Category Archives: Kiko Denzer

Spoon Carving w/Lynn Rosetto Kasper on The Splendid Table

This spring, after my first spoon carving class of the season, I got a call from Lynne Rosetto Kasper, of the Splendid Table. She did a show about earthen ovens years ago, but wanted to talk spoons — Wow! What could be more fun?! I sent her some spoons and a pages of enthusiastic spoon notes…

one of mine, a traditional (E’n European?), and one of Bill Coperthwaite’s

But we needed a fancy sound room to do the interview; it took a few weeks of wrangling to schedule a time w/the folks at Oregon State U. in Corvallis. Ironically, the …

Posted in Authors, Current Work, Featured, Kiko Denzer, Sculpture, Spoons | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Spoon-Carving Classes, 2016, or Why it’s good to carve your own spoon

Some of Robin Wood’s collected spoons, at lunch, made by as many different carvers. Note the bowls, too… Robin has been making bowls and spoons for twenty years, as well as doing research, writing, and advocating for hand craft. I got to visit in April, which was a huge gift. Click on the photo to goto Robin’s website, full of good things (browse the blog, too)

This summer, I’ll be teaching three spoon carving classes, all on Saturdays: May 21 June 18 and August 20 Classes are hosted by friends Richard and Charlene at Nanacardoon, their wonderful 1.5 acre suburban …

Posted in A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity, Authors, Books, Featured, Kiko Denzer, Sculpture, Spoons | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Beauty and Building

It’s hard to talk to people about beauty and building. Last fall, a friend of a friend came by to see what we’re building. He looked appreciatively at our modest but well-built structure — which I have been ornamenting by cutting curves in rafter tails and support brackets — and said, “why are you spending all this time to cut fancy shapes when you have a house to build?” Before I could reply, he said, almost to himself, “Oh, you’re an artist,” as if that explained otherwise aberrant behavior, like a diagnosis of disease.

It’s the view from economic laws …

Posted in Authors, Buildings/Structures, Essays and Other Writing, Featured, Kiko Denzer | Tagged , | 3 Comments

earth oven building errors to avoid

Beginning an oven building adventure…click on the photo to read the builder’s story…

Especially when building a larger oven, there are some clear earth oven building errors to avoid. (Building an oven is simple, but the truth is that nothing is quite as simple as it may first appear, especially when you build a fire in it.) Heather Coiner of Hat Creek Farm in Virginia (in photo) has generously documented some of the mistakes they made on a commercial-scale oven they built (and used successfully) on their farm — and which they recently took down after building their next oven …

Posted in Authors, Build Your Own Earth Oven, Featured, Kiko Denzer, Ovens, Ovens | 3 Comments

The value of water

the value of waterThe thirsty drink water from a bowl made of mountains, hills, and trees…

In the rural area where I lived for 20 years — and throughout Oregon, as well as elsewhere — “watershed management” has become a common term. Farmers and ranchers compete with urbanites and salmon for water to feed us all. The media call them “water wars,” but without water, no one eats and no one “wins.” If the salmon lose, we lose too. The issue looms ever larger: climate change, population growth, and an economy on the verge of collapse. Fear makes it hard …

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Bill Coperthwaite & the Arts of Culture (a review of A Man Apart, Bill Coperthaite’s Radical Experiment in Living, by Peter Forbes & Helen Whybrow)

A Man Apart, Bill Coperthaite’s Radical Experiment in Living, by Peter Forbes & Helen Whybrow

I met Bill Coperthwaite in 2007. I had recently read his book, A Hand Made Life, and was deeply impressed by his stories and practice, and the way he was trying to live out an answer to questions that, by our denial of them, define our culture:

“Can you have ‘culture’ without violence?”

“Is beauty useful?”

“Are justice, democracy, and peace possible if most all of our technologies require violence?”

Like Gandhi, Bill figured that whatever he could make for himself meant less dependence on …

Posted in A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity, Authors, Books, Essays and Other Writing, Kiko Denzer | 1 Comment

Green-wood carving classes: make a spoon from a branch

Green-wood carving classes, spring, 2015. Carving green wood is much easier than carving dry wood, and in the days when most people didn’t have woodshops with power tools, vises, clamps, and hold-downs of all varieties, carving green wood was something you did in your lap while you were sitting around of an evening. So that’s pretty much what a spoon-carving class is all about. I’ve been teaching it mostly at primitive skills gatherings (this year I’ll be at Buckeye, and maybe Echoes in Time), but this year friends Charlene and Richard Murdock white invited me to teach at their wonderful …

Posted in Authors, Featured, Kiko Denzer, Sculpture, Spoons | 5 Comments

cabin stove/sidewinder build sequence

This photo-essay documents about 2 days of experimentation that resulted in a pretty stupendous new variation on Max’s “Cabin Stove.” The overall footprint of the stove determined the firebox size, and the geometry resulted in a rectangular heat riser that took hot gasses from a vertical throat in the corner of the firebox — unconventional, but it worked amazingly well. More to come! (Ed. Note: This stove, like so many others, is merely one more in a long line of innovations and adaptations, all based on the same basic principles: burn the fuel fast, hot, & clean, and extract and …

Posted in Authors, Fire, Heaters, Kiko Denzer, Rocket Mass Heaters | 6 Comments

Earth Oven builders in Ecuador, Manuel (10), Juan Carlos (6)

A builder in Alaska sent me this story about an earth oven she built in Ecuador, with two helpers. At the ages of 10 and 6, they are clearly competent. Margaret writes:

Winters in Kodiak were beginning to get to me.  I had it in mind to snow goose it away in a warmer climate for the coldest, darkest part of winter.  Alan and his girlfriend, Loretta were due to get married on their farm [in Ecuador].  They invited me to the wedding.  And so I went.

I had always said to Allan that if I did ever get to …

Posted in Authors, Build Your Own Earth Oven, Creative Children, Kiko Denzer, Ovens, Uncategorized, Working With Children | Leave a comment

Stages of carving a spoon: photo tutorial

Stages of Carving a Spoon

The stages start with a split branch of green wood. I start off with a sharp hatchet, but here are some finished spoons to give an idea of where we’re headed:

first, some finished spoons: (l to r) one of mine, a traditional (eastern European?) spoon, which might be boxwood, and a Bill Coperthwaite spoon.

finished spoons, other side; click on the photo to see more about the geometry and design of the lovely center spoon.

6 stages of roughing out a spoon (from R. to L! My brain was in another country). Hatching (in …

Posted in Authors, Kiko Denzer, Sculpture, Spoons | 4 Comments