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Wednesday 4 March 2015

Meeting Hans-Joachim Seitfudem, master woodcarver from Bavaria, at my studio

Yesterday, my friend Jo Seitfudem brought his father Hans-Joachim to visit me at my studio. It was great to meet him. Hans-Joachim is a master carver in Bavaria, with clients who have previously included the Vatican.

hans-joachim seitfudem

Although Hans-Joachim speaks very little English and my German is very poor, Jo could translate and his father was keen to look around the workshops at Bower Ashton and to see my woodcarving tools. It was easy to see that the wood dust and tools were getting him itching to do some carving himself! He also noted how he likes older British-made carving tools such as Addis and Herring Bros.

My Opinel carving knife felt too large in his hands though; Hans-Joachim said it felt 'dangerous' to him when he used it after his own, smaller carving knife. He also likes to have the cutting edges of his V-tools swept back from the tip, whereas Jo and I prefer them to be square to the tip. Carvers generally do seem to develop a strong preference for how their tools should be shaped. Many experienced carvers that I've met don't lend out their personal carving tools for this reason - breakages and bad resharpening can ruin friendships (although I don't know if Hans-Joachim feels that way).

Hans Joachim said some very kind things about the carvings on the bench for the Bristol Downs that I've been working on recently. He also liked the 'Predator bird' sculpture that he saw in my portfolio.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon and it was very interesting to hear what Hans-Joachim had to say thanks to Jo's translating. I just wish that my German language skills were better!

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