Documentary on the incredible spoon carving teacher and traditional turner of northern Sweden, Ville Sundquist.
Wille Sundqvist is an elder craftsman in the rich and deep woodcraft tradition of the Västerbotten region in the north of Sweden. Wille’s traditional of carving spoons and ladles, his greenwood turned bowls, and the educational work he has done through his books, especially “Swedish Carving Techniques” has made him known and loved by the Swedes and by the broader international audience.
Wille (pronounced Veelay) demonstrates unusual carving grasps with his knife and the special skewing cuts that are from an old Swedish woodturning technology for green wood. He also includes instruction in knife sharpening, how to properly oil hand carved utensils, and how to decorate them with fine detail cuts.
Wille’s generous appearance to share his special craft skills makes him a good teacher. His approach to everyday objects – such as how he reflects on eating quietly with a wooden spoon – reflects a philosophy of life and contemplation that only he can put into words. Wille Sundqvist is 87 years old when this 2013 film is being recorded.
There are few carvers from the United States who have had the ability to visit and study with Wille Sundqvist at his home in Northern Sweden, to experience watching him work in an environment to which he is so thoroughly connected… I feel so very fortunate to be one of them. Wille’s book, Swedish Carving Techniques, is an inimitable reference on the tools and the techniques of carving bowls and spoons in the Swedish style. What this film offers is not only the ability to see the author demonstrate the techniques, but perhaps an even more valuable insight into the whole of Wille’s carving process… from a walk in the woods through the daily use of the finished spoon at the table. It is an exceptional story of a life devoted to the promotion of craft and the education of others.
– Paul Linden, Feb. 2014
I was inspired in 2012 by an idea of Drew Langsner’s that I make a film of my father Wille Sundqvist and his life’s work. Through support from the National Swedish Handicraft Council, private donations, and the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, I came to realize this recording, this dream.
As the producer of the film and as a professional woodworker, I saw the need for a younger audience to meet my father – a genuine tradition-bearer.
Craft is low-tech production in local materials that provides useful items for those who make them. Unlike today’s world, in craft there is a producer and a consumer in one single product. It is a genuine approach born out of a society based on the self sufficiency that the Scandinavian craft traditions represent. Knowledge from older generations have nearly died out in our Western culture – a knowledge which today is highly current in the intense environmental debate about creating a sustainable society. I do hope this film can make a small difference.
Enjoy, learn and carve!
DVD Production: s u r o l l e c/o Jögge Sundqvist – Bautafilm
Manuscript: Jögge Sundqvist
Photo: Jostein Skeidsvoll
Producer: Jögge Sundqvist
Lenght: 71 minutes
Language: English / Swedish
Copyright: © s u r o l l e c/o Jögge Sundqvist