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North House Folk School
North House Folk School

Wooden Bowl Turning: Norwegian Ale Bowls

Wooden ale bowls are an excellent example of functional Scandinavian folk art. These ceremonial drinking vessels were used both for serving on special occasions and in the brewing process. In this class, students begin with a green birch log. Using axes, knives, hook tools and a foot-powered spring-pole lathe (plus lots of vigorous work), you'll create an ale bowl to take home and use. Tool sharpening and proper cutting techniques will be taught. There will also be lively discussions on the design, function and culture surrounding these objects, as well as the history of woodturning. The instructor will have available several antique bowls from his collection for study and inspiration. Skills taught in this class will also be very useful to modern bowl turners.

Registration in the March 2017 session of this class includes participation in mini classes & excursions on Friday, March 3, as part of Wood Week. More information will be provided upon registration. Please plan to participate!


Fri, Nov 11, 2016 - Sun, Nov 13, 2016
(Early bird tuition deadline: 09/30/16)
New! 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:


$255.00 per student (Regular rate)
$225.00 per student (Early-bird rate)


All Levels

* 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. Students should bring: sharp hand-axe & sharp carving knife
  2. Gransfors Carving Axe is recommended, but any small axe is acceptable (may be available for purchase from the North House School Store 888-387-9762).
  3. Mora carving knives are also available from the North House School Store, but any carving knife is acceptable
  4. All other required turning tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.
  5. Eye protection
  6. work gloves if desired
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.
Roger Abrahamson Roger Abrahamson

Roger is a traditional bowl turner. Using a spring pole lathe, hand-forged tools, and freshly harvested native woods, he specializes in the creation of Norwegian ale vessels. Roger's fascination with these objects has its roots in his immigrant grandmother's ale bowl, which is still in the family. Roger has demonstrated his trade at the Nordic Fest, Norsk Hostfest, the Minnesota State Fair, the Smithsonian Institute's Viking Exhibition, and several other historic sites. He has been a turner for 27 years, working with a pole lathe for the past 19 years.

More about Roger Abrahamson
Wooden Bowl Turning: Norwegian Ale Bowls

Wooden Bowl Turning: Norwegian Ale Bowls

Wooden Bowl Turning: Norwegian Ale Bowls