Photo credit: Philip Swinburn
I may or may not be posting intermittently next week. I decided to take a craft course at a certain institution in Iowa, whose name I guess I won’t mention, because I have a criticism to make about one of their practices.
The course is in making a stave vessel. A stave vessel is something like an old wooden bucket, with staves and bands like a barrel – though I won’t be making a bucket, but a traditional Norwegian vessel for separating cream from milk. Cooperage – the construction of watertight containers from staves, has always intrigued me. Knowing my aptitude for any kind of handwork, I’m sure I’ll be no good at all at it. But it might be something worth knowing about, for reenactment and novel writing purposes.
My complaint with the unnamed school is how long it took them to get me a list of the tools I’d need. I waited patiently, and it finally turned up by email on Sunday, too late to do any weekend shopping. But hey, I figured, I’ll go to the big hardware center and pick them up after work one night.
I went last night, and discovered that, thought they had a couple items I needed, your modern hardware center is a little light on cooperage tools. I’d have to try a specialty woodworking store in Minnetonka, they told me.
So tonight I drove out to Minnetonka after work. At that store I found one of the two items I needed. For the other, they told me, I’d need to go to a hobby store in Bloomington, on the far side of town from my home.
I guess I’ll see if I can pick it up on my way south, when I leave (on a date I’ll keep to myself).
My great fear is of showing up at the school without the proper tools, like a foolish virgin without the nightly minimum requirement of lamp oil.
Also that I’ll chop a finger off, of course.