If you follow along via my instagram or have been cruising around this site you may have noticed some of the spoon projects I have going. A number of my buddies have noted this and asked me when I’m going to do more furniture or instruments. Bigger project are constantly running through my mind however, I’ve informally set up a loose curriculum for myself around the foundations of woodworking.
I’m a big fan of the thinkings around learning to cruise before you pitch it sideways i.e. understand the rules before you fully break them. With this in mind I wanted to understand the material to it’s fullest. I began focusing my personal tree research studies on hardwood trees to better spot them in the woods and understand where and how they grow. Next I thought about the basics of woodworking and it seemed that spoons were at the heart of it. You have a piece of wood and you have a knife, in a matter of hours (maybe not all in one go) you can create something beautiful and useful.
Carving spoons really allowed me to better understand the properties of wood. I was able to experiment with a variety of different woods both green and kiln dried. With straight, curved and bowled out cuts I became better acquainted with how the grain reacted to the knife, sand paper and oils. It really made me appreciate the simplicity of the knife and made me understand the importance of sharpening skills. I came to appreciated the tooled edge finish over sanding and became infatuated with precise cuts and purposeful lines. It’s like a small sculpture, and the materials and process of making them just felt right.
It wasnu2019t until I started fishing around the internet and library book stacks looking for sharpening how tou2019s and inspiration from other carvers that I began to see the term u201csloydu201d show up more and more. I began to research it further and found that it seemed to be very reflectant on the things I had been setting up for myself.u00a0
Sloyd, rooted from Slu00f6jd, is the sweedish term for handicraft. The philosophy is based around being able to make the things that you need without buying them. It was primarily an educational system for teaching students in the area of woodworking or sewing which after 100+ years is now know as u201cwoodshopu201d or u201chome ec.u201d With Sloyd you work on a series of projects that gradually build your skill level, each project building off what you learned previously.u00a0
Although I’m not truly following the specific curriculum of sloyd it does help give me some self confirmation on the route that I’m taking with things. Although I’m nowhere near mastering this medium, I do feel comfortable with it and the things I’m making feel right. Over the summer I plan on getting back into instrument and furniture builds and start applying what I’ve picked up from working with the basics tools of axe and knife.
If you’d like to see more of my carvings and support my endeavors in woodworking please visit the Trail Bound Store.