Category Archives: Featured

The Scything Handbook: Learn How to Cut Grass, Mow Meadows and Harvest Grain by Hand

note the degree of rotation in the front figure; however, he’s got the wrong leg forward! see youtube…

The Scything Handbook is one more on a string of beautiful, helpful (and once common) pearls that can help save us from a debilitating fate as mere “consumers,” and restore us to our birthrights as participants in creation. Full disclosure here, I know the author Ian. We’re teaching a class together in Oregon this August (info and registration here), and I also wrote the forward to his book, which is brief, clear, and as simple as a clean cut with a sharp …

Posted in Authors, Current Work, Essays and Other Writing, Featured, Kiko Denzer, news, Workshops & Presentations | Leave a comment

2017 workshops with Kiko Denzer: earth ovens, spoon carving, scything, & more!

2017 earth oven, spoon-carving and other workshop info (to register and for info, follow the links…).

June 13, 7 pm earthen building presentation at Plymouth Craft Plymouth, MA

June 17, spoon carving at Nanacardoon, in Forest Grove OR.

July 15-16, Build an earthen oven, workshop outside of Salem, OR; for info & to register, contact

July 23-29, spoon carving/greenwoodworking at echoes-in-time ancestral skills gathering

August 6, spoon carving, at Nanacardoon

Sept. 9, spoon carving, at Nanacardoon

September 10, All about scythes and scything. A scythe is the best and most durable tool for all kinds of …

Posted in Build Your Own Earth Oven, Featured, Kiko Denzer, news, Oven Workshops, Ovens, Workshops & Presentations | Leave a comment

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 , , , | 4 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 , | 5 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 …

Posted in Authors, Essays and Other Writing, Featured, Kiko Denzer | Leave a 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

The Cabin Stove 2.0

Important update! This article still serves as an important archive piece in the design development. The most current Cabin Stove documentation is available at The Cabin Stove Page.

The Cabin Stove 2.0, door hardware still being developed. Photo by Matthew Remine,

What is the Cabin Stove?

The Cabin Stove is a compact wood-burning stove for heating and cooking. It uses a mix of clean, efficient combustion, and heat exchange strategies, which provide both immediate heat via the cooktop as well stored heat through the channels inside the brick work. Effectively, it converts wood into warmth and good food.

This …

Posted in Featured, Home Heat | 11 Comments

Wood-fired, earth-oven pizza grows a family business in Cedar City UT

Wood-fired, earth-oven pizza grows a family business in Cedar City UT

The Murray family needed extra income to pay dad’s college tuition; he had already made a little backyard oven, and decided he could make a bigger one on a cart and run an outdoor pizza business. My favorite line from the video (below) is Jason expressing amazed gratitude for his wife Cindy’s support: “How many wives would let you make some stupid oven in your backyard out of mud and then put it on a trailer and go out on the street, you know?” They were so successful tho, …

Posted in Authors, Build Your Own Earth Oven, Featured, Fire, food!, Kiko Denzer, Ovens, Ovens | Leave a comment