What is Green Woodworking?
Green woodworking uses wood that has been freshly cut or downed by a storm because 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.
How do you avoid getting cracks in the wood?
I harvest my own 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 the 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 taken after it's dry leave a much smoother, more burnished look and feel to the wood. You can find out more on the Process page.
Do You Have an open studio? Can I visit?
I've been getting a lot of these requests, which is amazing. Though I can't even express how grateful I am that people want to see firsthand what I do, I'm just not able to schedule any more visits. Thank you for understanding.
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 my Bowl Carving Handbook, for sale as a digital download in my shop, or Dave Fisher's blog post about this very topic.
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. What I didn't know is that I was actually doing green woodworking without knowing it. I got into hand tools and spoon carving while I was in college and years later realized there were people out there taking these crafts to styles and levels I had not yet seen. By that point I had a good understanding of grain orientation when using tools 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 is such an important part of the process, my 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. So I use a lot of tight-grained domestic hardwoods - maple, cherry, birch, alder, aspen, apple. If you happen to have large chunks of clear, beautiful, freshly cut walnut and you live sort of nearby, EMAIL ME. Seriously.
Do you take custom orders?
I do not take 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.