Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I Sløjdsagen Et Inlæg

Otto Salomon had a favorite author he quoted on the use of the knife. N. Christian Jacobsen's book, written in Danish and published in Oslo in 1892 is extremely rare and I was able to get a copy from the Danish National Library by inter-library loan. I intend to carefully scan the pages and make them available to anyone who would care to make a translation. Here is what I have so far and what inspired me to want to read this book and to think it might be worth translation:

“The knife demands total attention and permits no mechanical work. Furthermore, the knife can produce—unlike the plane, as an example—curved surfaces in form work. This makes the knife superior when it comes to the development of a sense of form and beauty.” [summarized by HansThorbjörnsson]

In the meantime,  I have a class this morning for home schooled students and in the afternoon will begin setting up for my Saturday art show.

We are down to 21 making days before Christmas, and consumers are busy shopping for gifts and bargains. If you are a maker, instead, you will have skill remaining after all the packages are opened, and so many meaningless gift objects are sent unceremoniously to the landfill or thrift store.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Hi Doug.

    I can help with the translation.
    As far as I know there were two main directions in the Danish sløjd system.
    One is called Askov and the other one is the Nääs from Sweden.
    As far as I remember, one of those advocated on the use of knives whereas the other was opposed to knives. Seemingly because it didn't bring any nice posture with it. You can't sit straight up while whittling.

  2. Hi Doug.

    I can help you with the translation.
    According to my father who is a retired sløjd teacher, one of the main directions in the Danish sløjd education was against the use of knives. I can't remember if it was Askov or Dansk Skolesløjd.
    The opposition against the use of knives was that it did not help the pupils to get a good posture. It is kind of hard to sit straight and whittle.
    I liked using the knife though. We whittled propellers for our bicycles, to be mounted on the handlebars.

  3. Jonas, please email me at and I can send you the scanned text.