On June 3, 2018, one of the fathers of the green woodworking movement passed away
On Sunday, June 3, 2018, word of Wille Sundqvist’s passing made its way through the internet. I’m not usually personally affected by the passing of a celebrity, (yes, in my world Wille was a celebrity) but this one stung. It isn’t often that a lineage of inspiration and education is as clear as it is in the green woodworking world, and even less often is the alpha still walking among us. As before, I am smart enough to know when I’m not going to say it better than Peter Follansbee, so I’m not going to try.
There’s no exaggeration about Wille’s impact on so many of our woodworking trajectories … I’ve written and talked at length about what I often call “craft genealogy” and I trace mine back to a very simple event—Bill Coperthwaite bringing Wille Sundqvist down to meet Drew and Louise Langsner, c. 1976. That visit led to the creation of Country Workshops, where I often traveled to learn from Drew, Louise, Jennie Alexander, Jögge, Curtis Buchanan and Wille Sundqvist – and on & on.
So, in honor of Wille, and in case some of our readers don’t know about the effect he had on the modern-day woodworking scene, I’ve dug through the archives and brought to light some work of Wille’s that hasn’t been posted online. The first, Carving a Dough Bowl – Using ax, adze, knife, and gouge (FWW #83), is an excerpt from his book Swedish Carving Techniques, first published in 1990. The second, Knife Work – Make the knife and carve a spoon (FWW #38) is written by Rick Mastelli, but the content is all Wille. I can’t be sure, but it’s probably taken from the same shoot that produced the astoundingly good video recently published on Country Workshop’s YouTube channel.
Finally, I’ll point you toward a couple of posts by Wille’s son, Joggé Sundqvist, who is doing more than his fair share of carrying the torch his father lit.