Skip to main content Skip to footer


Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze, and Gouge

previous slide
next slide

Course Overview

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, push knife, and others. 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 handcrafted 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 hold 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 will be 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. This course is open to students ages 16+.

Students should expect the tool use to be similar to swinging a hammer for an extended period of time. Breaks and rest time will be as needed by each individual.


This course is part of Wood Week! Plan to stay a day longer for the Carvers Conference on March 14. The day is full of demonstrations, speakers and community gatherings and is a benefit to all Wood Week students. Full schedule available early 2025. 

 Required Tools

  • Soft leaded pencil

Optional Tools

  • Eye protection - usually not needed but safety glasses available in school store .
  • Gloves (leather or carving for those with tender hands. Carving gloves are available for purchase at North House)
  • Sharp carving hatchet
  • 1" or larger gouges
  • Wood carver's gouge adze
  • 8L/35 bent gouge


Fri, Sep 6th, 2024  –  Sun, Sep 8th, 2024

Course Details

Hours: 9am-5pm each day
Tuition: $315.00
Materials fee: $15.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Jon Strom
Jon Strom
Cook, MN

Request a Catalog

Enjoy the tactile sensation of browsing our newsprint catalog of courses? Request your free copy of the North House Catalog here! And browse the digital edition while you wait!

Stay in touch!

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Be the first to know about new courses and events!

Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze, and Gouge