THE WOOD MAN

WORKING THE WOOD

By: Heidi Bjørnsdotter Thorvik og Marianne Vigtel Hølland

Olav assembles all his materials from the woods in his neighborhood. He can tell about hours and hours of walking around in the forest, looking, searching, sawing and bringing home whatever treasures he would find.

(about craft and tradition)
The origin of woodturning dates a long time back, probably about 1000 BC. Nowadays cheaper production methods has taken over and we are disconnecting from our cultural heritage, Olav says. It is important that there are still some who can keep the old traditions alive and some people are still willing to pay for unique products from the Norwegian forests.

(about the product lifecycle)
I`ll do everything myself. Countless hours go by to pick, gather and search for the right kind of materials. After many years, he knows what to look for. Friends will also call when they stumble upon some wood they think Olaf might like. Everywhere we look around us there are materials for drying. Great topics is on hold (and to dry, it is important that the materials are dry before beginning to work with them) and we find loads of both started and completed projects stored about each other in a large garage. The cars can fend for themselves outdoors.

(about design)
Olav tells us that he will learn to know each peace of wood before he decides what to do with them. Some topics lend themselves well as bowls, others will more likely become a chair. The production process is almost poetic. Coarse adjustments are made with a chainsaw outside, – sawdust is all around Olav like a cloud. Afterwards he shows us around the workshop. Giant hands holding small tools showing and explaining how the products are born.

Sales are usually in fairs and squares around the country. Eventually, some have been aware of me and can call in orders Olaf tells us.

It is painstaking work and I will probably never get rich, but it’s a good life.

Olav Røgeberg runs his small business “Treknoten”. Sometimes he puts his products out on the Norwegian online shop finn.no. He welcomes visitors by appointment at his home in Skotselv and he also have some retailers.