I tell myself this every year around this time, that next year I'll break a some curses. One of them is the lack of visual storytelling I used to do up until late 2014. This year I finally feel like I have built a good archive photographs which are in some ways a documentation of my life. I guess it's hard to share some stories when you're still trying to figure out your own.
I never have actually thought about why I take pictures. What an odd thing to do? No one should ever question something you do that is creative and helps you communicate with others.
That's an easy way to chase away the muse. But then again cameras are so second nature to me that it doesn't have to feel like work to take a picture. When I get a spidey sense, I just quietly click one or two photos and put the camera back down.
Not sure why I've done that, but rarely I'm setting up a situation. But really those are photoshoots, not what I do with my everyday photographs that I often share here.
Part of the reason I think it's hard for me to write whats on my mind with these stories, is there's just too much on my mind most of the time.
I'm starting to like the idea of posting a gallery with short captions as if you were looking through an old photo album you found in a box up in the attic.
So now I'm going to take you back to September. I was headed West to Pat's Klipnocky Woods Spoon Gathering. Summer was fading and the leaves were starting to change. In his area in August it could be 30f by morning and 85f by high noon. It was nice to campout again.
Gatherings are always interesting and you're never really ready for what to expect. They're sort of living creatures and they sort've turn the attendees into a tribe for a weekend. I don't remember hearing about spoon clubs or gatherings before we started doing these up in the north east. I know there have been spoon club sessions going on in the UK and some in the midwest. Could be I was completely blind to this thing we called green woodworking back then. I thought I was the only one this far down the rabbit hole.. but I was wrong. Now we meet up a bunch. Some old faces, and some new.
It's a great way to share ideas, skills, technique, and most important.. laughs.
This is Matt Fang from Pennsylvania. He's a carver amongst many other talents. He's also a great leather worker and even made me a sweet custom belt which was a nice surprise in the mail after the gathering. He picked up one of my cups and even decorated that in typical Fang fashion.
There were a handful of others but I didn't really have my camera out the first day. Most of the pictures were taken the second night.
I'm glad Pat and I have tried to keep up with putting on these shindigs. It's good to connect with other carvers. It's something I've been doing now traveling about from Europe and midwest America.
Sometimes I see in paintings. One of my favorite things to do while editing is look closely at some of the details. Usually each person is off in their own world, where you could crop into each subject and it'd make an interesting photo as well. Not sure how that happens but it's definitely a theme of mine that I've seen over the years.
Later on at night is my favorite time to carve and talk craft. In Pat's workshop he has a bunch of hanging lights, and I really like a singular light source. Reminds me of old Rembrandt paintings.. just that simple contrasty single light source. Incandescent lights are just great lighting.
We were goofing off telling stories, having laughs and even broke into a bit of my "shoot your spoon" talk that I've offered at Spoonfest the past two years. How to find light? Chasing light.. Not sure what to call it, but it's how to make the best of every lighting situation and how to improvise.
Where will I be next? I just got back from teaching in Texas and I hosted a special event at the Filson store in Austin.
Right now I'm planning some events for the new year. I'm probably headed back to Europe for a short bit. England and France, then back here to teach in New York. In March I'll be at The Vesterheim in Iowa, and North House Folk School teaching kuksa carving.
If you'd like one of the spoons I carved at Pat's gathering, you can find them here. I also have some really special serving spoons available.