The Slöjd Mobile
It's been a while since I've written here. July to be exact! At the time I was packing up the yurt and moving all of my belongings into storage. I've practically been living out of a suitcase and pack basket for over a year now. The life of a nomadic slöjder.
So where am I now? Or better yet, where is my head?
After my roadtrip to Minnesota teaching at North House Folk School and the Milan Spoon Gathering it was a mad dash to get all my things tucked away before heading to England. I spent time trying to figure out the next step. Spoonfest was great! Got to catch up with friends and colleagues which I look forward to every year. My trip was cut a bit short and I may grace that topic at a later time. I've been back in the states since mid August trying to sort out life a bit. How does one do that?
I've been couch hopping and spending my days carving, drawing, writing, recording music outside usually on some fallen tree in the forest. Spent a little time in New York City doing some photoshoots as well. Autumn is here and you can smell it in the air. I've been harvesting wild crab apples from the forest as well as buckets of shagbark hickory nuts. So far I've pressed six gallons of juice which will become some gorgeous apple cider (the hard stuff).
I've also been working on the finishing touches of a film for Nic Westermann which I'm excited to put out. Here is a little sneak peek..
I've been working really hard to elevate my carving skills. You can get burnt out easy as a maker who sells.
Part of the reason I wanted to change things up is that there are just too many people out there playing the mimic maker. Which has it's plus and negatives which I won't discuss here. It usually ends in some sort of dramatic debate and often a faction. But the specific designs I've been carving for the past three years have been recreated so many times that they start to lose their creative and unique value. I'm not the only carver this happens to but it does take its toll.
It was time anyways to move onto other things. I've spent my time rethinking this, and I wanted to revisit old ideas.. revisit some old head of mine.
I posted an old spoon a couple weeks ago that really signified where my head and hands were at the time.
A signature design or style is not something you can really see while in the moment. Sometimes you have to look back years ago to get a true glimpse of a style or phase.
This is especially true if you carved so much of something spending all my hours obsessing over these things. I literally have to hide projects from myself sometimes for years. This applies to my visual work and even recordings of music.
I've been having dreams about some old designs and some really bold new cuts. After deciding to put some time into going back there, this is the first of this batch. A large spoon or scoop about nine inches.
[Before Paint & Gilding]
The finished spoon
I've dedicated these special spoons' sales towards fundraising my slöjd mobile. I've still got a ways to go with reaching my goal but bus will be my home and workshop on wheels. After knowing my friend Yoav Kafets for a couple years I couldn't help but get inspired by him as a mobile crafts person and van dweller. It's been a dream of mine for ages to do this and after talking to him about it, and watching how it's helped his life unfold I decided to take a chance. Downsizing and having fresh new scenery all the time will really help me focus in on craft, photography and my films. After thinking more and more about it I've decided against a camper, so I'm on the lookout for a medium sized school bus
Here is the second of the highly decorated serving spoons which at first I didn't want to let go. But to do so keeps the chase on.
So that's a brief update on what I've been up to. Winter is coming and I'm hoping to raise enough funds to have my bus livable before then. I've already started booking workshops for 2018. If you'd like to get in touch about having me teach at your school, or even setup a group course at your home you can click the button below.
I'll be teaching Kuksa Carving at North House Folk School in March.
You can book here!
I will also be teaching at the Vesterheim in Decorah Iowa. This is going to be an amazing week, with another great instructor from overseas. But I can't disclose this information now so you'll have to wait!
These eating spoons are available too