Almfossil 2021 – Wood Sculpture Workshop

Almfossil 2021 was a 4-day wood sculpture workshop held in the village of Seby on the south-eastern coast of the island of Öland in June 2021. A small scale (pandemic scale) test project performed by the Surprise Lab project group with a few guests which was covered by the local newspapers.

Our aim was to test logistics, material sourcing, tools and machinery and to discuss how to best continue working on future workshop projects.

An important decision was made. The pandemic situation been what it was in the spring and summer of 2021 with all the uncertainties concerning restrictions we decided to go ahead and plan for a larger scale Swedish national test project the coming year, Surprise Laboratory International 2022.

JoINT – An International Arena for Woodworking Culture 

JoINT provided an arena for the woodworking culture from four different continents - Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe - to come together to share, to explore, and to create. 

Leading crafts people from Japan, Australia, Senegal and Sweden were invited to participate in a collective workshop, seminar, and exhibition in Mariestad, Sweden during the spring and summer of 2008. 

There are long traditions of working with wood in art, crafts and everyday functional objects in these countries. The ambition was to provide a meeting place for professional artists and crafts people who work with the same material within a theme that is as universal as woodworking itself: Working together - sitting together: Seating in public places. 

Sweden is, together with a small number of other countries around the world, endowed with plentiful forest timbers and a long tradition of working with wood. We live with a unique wood culture; our country's economy is largely dependent on forestry products. Wood is used industrially, in the building sector, and in traditional sloyd. But where is wood found in today's crafts? art? These are questions we often have asked ourselves when meeting with colleagues from around the world. What role, if any, does this material play today? Johan Huldt, then President of Svensk Form, a leading design journal, has written: "In Sweden we have succeeded in maintaining fluid boundaries between art, crafts, industrial design, and art design. These disciplines enrich each other and have greatly contributed to Sweden's global reputation in the field of design." 

"JoINT - an International Arena for Woodworking Culture" -- represented our devotion to working towards an increased international exchange of ideas between leading crafts people within a woodworking discipline. This project provided information about international woodworking that reached both Swedish and international crafts people as well as an art-loving public. 

The JoINT exhibition consisted of pieces that each workshop participant brought with them, as well as pieces resulting from the workshop. The exhibition was held in four venues in western Sweden starting at Brandstedts TräGård in June 2008. The exhibition was also shown at Designtorg Trä, Orsa, Kronhusbodarna, Göteborg and Steneby Konsthall, Dals Långed. 

The workshop took place at Brandstedts TräGård, Mariestad, Sweden, May 11 –18, 2008. It was documented and a catalogue was printed. 

A seminar was held in connection to the workshop, May 19 –20, 2008, at the DaCapo School of Crafts (the Mariestad branch of the University of Gothenburg) in order to reach a wider range crafts people interested in art and woodworking.