I stand quietly behind a carver, hypnotized by the gentle glide of the draw knife as she pulls it down the length of the rough wood. The single shaving curls under the two-handled blade like a sliver of Gruyere, smooth and unblemished, before fluttering silently to the floor. Each discarded shaving at her feet seems like a work of art itself – one wrapped tight like a Chinese yo-yo, another loose like a delicate tendril of hair, yet another spiraled into a perfect corkscrew.
Above my head, wooden skiffs, hulls sanded smooth, fit snug between the beams. Behind me, a woman clamps pieces of birch bark into the shape of a basket and threads a strand of stiff fiber taut in a crisscross pattern to hold the rim in place. Through the double doors, Shasta daisies and fireweed bloom bright, and a sailboat mast tips as a breeze ripples the lake. The air inside the workshop is sweet with the scent of raw wood.
…I’m over at Tweetspeak today, writing about one of my favorite places on the North Shore of Minnesota…join me over there for a tour? I promise even the photos of this place will inspire you to create something with your hands.