Beginning Carving: Wood Utensils

October 6 - October 8, 2023

Beginning Carving: Wood Utensils


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $515
Material Fee: $85

Come immerse yourself in a three-day carving adventure! Chips will fly and participants will go home with a series of wooden utensils they can use in their cooking and eating lives. We will think about how the form of an object relates to its use in a range of utensils—the cheese spreader, the scoop, the cooker, the spatula, the ladle, and of course the eating spoon. The first project will be a cheese spreader or butter knife that will acquaint you with essential skills like cutting with the grain, fairing curves, tapering, and beveling. You will then make a utensil that contains a bowl of some kind. We will use a variety of gouges to remove material effectively down in a hollow, learning how the shape of a tool determines the shape of what it cuts. Except for the bandsaw, which will be optional, this is a hand tools class. Tools we will use include draw knives, carving knives, gouges, spokeshaves, scrapers, rasps, and files. You will have the chance to work with both dried hardwood as well as green wood so you can get a sense of how carving feels in each. Decorative elements on utensils like milk painting, chip carving, and incised line making will be demonstrated. The goals of the class will be getting the feel for the tools, becoming sensitive to wood and its character, and learning how to execute designs in three dimensions. Participants will move through projects at their own pace, experiment with their own designs, and explore the simple, the elegant, the twisted, and quirky world of wood utensils.

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day
Lunch is included for all participants

Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult


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Kate Hawes

Kate Hawes has been working with wood for 25 years. They have worked as a custom furniture maker, founded and ran a cooperative wood shop in Brooklyn, and taught furniture making for over ten years. They have a certificate in Furniture and Cabinet Making from The North Bennet Street School and recently was awarded a Masters in Craft History and Theory from Warren Wilson College with a research focus on contemporary spoon carving community. They completed a residency at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center and their work has been exhibited in group shows in Brooklyn, The Fuller Museum, and Manifest Gallery. They have taught woodworking at The Crafts Student League, Makeville Studio, and The American Folk Art Museum. They split their time between teaching and working on commissions and spoons in their shop in the Catskills where they are inspired by the surrounding woods and all that dwells in them.

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