process, tools of the trade(s).
Quick info on the tools I've made and use and some insight into how they came to be.
Karatsu style kickwheel for making pottery. I learned about the Karatsu wheels initially doing research on various kickwheels and traditions. This led me to seek out artists and was lucky enough to share some time and do some studio visits to meet Richard Bresnahan, Randy Johnston, Johnathan Walburg and JD Jorgenson. Each of them was super generous and helpful in some way. Each is owed a huge thanks. Special thanks also to Ryan Kutter for additional info sharing. The actual construction of it is in large thanks to Monroe Robinson, master wood craftsman of California and Alaska as well as dear friend and mentor. Monroe and I worked together to saw up some Oak that he had saved, we then worked together on glueing and shaping all 6 main wooden parts (flywheel, wheel head and 4 legs connecting the two.
A look online and you will find sweet footage of Bresnahan, Ken Matsuzaki, or Joel Cherrico making pots on this type of wheel. In the future I'll put some links to my fav's. In the future I'll put some links to my fav's.
Spring Pole Lathe for making bowls.
This is an old school wood contraption, you push down with your foot, the bowl turns in the cutting direction and when you let off with your foot it reciprocates back. It's awesome. That return or reciprocation is traditionally powered by a spring pole (small flexing tree trunk). All the cutting tools are hand forged by the turner or a handful of blacksmith/wood turner out there. I've made one and purchased a couple of others. The bulk of my learning and info is in great thanks to Jarred Dahl. I worked one on one with Jarred in Wisconsin for a week before I built my lathe in Alaska and practiced a ton. A look online and you'll see this work in action, look for Jarred Dahl, Robin Wood, Thomas Owens and Ben Orford. All really cool stuff. Or just search for Spring Pole Lathe.
For spoons I use a variety of knives and axes. One major key for the work I do is a crooked knife, a knife with a curved blade. There are traditional versions of these from all over the world, they make carving smooth concave surfaces possible among other uses. The crooked knife is not the only tool that can do this but it's what I use. The other important knife is called a Sloyd knife, Sloyds vary but are pretty simple hand held knives for carving. I carved my first spoon in Maine with Bill Coperthwaite on his coastal homestead. Bill and his wonderful handmade life deserves some research for those with more interest in simple living, handmade items and peace... For spoon info look online for Jarred Dahl, JoJo Wood, Barn the spoon and Willie & Jogge Sundqvist.
These wood and clay craft objects and skills are part of the present movement towards more handcrafted, local goods and experiences. Much like you see more micro-brews, corner bakeries, coffee roasters starting to develop. Local, organic, natural, beautiful and useful.