What is Green Woodworking?
Green woodworking uses wood that has been freshly cut or downed by a storm. At this stage it still has quite a bit of moisture in it, making it much easier to carve and get an initial shape for whatever is being made. Dry wood is not impossible to carve, but it becomes much more difficult.
Some of my work uses green wood, and some of it dry wood.
How do you avoid getting cracks in the wood?
I source my own green wood, allowing me to seal it before it loses a lot of moisture. This way I can better control the rate at which the log loses moisture and avoid cracking on the ends.
When working green wood straight from the log I work to get the piece shaped quite quickly - less wood means less moisture = less cracking. When the piece is close to final shape I let it dry. Final cuts may be taken after it's dry leave a much smoother, more burnished look and feel to the wood. Other times I leave the first stage of rough carving to serve as the final finish. You can find out more on the Process page.
Other times I let cracks form, because I think they’re beautiful. A lot of my pieces blend form and function, and at different ratios. I’m a believer that cracks and other natural flaws enhance a piece as a whole. If you’re looking for a piece purely for it’s utilitarian nature, you may be in the wrong place. If you have more questions about a particular piece, I’m always happy to answer them.
Do You Have an open studio? Can I visit?
I do not have an open studio. Sometimes I have a small selection of work in local galleries. Check on my News page for updates, or send an email asking where you can see my work in person.
Do You Have any recommeNdations for tools?
I do. Lots of them. Perhaps too many to name here. What I do recommend is checking out Dave Fisher's blog post about this very topic.
Why Do You use Hand tools instead of power tools? Why not use a lathe?
I’m not completely tethered to hand tools over power tools, and I definitely use power tools where it makes things more efficient or just plain easier on my body. Hand tools give me more freedom to shape a piece however I’d like, whereas a lathe can be limited. My aim is to produce bowls that each have their own shape and character, a feat I think is best achieved using hand tools. It can be a slower process, but I think that extra attention is shown in the final product.
Where did you learn how to do this?
I've always worked with my hands, and as a kid loved building forts and playing out in the woods. I was actually woodworking without knowing it. I got into hand tools and spoon carving while I was in college and experimented, read books and taught myself for almost a decade before taking any classes. By that point I had a good understanding of grain orientation and started to take my work in a different, more improvisational direction. Then I took a bowl carving class with Peter Follansbee. That probably helped a little, tiny bit.
What wood Do You use?
Because moisture content can be such an important part of the process, being able to harvest wood myself becomes equally vital. And because of that, where I can source the wood starts to get a lot closer to home. But this all depends on what methods I am using to work the wood.
I use mostly hardwoods like maple, cherry, birch, alder, aspen.
Do you take custom orders?
I am not currently taking custom orders. If you sign up for my updates at the bottom of this page, you'll find out first when batches of new work get added to my webshop, or when I have work on sale.
I don't send out too many emails, so don't worry about that. I dislike that just as much as the next person.