May 2010 E-NEWSLETTER


May at Country Workshops.

CALENDAR UPDATE

Jögge Sundqvist’s August 23-28 course is full, but we have openings for the September 6-11 week. Both classes cover similar subject matter but will, of course, be modified to serve the interests of the participants. Follow the underlined links for details on our web site.


Summer Workshops with Guest Instructors

June 7-11: Rustic Windsor Chairmaking (Drew Langsner) - 1 opening
June 21-25: Ladderback Chairmaking (Drew Langsner) - Full
July 12-17: Post-and-Rung Rocking Chair (Tom Donahey)
- Open
July 26-31: Coopering – with Wooden Hooping (Carl Swensson)
- Open
August 9-14: Japanese Woodworking – Make an Andon Lamp (Osamu Shoji)
- Open
August 23-28: Swedish Sloyd Craft (Jögge Sundqvist)
- Full
September 6-11: Swedish Sloyd Craft (Jögge Sundqvist) - Open


Fall Tutorials with Drew Langsner

September 27-October 1: Carving Bowls and Spoons - The Scandinavian tradition - Full
December 6-10: Carving Bowls and Spoons - The Scandinavian tradition - Open


2010 Japanese Craft Tour
Focus on Gifu Prefecture and the Hida Alps
October 19-29

The cormorant fisherman's yard, with a swimming pool for his birds. The 250-year-old house in Seki City is listed on the historic registry. Photo by Masashi Kutsuwa.

We still have a few openings for our 4th craft tour in Japan. We have arranged visits with master artisans who work with wood and other natural materials. These include: a monk who carves Buddha sculptures, a festival float carpenter, a turner who makes bowls and other containers for urushi lacquer finishing, bamboo basketry, ceramics, washi mulberry bark paper making, samurai katana sword blade making and visits to 2 woodworking schools. We have arranged for demonstrations at many of our visits, and it will be possible to buy outstanding craft work directly from our hosts. We will also attend a performance of traditional bon raku puppetry. We will stay in both traditional ryokan inns and western hotels.

The guide and translator duties for our tour will be shared by Masashi Kutsuwa and Osamu Shoji. Kutsuwa-san is a woodworking teacher at Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture located in Mino. Shoji-san is a founder and head instructor at Shinrin-Takumi Jyuku woodworking school in Takayama. Shoji-san will also be teaching our Japanese woodworking course in August. Drew Langsner will be the tour host. 

To place a reservation, or if you have questions, contact Drew by phone (828 656 2280). For further information and photos of our 2008 Japan tour, click here



DREW LANGSNER'S WORKBENCH FOR CHAIR MAKERS AND BOWL CARVER
S
After 15 years of use.

Do you need a better workbench? Have you thought about purchasing or building a traditional cabinetmaker's bench, like those expensive European imports? I did. And many years ago Country Workshops was a dealer for one of the best workbench makers, LaChapelle in Lucerne, Switzerland. I have one of their nicest models, and it's great for certain tasks, such as hand planning furniture stock.

However, I also found that the traditional workbench, which tends to be long and narrow, with a recessed tool tray towards the back, was not really suitable for the kind of woodworking that I'm generally doing. I decided to design and build something that would be particularly useful for both chair making and bowl carving.

The requirements. First -- no tool tray. This bench must be wide enough to support an upright assembled chair. But not tool large. I wanted to get the bench away from a wall, so that I can work all around whatever I'm working on. Multiple clamping possibilities -- on the surface, in the attached vises, and with various clamps and dog systems. Not too challenging to build. Comparatively inexpensive, using readily available materials.

The prototype -- now in use for about 15 years -- is described in Chapter 19 in The Chairmaker's Workshop. We have also built 4 similar benches for use during our off-season tutorials.

Click here for the full story



“CARVING SWEDISH WOODENWARE” IS BACK!
"Carving Swedish Woodenware" on DVD.

In 1988 Jögge Sundqvist taught a course in carving Swedish woodenware at Country Workshops. Among the class participants was Rick Mastelli, who at one time was editor of “Fine Woodworking” and was then in charge of Taunton's new video department. During the class Rick decided to produce a video with Jögge. He got on the phone and arranged for a video crew to fly down from Connecticut to record this production the very next week.

To do this Rick converted our teaching workshop into a video studio. Lots of distracting, extraneous stuff was moved off camera. The floor was scrubbed. Reflectors were set outside to bring in more natural light. The space between a freezer and shop frig became the control center (wires going everywhere). Rick taped a tree trimming against the outside of a window, to soften the light and to fill in some white space. We even borrowed our household TV, to be used as an extra monitor so that Jögge could see what was being recorded during his demonstrations. Incidentally, Peter Follansbee was our summer intern in '88. He can occasionally be heard during the video nailing the loft flooring to our new barn. I was running back and forth between projects.

Click here for the full story - with historic photos from the 1988 production.


CONTACT US

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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