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Pre-Ball Classes

Class option 1 

Welsh Chair Making

Instructor:  Don Weber, master chair maker

When:  June 22-26, 2020

Where:  Home woodworking shop of Steve First in rural Mount Horeb

Cost:  $700 + $100 for materials and lunches

Course Description:

During this five day class, participants will build either the Welsh Cardigan or Welsh Carmarthenshire chair completely from scratch. Through instruction and hands-on practice while building your chair,  you will learn about timber selection and all facets of chair making including splitting, shaping, dressing with a draw knife and spoke shave, spindle turning, adz work, shaping chair seats, steam bending and chair joinery. You will also learn about woodworking tools and blade sharpening.  Depending on your level of woodworking skills, your chair will be completed at the end of this class or ready for final detailing outside of class.


Who Should Attend? All levels of woodworkers from novice to expert are invited to take part in this class.

What You Should Bring: Turning tools and devices will be provided.  If you have any of the following, please bring them. 

  • Draw knife
  • Hand plane
  • Spokeshave
  • Brace and bits, 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 1"
  • Cabinet scraper
  • Folding rule

Also bring your curiosity, creativity, and humor!

About Don Weber:

Don Weber began his long career as a master woodworker in Wales, UK, where he worked in a factory that produced custom balustrades and handrails used in the restoration of Victorian and Georgian homes.  As a young adult, he came to the United States and became a self-employed woodworker restoring, repairing, and later building furniture from scratch. Don has returned to Wales multiple times over the past five decades to both study and teach furniture making. He has also partnered with Roy Underhill in three different episodes of the  PBS “The Woodwright’s Shop” featuring Don’s chairmaking, building a viking woodbox, and mastering the pole lathe. He also contributes articles to Popular Woodworking magazine American Woodworker magazine. His handcrafted products include hayrake tables, beds, settees, hundreds of chairs, strip canoes, strip kayaks, bamboo fly rods, as well as timber framed homes.  When not working with wood, Don pursues his passion for nature and the outdoors fly fishing, biking, and paddling. Don lives with is wife, Beth Curling, in Paint Lick, KY.

Register for Don's class here.

Please Note:  If class minimum registrations are not met by June 1, 2020, classes may be cancelled.  Anyone registered will be notified and your registration fee will be returned to you. No retunds unless class is cancelled.

Contact us here.

Class option 2

Spoon Carving Master Class

Instructor:  Jarrod Dahl

When:  June 24 & 25, 2020 

Where:  Grundahl Park, Mount Horeb

(site of Bodger Ball beginning June 26)

Cost:  $300

Course Description:

This two-day master class is designed for beginners as well advanced carvers.  We will learn to carve freshy harvested greenwood with simple and effective tools, the axe and Swedish carving knife, as well as discuss more nuanced and advanced techniques for those ready to go further.  We will review the process of turning a whole log into rough blanks with wedges and the carving axe, systematically learn basic and advanced knife grips, and hone our focus and self-awareness by carving chopsticks.  Next, participants will learn to use the hook knife and build an eye for spoon design through carving small stirring spoons. By day two, we’ll be carving the deceptively simple eating spoon with our newly gained knowledge and skills.  Proper knife techniques as well as fine workmanship will be stressed.  Throughout the class Jarrod will give short lectures, demonstrations, and guided practice sessions.  Where to acquire tools, how to care for and sharpen tools, refining your carving technique, understanding wood grain, and finishes for woodenware will all be discussed.  Carvers with prior experience will be challenged to further develop their carving technique and design skills through critique and lessons tailored to their level of experience.

Who Should Attend? All skill levels (18 and older) are welcome, however, please note that this course requires hand strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow precise instructions with regards to safety.  Being able to open a sealed jar is an example of basic hand strength.

What You Should Bring: All tools and materials will be provided. Bring your passion for spoon carving.

About Jarrod Dahl

Jarrod is a full-time craftsperson, teacher, and writer who has worked with wood professionally since 1996. He designs, makes, and sells fine domestic woodenware on his website woodspirithandcraft.com. He specializes in turning green wood into cups, handled mugs, bowls, plates, and lidded boxes, using a foot-powered spring pole lathe, a Japanese-style electric lathe, and a Western electric lathe. He is also an accomplished spoon carver who makes a wide variety of cooking and eating utensils with axe and knife. Research at archives and museums informs his designs.
He teaches handcraft nationally and internationally including North House Folk School, Port Townsend School of Woodworking, Greenwood Guild London, Plymouth CRAFT, Sätergläntan-Institute of Crafts, Sweden and the Gifu Forest Academy, Japan. Jarrod has extensive knowledge of harvesting and processing natural materials and the making and use of hand tools. He has a deep philosophical, historical and pragmatic approach to making, teaching, and advocating for handcraft. 

Jarrod writes a blog, and has written for Popular Woodworking and Mortise & Tenon Magazines. He made two DVDs, The Art of Spoon Carving and One Tree about green woodworking recorded in Japan. He also has a forthcoming book with Lost Art Press on Spring Pole Lathe Turning. He lives in Northern Wisconsin.

Register for Jarrod's class at:

Please Note:  If class minimum registrations are not filled by June 1 classes may be cancelled.  Anyone registered will be notified and your  workshop fees will be returned to you. No refunds unless class is cancelled.

Photos courtesy of Woodspriithandcraft.com

Contact us here.