Japanese Green Woodworking: Carving a Wagata Tray

June 3 - June 5, 2022

Japanese Green Woodworking: Carving a Wagata Tray


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $455
Material Fee: $65

In this workshop you will learn how to carve Wagata-bon (“Wagata-Tray”) out of freshly cut wood. From splitting wood with wedges, to carving textured grooves with gouges, you will learn about this unique mingei, or folk craft, tradition, alongside the fundamentals of green woodworking. Wood movement, tool sharpening, and finishing techniques will also be discussed. Wagata-bon were originally made by wooden roof shingle makers in the small village of Wagatani. They would set aside some of their best shingle blanks, and carve them into trays during the winter, to use as a barter item for clothing and food. They were often made of chestnut wood, which splits well and has a high amount of rot-resistant tannins. Instructor Angela Robins had the opportunity to study this tradition from Shinichi Moriguchi, a Japanese woodworker who has made it his life’s work to pass on this tradition to others.

*Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day


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



Angela Robins

Angela Robins is a woodworker and educator, inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese wooden crafts, particularly the boat and the bowl. From axe carving to woodturning on the lathe, she works primarily with freshly cut wood, or green wood. She has studied traditional woodworking in Japan, Norway, Sweden, and for two years as a resident in the artisan development program at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. In 2015 she received a Minnesota State Arts Board Folk & Traditional Crafts grant to study Scandinavian wooden bowl turning. She has taught skin-on-frame boatbuilding, woodturning and woodcarving. She is excited to get connected to the creative community and landscape at Peters Valley.

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