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Julia Kalthoff

Stockholm, Sweden
North House Folk School photo of instructor, Julia Kalthoff

Julia started forging at age 19 and has worked with axes and slöjd since. She fell for metalworking because heating metal and shape it using your own body is like magic and feels like you are doing something impossible. She worked at well-known axe makers Gränsfors Bruks and Wetterlings. Working there she got curious in wood, because an axe maker needs to know the wood to improve the axe. As opposed to metal, wood is not mystical but accessible as it grows in the forest everywhere, and you need very few tools to work with it. For Julia, working in green wood with an axe is a way to connect to nature. In 2016 she started Kalthoff Axe to make carving axes. Today, Julia and her colleagues make carving axes on order in a small workshop in central Stockholm. They regularly teach axe technique, carving, sharpening skills and more. Every month they host a carving club, and try to spread the carving waves over the world. This is her first trip to Minnesota.

I really love the feeling when axing. To be relaxed and work in your own rhythm. The axe becomes an extension of yourself. Sometimes you use your whole body to chop off big chunks, and sometimes you gently carve see-through shavings. Disappear in looking at the grain to see where to place the next cut, and slowly let the shape get closer to your aim. Listen to the sound of a sharp tool in the green wood.

View Items by Julia in the School Store

Past Courses Offered by Julia Kalthoff

Carve an Axe Handle from Green Wood

Carving with an Axe

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