We, Sjors van der Meer en Job Suijker give, since 2011, workshops and courses green woodworking and spoon carving. We are part of a small but growing Dutch ‘community’ of green woodworkers and spooncarvers. We operate from the east of the Netherlands in Almen nearby Zutphen (Arnhem, Apeldoorn).
Our aim is to teach people, young and old, to make things themselves by simple yet intelligent techniques. Without machines and between the trees of a small wood called the Midgaard. Trees and therefore wood is our material with which we love to work. Besides teaching the craft we are also committed to teach people about ‘forest awareness’. The fact that we people are highly dependent and connected to nature and to trees and woods in particular. See also our recent film wood masters by Wouter Kingma (English subtitled).
The craft(s) of green woodworking came to us through the English tradition. Teachers like Mike Abbott, Ray Tabor, Ben Law and their American colleague Roy Underhill, inspired us greatly. Spoon carving came to us via our Dutch colleague Jan Harm Ter Brugge (internationally renowned) and of course the great Swedish spoon carving revivor Wille Sundqvist.
Sadly enough our own Dutch greenwood tradition is mostly forlorn. But there seems to be some hope for a revival of clog making by hand. Very few Dutch people are able to do this at the present time. And we are not one of them.
In 2017 we published the first Dutch book on green woodworking called ‘Vershout’ (=green wood). We were asked by the Dutch publisher Forte to write it because there was no Dutch book on the subject and plenty of English ones. Ironically enough one year later the English publisher Searchpress decided to translate the book into English, now called ‘the forest woodworker’. It is available via your bookshop or websiteshops. We were flabbergasted! Mike Abbott volunteered to review it and he honored us by writing a flattering foreword. Thanx Mike!
If you like to do a course in green woodworking we advise you to look for our greenwood or spooncarving-colleagues in your own country. Of course you can come to the Netherlands too. We are happy to receive you in one of our workshops or courses. The courses are normally in Dutch but we (can) also teach in English.
Our program consists of a range of possibilities. From workshops lasting a day, till 5 day-courses up to a basic course green woodworking consisting of 8 days.
And there is a weekend called ‘Lepelfeest’ a kind of Dutch SpoonFest at the beginning of september. Organized by us and our spoon carving Dutch colleagues.
If you are considering to take part of one of our workshops or courses please contact us.