Vincentz Network

Carving with Jögge Sundqvist

Vincentz Network
Carving with Jögge Sundqvist
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    General Information

    More than works. Slöjd.

    Sometimes it is difficult to translate a term exactly into German, simply because of the complexity of its meaning: Zen, for example, is such a term. Another is the Swedish slöjd. The original title of this book, "Slöjda I Trä," can be translated as "works with wood," but this is only a rudimentary translation. Slöjd rather wants to address the whole person in a pedagogical way: In addition to instilling a sense of and appreciation for work, Slöjd also seeks to instill an eye for accuracy and beauty, while training attention, diligence, perseverance, and patience in addition to manual skills. Its origins lie in the self-sufficiency and handicraft traditions that were once taken for granted in farming communities and have now almost disappeared or have degenerated into mere hobby folklore.

    Author Jögge Sundqvist, who himself works as a craftsman and gives courses internationally, wants to revive with this book the production of everyday utensils with materials from their own environment in the spirit of Slöjd. Accordingly, the objects produced - including cake lifters, coat hooks, knobs, walking sticks, mugs, cutting boards, stools and brooches - are always precisely crafted, useful, beautiful and, above all, practical for everyday use. Since it does not go without theory, he devotes about a quarter of the book to the background knowledge of materials and blanks, tools and equipment, as well as the working techniques such as splitting, carving, grinding, stripping and painting, in addition to the vivid descriptions of their manufacture.

    Carving. Living with Wood.

    The basics of woodworking and wood processing were common knowledge in earlier centuries. One could make many practical everyday objects from wood with simple means and find the raw material almost everywhere. Today, this traditional knowledge has largely disappeared. On the one hand, there are elaborate handicrafts and, on the other, industrialised mass production (especially in furniture making). But it is precisely the lost middle ground that can easily be recaptured. Carving combines many of the basics of woodworking. For this reason, when you learn carving, you learn pretty casually and almost playfully which tool to use for what purpose, which wood is better or worse suited for cutting and – quite generally – which projects agree with wood.

    One of the most appealing aspects is that no one but you can determine when the object you have worked on is finished. All in all, no one can objectively assess whether you have left too much material and would have done better to remove some more in terms of “right” or “wrong”. Such artistic freedom that goes without any pressure to justify yourself is immensely liberating. In the end, we create something out of nothing with our own hands – because we want to and because we can. And while we satisfy a primal human need, we come to realise - and this too should be addressed - that what we glorify today as a romantic craft was once often a real drudgery.

    We have assorted some books with this in mind. The manuals are intended to be an incentive to engage with the subject of carving creatively. Specifically, advanced carvers may find answers to the question: What can be done with green wood from the forest? Eventually, on the next walk in the woodland, we may discover quite casually and yet with a practised eye those pieces of wood that are suitable for what our imagination has already formed in thought. Later at home, in the workshop, at the campsite, by the fire in front of the camper (or wherever), we let this imagination become a reality. The result may facilitate our everyday life or make a thoughtful gift.

    Product Information

    Article Number 58343

      By Jögge Sundqvist. 89 pages with many colour illustrations. 27 x 19 cm, hard cover. Published by Th. Schäfer in the Vinzentz Network 2005.
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