Tuesday, 18 February 2014

It's a red-letter day.....

I'm not sure if this is an idiom that is familiar around the world, but it basically means a good day, a day to celebrate something good. And that thing is? Look what the postman brought.

Now if you know anything about me you'll know two things: I'm a skinflint and don't like spending money if I can help it; and I am a non-conformist and if everyone is talking about something they are going to do, even if I'm desperate to do it myself, I wont just to be awkward. Hence why I have never been on a carving course and don't own a Gransfors axe or a Svante Djarv adze and don't have a copy of Swedish Carving Techniques, etc, etc. However, when I read on Peter Follonsbee's blog about the project to make a video documentary about Wille Sundqvist I fought against my nature and told myself that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I would be kicking myself if I passed up the chance of getting one.

The UK stockist for the DVD is Woodsmith http://woodsmithexperience.co.uk/ so I put myself down to receive an alert once they were available and hey presto, the rest is history.

I have watched it a couple of times now and have thoroughly enjoyed it each time. It is beautifully made and would make anyone want to up-sticks and move to Sweden. It covers the basic activities of carving a spoon, turning a bowl, drying, oiling, sharpening a knife, chip carving and painting.

It also tells Wille's history and back ground,  and explains his theories on form, structure and aesthetics. What I loved the most, however, was a sense of there not being a set way of doing the activities - yes he has his methods and techniques, but they are not necessarily the same as those that another carver might teach. Ultimately, it's not so much the process that matters, as the result, and if the result is good, who cares how it was achieved?

OMG! Is that really Wille Sundqvist, father of traditional Swedish woodcarving turning a  bowl on a power lathe? Whatever next....finishing with sandpaper, I shouldn't wonder.

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