Dear woodworking friends,
It has been quite awhile since I made a post and I owe you some explanations. Barb and I became North Dakotans in August. I accepted a new call to serve in a Norwegian American Lutheran church community in Eastern North Dakota. It is quite fulfilling work and also exciting to be closer to two of my favorite places: the Milan Village Art School in southwestern Minnesota and also Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa.  Needless to say, being a pastor and a woodworker has added challenges when it comes to moving 1100 miles north of the Toledo and Bowling Green area.  However, everything worked out great in the big move and we are making strides in passing on the boxes to others who need them.  That will help in housing Barb’s car before the snow falls.   I am grateful for the support of family and friends, and even more excited about living in the upper Midwest. 

While my progress in setting up the new workspace has been slowed somewhat by some recent surgery, I hope to be working at the bench this winter. I look forward to being active in the local carving club here in Devils Lake and really getting into Norwegian acanthus carving over the next year or so. A recent experience of attending the annual Hostfest in Minot, celebrating all things Scandinavian, was really a hoot!  My dad would have loved it! It was especially great to eat lefse and see numerous woodcarvers there and talk to them about acanthus, flat plane, and ale bowl carving. In particular, my friend Harley Refsal, an internationally known flat plane figure carver, is always a joy to spend time with and he has been wonderfully supportive of my new assignment at St. Olaf.
Some of my current interests involve eventually making a few side escapement (molding) planes, like hollows and rounds, based on Larry William’s DVD that I watched this week while recuperating from surgery. I also recently enjoyed watching an episode (2015), “hollows and rounds”, on the Woodwright’s shop that featured making a molding plane with Bill Anderson. I look forward to using plane making floats and hopefully filling in the gaps on the partial set of hollows and rounds I’ve acquired over the years. Stay tuned as I eventually post about those plane making adventures using different wood blanks. I’d be happy to make and put to use a few side escapement molding planes. They’ve held my interest since I first got my hands on a couple antique molding planes in the early 80’s that were missing irons.