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North House Folk School
North House Folk School

Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze and Gouge

Make the wood chips fly! This course is for students ready to stand at the chopping block and learn to use classic wooden bowl-carving hand tools – the adze, axe, gouge and push knife. During this class, topics including selection of wood stock, elements of bowl design, strategies for hand-hewing, use of sharpening skills, and techniques for finishing will be explored. Students start with a birch log and end with a spectacular bowl (or two!) with graceful lines and smooth surfaces. The shape and style of the bowl connects directly to how the tools themselves function – the classic hand-crafted lines echo the Scandinavian bowl carving tradition that reaches back hundreds of years.

During the shaping of the bowl, students learn to use appropriate tools as well as holding devices such as wedges and blocking. Both a chopping block and a bowl-carving bench will be utilized. A variety of tools, books on traditional bowl carving, and other resource materials are provided for students to use during the workshop. Techniques for managing the drying of a greenwood bowl will also be covered. As time allows, students may experiment with a second bowl style, if desired.

Registration in the March 2017 session of this class includes participation in mini classes & excursions on Friday, March 3, as part of Wood Week for no additional tuition cost. More information will be provided after registration. Please plan to participate!


Sat, Mar 04, 2017 - Mon, Mar 06, 2017 Course Full - Please call for wait list
(Early bird tuition deadline: 01/21/17)

Course Details

Length in days:


$285.00 per student (Regular rate)
$255.00 per student (Early-bird rate)



Age with adult:

* The Mar 04, 2017 course is part of the Wood Week event

Making it happen:
  • When should I enroll?
  • Do you take last minute registrations?
  • When will new course dates be posted?

You will need the following tools for this class:

  1. soft leaded pencil
  2. eye protection (available for purchase @ North House School Store)
  3. leather gloves or carving gloves for those with tender hands
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.
Jon Strom Jon Strom

Look for the woodchips flying and you're sure to find Jon. Jon is a sculptor, woodworker, and log builder with a strong interest in Swedish spoon and bowl carving techniques as well as the history of log building. He has demonstrated at Grand Portage National Monument, Old Fort William, White Oak Society, and has taught at various workshops including "Goods from the Woods" in Grand Rapids. Jon has also designed his own personal bowl-carving bench which may be adapted by students for their own workshops. To learn more visit

More about Jon Strom
Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze and Gouge

Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze and Gouge

Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze and Gouge