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Introducing Wesley Hathaway

Wesley started "ADP" (Artisan Development Program) back in September. His first blog post gives an introduction and lays out what he plans on doing for his time in this program at North House.

Posted on December 14, 2022
by Wesley Hathaway

I grew up in a large family in Goshen, Indiana. A great place, not too small, not too big with many wonderful friends. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t making things. I’d either be drawing, making models, or playing with popsicle sticks and hot glue. Like so many people, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school so I did what every “logical” person would do and joined the United States Air Force where I served for 6 years. The military took me on many great adventures from Australia to Alaska and many places in between.

A recent spoon carved out of cherry wood.

After two years stationed in the sunny warmth of the Arizona desert, I arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska in November of 2016. Upon landing it was cold and dark. I needed a hobby and a way to meet people. I had been interested in woodworking and felt that could be my excuse to get off base. That’s how it all started, I stumbled upon The Folk School Fairbanks and began woodworking classes in the evening. Being that it was a folk school, I was encouraged to just try different things and see what I liked. Little did I know that carving one spoon would have led to where I am now. After carving hundreds of spoons, learning to teach and share craft, I got out of the military, moved to Minnesota, and had the great pleasure of being a part of the 2021 intern cohort at the North House Folk School.

Carvings and projects I completed during my time as a 2021 intern at North House.

Yes, I’ll still carve spoons, but my focus is now towards relief carving, a type of carving done on a flat panel of wood with gouges. I'm interested in the relief carving that came out of Scandinavia; with work that was done on stave churches, architectural carvings done on farmhouses, ornamentally carved furniture, and common household items. As I’m writing this, Acanthus-style relief carving is what I’ve been excited about and trying to wrap my head around. (See the final image in this post for an example of an Acanthus.)

Me carving a spoon.

I’m excited to be here at North House and to have this opportunity to create and share craft. I look forward to sharing more of what I’ve been up to in the future. You can see more of my work through future blog posts and on my Instagram - @wesley.hathaway.

Acanthus carving recently completed, this will be a part of a small shelf. Design by Elsa Bigton.