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Niklas Karlsson

Undersvik, Sweden
North House Folk School photo of instructor, Niklas Karlsson

Niklas Karlsson is a trained woodworker from Undersvik, Sweden. His love for the wood and the outdoors goes back to his childhood summer spent in the north.  Niklas chose his first knife from a mail order catalogue as a child. It was a giant folding knife for hunting. Sitting alone far out in the woods under a big fir tree, he slammed the folding blade over his fingers and ran the long way home, bleeding and crying. "Much later, it seemed to me that we reached an agreement right there, the wood and I, that it would always follow my hands when I wanted it to. It was a humble thought, you know, it was not me who signed the agreement - it was the wood that gave it to me, " he wrote about the incident in Hemslöjden No 4/2006. For many years Niklas Karlsson worked as a carpenter building and preserving timber frame homes. From this work, he gained an appreciation for reclaimed wood and rough, hand-processed surfaces. 

Now, his primary work is in carving spoons, in part because this craft allows him to be outside. His spoons are made by the forested, high banks of the river Ljusnan, a place that has enriched both him and his spoon carving: “A strange feeling of rewilding can come over me. And a feeling that me and the spoons are connected. A sense of integrality. But also a feeling that the spoons are coming from a totally other place – from the depths and ices there by the Ljusnan, from the storms and lifting fogs... while I am just watching.”

Visit Niklas Karlsson's Website