Spoons are what might be called a gateway to green woodworking. Once hooked, there’s no telling where carving may lead you. Scandinavian culture is rich with spoons—from the simple to the sublime. You will begin with a basic project to build knife skills, then progress to carving a spoon or two. The days will be interspersed with hands-on demonstrations, such as sharpening, and spoon layout, plus short topic talks on spoon design, wood choice and finishes. Fred will also lead a tour, along with museum staff, of Vesterheim’s amazing spoon collection. There will also be a hike to a nearby woods to look at spoons in their natural environment as parts of trees. Be sure to dress appropriately for the hike. Fred will supply all needed classroom materials and will have some tools for use. This class requires the hand strength to open a somewhat tight jar lid. There is a materials fee of $25, payable to the instructor.
Fred Livesay made his first spoon at age seven and has focused his life and career on traditional handwork ever since. He trained formally as a wheelwright and carriage-builder and then went on to study Scandinavian folk art with Marion Nelson, as well as decorative arts and art history, eventually receiving an M.A. in museum studies. Thirty-five years of teaching and studying in the United States, Sweden, and England give him a clear understanding of the joy handmade objects bring to everyday living; the healing art of craft; and the meditative connection between head, hands, and heart. Fred is a founding instructor of North House Folk School and of the Spoon Gathering in Milan, MN. Fred is a sought-after teacher of craft nationally and internationally.