We’re excited to bring you top-notch carving and woodworking instructors this year’s Greenwood Wrights’Fest.
Roy is known to many in the hand tool woodworking community as “Saint Roy”. As kind and generous as Roy is, he is no saint but his knowledge of traditional woodworking is practically encyclopedic, making him a true scholar of old school woodworking. Roy’s mission is to reach out into the wider community and demonstrate a more self reliant sustainable way of living in the world. In hopes that more people in the community will choose craftsmanship over consumerism.
Roy is the author of seven books and has inspired enthusiasm for traditional craftsmanship at The Woodwright’s School since 2014, where he has been doing what he calls “subversive woodworking” by having interesting woodworking tools and items in the windows of his school on Main Street in Pittsboro, attracting locals into the school as they conduct classes. He has a large collection of vintage woodworking texts at his school and in his small vintage cottage next to his meticulously restored three story mill house.
Roy studied theater and worked on sets at UNC. He came back to the area from a stint at a commune in New Mexico with his wife, Jane. Then he got a Multidisciplinary Masters in Forestry from Duke, where his thesis was on muscle powered tools. In Durham he had a small shop called the Woodwright’s Shop, where he coined the term and taught hand tool woodworking. Roy pitched the concept of a “how to show” to UNC TV and the Woodwright’s Shop debuted in 1979. Roy’s show entertained generations for 37 years on National Public TV.
Roy has a historical interest and tremendous respect for early African American craftsmen and tool makers who “turned nature into culture” despite the brutal difficulties they faced building much of the south. During the pandemic, Roy held many classes at his school via Zoom and did a podcast with Cut the Craft, and helped Jasper Mayer, a young very talented hand tool enthusiast, build and raise a timber frame shop, and guided him to do research on an African American joiner, William Hamilton Cummings. Mortise & Tenon magazine in Issue VIII published an article about Roy, “Subversive Woodwright.”
“We are creators and teachers. The confidence of humankind is based not on superior strength or speed but on our abilities to shape the materials of our environment and to communicate our experiences. With each swing of the axe, each joining of the wood, you build and preserve within you the living memory of this timeless trade. The satisfaction you gain is well deserved.”
Paul has always enjoyed working with wood. After retiring from teaching he has been excited to find more time to enjoy wood carving. With his Scandinavian heritage he has been inspired to explore traditional Scandinavian forms in carving bowls, chip carving, and relief carving. He entered the world of Greenwood carving with spoons and then shifted to bowl carving. He became interested in chip carving as a way to embellish his bowls, and now enjoys teaching the craft. He enjoys the challenging himself to bring fresh interpretation to folk design.
Tom Bartlett of Sylva Spoon is a native of the UK but a resident of Madison Wi for these past 6 years. He’s been carving spoons since he got his first hatchet in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. He’s carved in the UK, South Korea, Costa Rica, Iraq, Sweden, and across the US. His favorite wood to carve is black cherry and his favorite tool to use is the carving hatchet.
Jerome Bias Is a furniture maker and cultural heritage practitioner, specializing in the reproduction of 18th and 19th century Southern furniture using period techniques. He has been making furniture since 2000 and was the joiner for Old Salem Museum & Gardens from 2011-2016.
Bias has been studying the work of Thomas Day for the last twenty years. He has presented for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Winterthur Museum, and The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA).
Graduating from the MESDA Summer Institute program and serving as the joiner for Old Salem, Bias has learned to see the building of furniture from a material culture perspective. Who built it? What was their life like? Bias has also worked with the Slave Dwelling Project. As the hearth cook during on-site programs, he learned to ask complicated questions, like what were the skill sets of enslaved tradespeople? How did they craft lives for themselves and their families while enslaved?
Bias currently makes reproductions of historic pieces of furniture from places throughout the country where his family was enslaved. Through this project, he hopes to explore the question: how did his ancestors handle the trauma of enslavement and yet maintain the ability to have hope and love?
Eric Goodson is a woodturner and carver based out of Newburyport, MA. Eric began his green woodworking journey in 2013 after building his first pole lathe. Since then he has focused on turning bowls, cups, plates and locking lidded boxes, as well as carving spoons, shrink pots, and other woodenware for the home. A high school history teacher until the spring of 2022, he is now a full-time craftsperson and instructor, teaching spoon carving and pole-lathe turning at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA, the Eliot School for Fine and Applied Arts in Boston, MA, and at his shop in Newburyport.
Dan Green runs Woodcrest Farm, a working farm and blacksmith’s forge in Hillsborough, NC, practicing sustainable agriculture and offering camps, classes, events, and tours.
