Hi there, I’m Savy, a young craftsperson who attends UTEC. I’m feeling like a 10! What will I be blogging about? The UTEC Woodworking crew attended the 85th annual Craftsmen Fair hosted by Mount Sunapee and presented by League of NH Craftsmen as a field trip. This fair had many interesting and vintage craft works made out of wood, glass, and fabric. What really makes the fair special is the unique craft works, antique tools, and the story behind their work.
Unique craft works
You walk in and see a display of wood made into different toys and craft work that you normally don’t see. At our very first stop, there were unique toys that the carpenter came up with himself that you wouldn’t even see in stores. They were all his own design which he crafted to look different. All of his toys could be used for different holidays too; you could have them at a baby shower, holidays, etc.
Seeing these crafts inspired me to think more outside the box. I took a picture and told Ken, the UTEC Woodworking program manager, “This is what I want to make.” It didn’t have to be the exact same thing as what the person created, but it made me want to add more to it, craft it to me. There were so many different ways you could create your own.
It was the same for all the other booths too. The artisans create their own designs, they were all original. Even the kids were creative, they took coca cola cans and recycled them to look like leaves. It was so amazing there. The shapes, sizes, materials, and techniques were just unique to look at.
At the woodblock printing booth, the man used antique tools, many of which were hand-me-downs. He demonstrated every part of the process of the woodblock printing with these tools. He explained how people made newspapers back then in comparison to how they make it now. He explained that you had to get checked for iron because of the exposure. It was fascinating to see something from way back.
He even showed us this old tool that you had to flip the image on the wood in order to print it the right way. Think about seeing an entire scene and having to flip it in your mind, AND now carve that backward version, just to print it the right way. He also printed my name out for me, grabbing each letter individually S-A-V-Y just to flip it backwards so it would print the right way.
Story behind the work
Another artisan, Aaron Clapp walked us through the story of how he makes wooden spoons. Aaron Clapp showed us the wooden log and explained that you have to see the dip in the grain which will tell you where the spoon is. You can’t just cut the wood, you have to visualize the spoon in the wood. It isn’t you who is making the spoon, it’s the wood. This stood out to me because of this person’s connection to the wood. Aaron Clapp did not force the wood into the object.
I build and play because I’m a craftsperson. Being there made me feel like I was in a playground. This experience really motivates me to challenge myself, never stop growing, and expand my imagination.
Source: Lowell Sun