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in Fiber Arts
The Maasepän Puukko
with Paige May
Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday, November 14, 2021 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuition: $144 Materials: $150
Registration will close on November 1st in order to ensure time to forge the puukko blades.
The Maasepän puukko is the oldest style of puukko, a basic villager's blacksmith knife, that dates back to the early Middle age. It is elegant in its simplicity and examples can be found using a variety of types of wood for the handles, and leather (tuppi) or birchbark (tuohituppi) sheaths.
In this class, students will learn about some of the process that goes into harvesting and preparing the handle materials for puukko making. They will shape their own maasepän puukko handles with a wood rasp and strips of sandpaper, sew the leather sheath, and learn how to take care of a carbon steel blade. This includes maintaining a good cutting edge. Students will then take home their very own puukko, with a handle and sheath they made themselves.
The materials fee includes the blade, handle wood block, birch lesta sheath liner, epoxy, sandpaper, sheath leather, thread, needles, and sheath finishing wax. Students will need to bring their own cutting board, ruler, pencil, pliers, wood rasp, utility knife or razor blade, and thimble. If you are able, bring a set of clamps. Each day will include a lunch break - feel free to bring your own lunch or visit our neighboring restaurants.
About the Instructor, Paige May: I grew up on a hobby farm in Northeast Nebraska, and starting at a very early age my parents got me out in the woods. I learned to fish as a toddler, and then started hunting and trapping. I’ve always liked to keep busy building things and crafting, so it’s no surprise that once I moved to Northeast Minnesota, I fell in love with wilderness here.
Over the past 13 years, I’ve focused my creative energy on using the wild fur that I trap and the raw materials from the boreal forest to create beautiful and useful things, like furry winter garments and knives. I have really resonated with the strong Scandinavian heritage in Minnesota and have gravitated towards becoming a puukko knife maker, or puukkoseppä.
While I have learned to forge puukko blades, my best friend Jamiah Mahoney at Subtle Forge, already has his smithy set up. Jamiah’s fine-tuned skills produce gorgeous high-quality carbon steel puukko, leuku and chef’s blades. For this reason, I currently source my blades from him and in so doing support not only one of my best friends, but another local business.