Reflections on the Marsh


The Marshfield Baker’s Dozen:  (Front row L-R): Tom, me, Lucas, Nat (Back row L-R): Gene, David, Jonathan, Matt, Joel, Gordon, Sean, Pret, and Chris – a.k.a. Plymouth’s Paul Bunyan.  Their bowls were already looking great, with a couple more hours left to refine things.  Photo by Marie Pelletier

If you ever are part of a class with Plymouth CRAFT, be prepared to employ all of your senses beyond the work itself.  Between the beautiful venues, the mouthwatering flavors of Paula Marcoux’s hand crafted lunches, and the sense of comradery, the whole experience is one to be savored.

A couple weekends ago, I taught a class in bowlcarving in Marshfield, Massachusetts.  As we were busily setting up for the class Friday evening, I was shaken from my mental to-do list by the unique beauty of my surroundings.   As I walked around the corner from the barn, the fog was rolling in over the river that meanders among the marsh grasslands.  The effect was otherworldly — especially to a guy from Western Pennsylvania.  Heck, I still can’t get over the idea that those rivers keep filling and draining every day; back and forth, up and down, flowing this way then that…!  Where I’m from, the rivers have pretty much made up their minds.


David and Joel with their bowls…and band-aids!

I had a great time reconnecting with a few folks met at Greenwood Fest and spending two days with a great group of guys armed with axes.  If you’ve never experienced the sight and sound of twelve adzes making chips fly through a barn, put it on your list.  By the end of the second day, everyone had transformed a log into a bowl, all in the same general design, but each unique due to choices made by the individual students and the nature of the logs.

I’d like to thank Marie Pelletier (a P.C. board member and all-around big help) for all of the photos in this post.  I am a terrible multi-tasker, so I failed to take a single photo during the class.  But Marie came to the rescue and shared some of her photos with me.  Thanks Marie.  Here’s a few more:


Gordon, Jonathan, Lucas, Nat, and Tom working among the chips.


Me (the guy who learned the most) admiring the lines of Joel’s bowl.


We also had a chance to discuss things like lettering.


Peter Follansbee and his family took time out to visit the class both days, even though Peter was preparing to leave Sunday night for his trip to England and Sweden.  He showed us a quick trick learned from Roy Underhill in making a mask from a fresh piece of bark.  That’s Peter’s daughter, Rose, behind the mask.  Of course, you know it’s not Peter because he doesn’t wear blue nail polish.









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1 Response to Reflections on the Marsh

  1. kneetoknee says:

    Great description of the community of spirit you create, as well as some pretty nice bowls!


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