevens who has a remarkable collection of carved wooden teaspoons. These factors came together into the idea of starting a design/study collection of butter knives.

We invite all carvers to submit their version to the collection. There is no budget for this project, and it’s not a contest. We encourage woodcarvers to develop their own designs which should be useful and practical. Newly acquired butter knives are featured in this newsletter, and there is a complete web-site archive at Country Workshops’ Spreader World Gallery. We are always happy to receive further contributions. Of course the collection is available for viewing (and handling) when you are here at CW.

Bill Harvey (from Charlotte, NC) carved number 44 in the collection. Bill used black birch with flax oil for the finish. This is one of several that were made. The others became Christmas gifts.


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Phone: 828 656 2280 (9 AM to 6 PM, Eastern time, any day)
Address: 990 Black Pine Ridge Rd.; Marshall, North Carolina 28753