A little over 150 years ago, Henry David Thoreau visited the Maine woods to learn from nature and the Penobscot tribe, including his Penobscot guide, Joe Polis. A week and a half ago, I also journeyed to the Maine woods and joined a tribe of carving enthusiasts who had traveled from Texas, Japan, and many places in between. The guide was the Swede Jogge Sundquist, assisted by a man from Thoreau’s neck of the woods, Peter Follansbee. Our piece of the Maine woods was situated behind Lie-Nielsen Toolworks.
I’ve been relatively physically isolated in my woodcarving pursuits, but this trip showed me the benefits of getting out there. Jogge has many years of experience studying traditional Swedish handcrafts and incredible skill with a knife. A visit to his website is a colorful feast for the eyes and truly inspiring (there’s an “English” button at the top). The opportunity to listen to him, talk with him, and watch him work was a special one indeed. Plus he’s a nice guy with a great sense of humor.
Peter and Jogge made a fantastic team throughout the weekend. There were so many others I enjoyed talking with as well. And Deneb, Chris, and the whole Lie-Nielsen crew are first-class.
Carving, learning, laughing, and sharing — and some birds! What a pleasure to get together with folks from diverse backgrounds with a common passion. Twenty guys having a blast making chips under the trees. With so much going on, I did snap a couple photos that inspired these two sketches.
Thoreau was captivated by Maine, making three great journeys through it’s woods. I’m looking forward to a return one day as well.