Jason Lonon is a craftsman and teacher living and working in the same valley his ancestors have called home since the 1840s. Concurrent to serving an apprenticeship in traditional woodworking, Jason began blacksmithing as a teenager in the late 1990s. Today Jason and a team of highly skilled craftsmen produce a line of specialty carving tools for traditional woodworkers. Over the years, Jason has taught welding, blacksmithing, woodcarving and other skills in a wide variety of settings from the community college system to wilderness camps.
Photo by Peter Taylor Photography
Cynthia Main is the founder of Sunhouse Craft, an artisan craft house in Berea Kentucky with a focus on brooms. She is an artist/maker whose work focuses on relating to land as part of an integral view of a more sustainable society. Cynthia’s strong background in woodworking and traditional craft surfaces in most of her projects, work that often uses traditional techniques for work that is collaborative, community building and strengthens connection to a place. Cynthia learned traditional broom making at Tillers International in 2013 and has practiced the art ever since. She weaves thousands of brooms a year at her studio located in Berea, Kentucky.
Jasper is a timbersport competitor who is passionate about sustainable living and hand tool woodworking. Jasper was sixteen when he decided to build his own timber frame shop in Pittsboro, NC. Under the tutelage of Roy Underhill, Cara O’Connell, and grandfather Peter Ross, Jasper learned to hand hew logs, do joinery and raised his timber frame shop in May of 2021.
Don Nalezyty has been carving since he was a child. Despite a day job in the IT world, he studied arts and design at university and has always had the need to make things with his hands. For the last 14 years, he has focused on carving, kolrosing, and finishing greenwood spoons and other treen. He has studied with woodworkers from across the globe learning traditional methods for working with green or unseasoned wood. As an internationally recognized spoon carver, Don has taught workshops in spoon carving and decoration across the US and abroad.
Levi O’Brien is a Certified arborist and a faculty member at the New York Botanical Garden, where he teaches classes on trees and shrubs, horticulture, and the history, mythology, and uses of trees. He has worked for years as a garden and arborist consultant and completed his undergraduate work at SUNY ESF, a reputed forestry school. In his personal time, he works with and studies wood.
Always a tomboy at home in the woods, rivers and forest, Cara’s love of nature and woodworking developed at her remote family camp in Maine. She completed a four year carpentry apprenticeship and worked as a high-end trim carpenter for many years in the DC area. She then worked on a farmhouse in Pennsylvania with an Amish crew where she spent long hours in the evenings carving spoons and walking sticks. After moving to North Carolina with her family, she completed her studies at UNC and worked as a Physical Therapist.
In 2014, Cara became mesmerized by green woodworking after meeting Roy Underhill turning spindles on a spring pole lathe under a big oak tree at Shakori Hills. She taught classes on Appalachian bark buckets and Sloyd at the Woodwright’s School with her mentor, Roy Underhill, before building a greenwood festival at home in Pittsboro, NC.
Since he was a kid, Nico’s always wanted to live in the woods. For the last 10 years, he’s been fulfilling that dream, living off-grid in the mountains around Asheville, and studying the skills and knowledge it takes to meet his own needs from the land. That “simple” act, of meeting a need for himself, ties him closer to the land and all the beings around him. His main areas of focus have been hide tanning and woodworking, and he now runs a business tanning hides, carving spoons and bowls, and teaching these skills to the local community. You can see what classes are coming up, and what products he has available, at woodlandworkshopnc.com, or by finding him @woodlandworkshopnc on Instagram.
Peter Ross is the preeminent whitesmith for museum-quality locks and tools and former head blacksmith for Williamsburg. He specializes in reproductions of 17th and 18th century English American wrought ironwork, black and bright. He now works making teaching, and selling hand-forged historic hardware and tools in Chatham County, NC.
Callan is a spoon, fork, and bowl maker living off-grid in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She teaches traditional skills like carving and hide tanning at various schools and gatherings around the southeast. At Forest Floor Wilderness School she leads bowl & spoon making camps and classes for kids and teens. Woodworking is an opportunity to understand the ecosystem on a deeper level. She loves that the same black walnut she carves a spoon from may also provide her nut supply for the year. She hopes to always foster connection with the land through her craft and teaching.
Aaron has been carving spoons for about five years and dabbles, mostly unsuccessfully, in greenwood chair and stool making. He picked up spoon carving after moving to rural Ohio after spending five years in Santa Barbara. Aaron’s favorite spoons to carve are for eating and prefers cherry, walnut, and birch. When not carving or parenting two young daughters, he is a political science professor.
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