January 2010


THEY are the crafts that seemed to have fallen foul of our throwaway culture. The intricate dry stone walls cutting gently through our countryside and the delicate wrought iron created at the anvil were seen as dying skills of a bygone era.

Read full article here.


I’m afraid this book is only available in German and Swedish, the original title is “Slöjda I Trä” which translates as sloyd in wood. The German title is “Schnitzen mit Jögge Sundqvist” which translates as carving with Jögge Sundqvist. The subtile of the German book is “Swedish tradition in a new light.” I think it has this subtitle because of the lack of one-word translation of the word Slöjd.

The book has 90 pages with lots of colourful pictures and a lot of black and white illustrations. Using illustrations an photo’s Jögge explains how various items can be made, among others knives, spoons, beakers, hooks doorhandles, etc. It explains the most important cuts and techniques, and how to source your materials.

Jögge has his very own style in carving, you can see the control he has over his knife. He uses seemingly simple and rough shapes that are very pleasing for the eye but are very hard to replicate.
Jögge works a lot with colours and paint, which is very refreshing when your used to mostly wooden unpainted pieces, especially the stuff I make myself. It convinced me to try and make some more coloured things myself.

It seems the writer of this book has the same opinion about woodcarving as I have. If you go trough the trouble of carving by hand also let it look like something that was carved by hand. No use of sanding paper, but only smooth carved finish. Which if it is a knife handle also helps with the grip on the handle.

I also have the book his father, Wille Sundqvist, wrote call Swedish Carving techniques. Which is a more technical approach to greenwood carving. Both books complement each other where the father is more technical and thorough on the carving and the materials part, Jögge is more artistic in his approach.

Jögge Sundqvist (in Swedish)
The book at Dick.biz
Will Sundqvist book at Amazon in English. or in German at Dick.biz

I’ve travelled to Argentina to meet up with my wife and son who have been here for a couple of weeks already. I arrived just before new year and so I had the joy off spending it in shorts instead of a big warm woollen pullover. So right now instead of in cold and rain I’m in warm and windy Patagonia near the coast.

I couldn’t wait to taste Argentinian food again and then especially the meat where you can taste that the animal has roamed over fields stretching as far as you can see instead of a cubicle the size of a shoebox. On the picture is the way to prepare cordero Patagónico, it is prepared by my brother in law who is in my opinion the best. It takes 4 – 5 hours the waiting is made pleasant by having some wine and cheese.

To think that 1 week ago I was in the Ardennen (belgium) doing winter bushcraft at -20°C. Where cooking had its own challenges, the top of the pan would freeze while the bottom would burn.

Well Happy new year, I’m going to swim.