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Foundations of Green Woodworking

Course Overview

Green Woodworking is a style of working wood from freshly felled trees. It has a particularly rich tradition in Scandinavia. In rural areas where peasant farmers made things for their daily life it was the predominant style of woodworking. Spoons, bowls, cutting boards, and even larger projects like chairs, boats, and buildings were made from green wood. Understanding the nature of green wood and how to process it with simple tools creates a foundation that applies to woodworking in general. In this 5-day process-oriented class we will start with freshly harvested logs and learn through the use of simple tools like axe and wedge to split and process the material down before carving it with knives into simple and beautiful objects. We will learn about the fundamental aspects of wood and wood carving including splitting principles, cutting theory, developing skill in the use of axe and knife, learning to read the tree for its desirable characteristics, grain direction, rate of growth, strength and flexibility, and how to exploit its movement as it dries without cracks or checks. We will learn decorating techniques such as chip carving, kolrosing, and the application of milk paint. Tool maintenance and sharpening axes and knives will be covered. We will work on many small projects in service of developing and strengthening our technique including butter spreaders, cheese boards, shrink pots, coat hooks, small bowls, cooking or eating spoons, and trays. All experience levels are welcome, however, please note that this course requires sustained hand strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination,  and the ability to follow precise instructions with regards to safety. Being able to open a sealed jar is an example of basic hand strength.

Course Details

Length: 5 days