North House Folk School - "Fresh Cut" (a.k.a. green wood) Symposium

Wooden Bowl turned by Robin Wood I had the great pleasure to visit North House Folk School this past weekend. Although it was chilly, overcast and rainy at times, the campus environment was so warm and welcoming the weather was not a retractor. Craft. Food. Music. Laughter. Libations. Great conversations & new friends. It was simply a great time.

This weekend’s theme was about working with fresh cut, or “green wood.” It was fascinating to hear about the long history of bowl turning and creation of other wooden implements (prior to power tools), about wood culture and the daily life of our ancestors. It was especially interesting to see some of the clever objects that were created with these rudimentary tools.

Much of the woodworking I’ve done has been with kiln dried, or seasoned wood. Working with green wood is quite different. When making things with green wood, you need to be aware that it can change form as it dries and takes on interesting character. If not managed properly it can also “check” (split) as the wood dries. A couple of added benefits are that it cuts more easily and there’s no dust, only nice crisp shavings. These days, I’m using mostly hand tools, so it’s also very quiet and relaxing.

There were students & artists from all over the country, as well as overseas. Everyone brought something to share, whether it was some of their art/craft, or tips, or great stories, or food, or they played music. I’d started following some of the artist’s work online, so it was also great to finally meet them in person.

I have a lot more to process about my visit & I’ll post them as I work through them. In the meantime, here are a few pictures that I captured.