Class, working in birchbark.

On the 18,19 and 20 june I will be having a class in working with birchbark in Fågelsjö, a village in the Orsa Finnmark. The class is held every year, unless there are not enough participants. Fågelsjö is a beautiful and inspiring place for working with birchbark. With its history as a settlement for finnish immigrants the old folkmuseum has great objects made from birchbark. The technique we will mainly work with is sewing together whole pieces of birchbark with birchroot (flaknäver). The birchbark can be taken nearby when the sap is rising. Hence the time for the class to be held: the weekend before midsummer.
There are still places open.

Go here to sign up for the class or get more info about Fågelsjö:
all contactinformation etc is available in english and deutsch.

Flyfishing in Ljusnan.

Last night, me and Anders Bekkos, flyfishing in the river Ljusnan.
Photos by Niklas Karlsson.
Anders Bekkos in his waders, catching a greyling.

Testpilots for Canon EOS 550 D

Since one of the lenses on my camera have broke, the autofocus is out of function, I´m betting it all on becomming a testpilot for the new Canon EOS 550 D at Me and Nathan, my Myspacebuddy from Tennessee is teaming up. You can sign up for the job too you know!

If we are picked there will be lots of photos coming up here. The flyfishing season is starting now in the river Ljusnan! And around midsummer I will have a class in making birchbarkboxes in beautiful Fågelsjö again. So keep your fingers crossed for us!

Skrivet av: niklas
Publicerat i photo

Här är en artikel om min farmor. Klicka på bilderna så öppnas de i sina ursprungliga storlekar.

Skrivet av: niklas
Publicerat i nks


Shelf by Niklas Karlsson.
Carved and planed by hand. Linseedoil paint.


Candlesticks by Niklas Karlsson. Carved of birch and pine. Height 29 centimeters.


It’s been a cold winter. For two months the cold has not let go once. A couple of mornings it has been below -30 (celsius) again now and I have a car battery on charge tonight that I will put in before I take the kids to kindergarten tomorrow morning.
During the day it is nice, but I’ve been working in my workshop. So tonight I felt trapped and took a walk though it was -25 degrees outside. It was moonlight and starry and bright and beautiful. I ended up taking a shortcut across the fields on my way home. Pulsating thru the powdersnow I got up the heat and laid down in the middle of the field and actually felt really warm and comfortable. Then I walked the last bit home and sat for a while in the log hut that I have been working on sporadic. I can`t wait until it is finished, but tonight it felt almost like a shame to cover the walls.

Today I started my webshop where I sell my horses and shoe rack. I will fill up with clotheshangers etc. in a while. The address is I don´t have that many things in stock, so tomorrow I’ll take a tour and take material for shoe racks. I decided that when I was lying there in the snow.


Boxes by Niklas Karlsson

I had the benefit to meet the folkartist and master at sloyd Nils Blixt from Vallsta in Hälsingland while he was alive. He was particularly known for his birchbarkboxes and he had his strong feel about how a birchbarkbox should be made. First of all the two layers of birchbark should not be glued together, but instead stitched with root at the top. The glue kills the material.
Nils Blixt also hated when the joint of the box is cut with a (straight) chisel (after a carefully measured drawing).Those joints would give an aggressive impression. The joint should be cut with a knife, which allows you to take into account the quality of the material and particularly the ”eyes” in the birchbark, which are a weak part of the material. The lid would often have a rim to prevent it from widening the box with time and the bottom was pushed in an extra millimeter to give the box a smooth feel against the underlay. It will not stand on the actual wooden bottom, but on the soft edge of the birchbark.

Boxes by Nils Blixt, Vallsta.

When I make my own birchbarkboxes I am inspired by Nils Blixt` ideas. He in his turn was inspired by ”Näverjollen” and in that way the boxes becomes part of a tradition of birchbarkboxes. I say that without making any other parable with Nils Blixt. He was a genuine folkartist, each and every one of his boxes was a part of his own mythology and imagination that was truly unique. I have the deepest admiration for him.

Left: woman taking birchbark at a class in Fågelsjö. Right: in the making of a box.

Root and birchbark

Left: old box Right: box with tea by Niklas Karlsson

Niklas Karlsson

på svenska:

Jag hade förmånen att träffa slöjdaren Nils Blixt från Vallsta medan han levde. Han var särskilt känd för sina näverburkar och han hade sin bestämda uppfattning om hur en näverburk skulle tillverkas. Ett krav var att en näverburk inte fick limmas utan den skulle istället sys med en rotsöm längst upp. Limmet dödar materialet.
Nils Blixt avskydde också när burkarnas tampor skärs med ett stämjärn (efter en noga uppmätt mall). Sömmen blir då aggresiv. Tamporna skulle skäras ut med kniv, vilket också tillåter att man tar hänsyn till hur materialet ser ut och särskilt då att undvika ”ögonen” som är en svag del i materialet. Locket hade med få undantag en fals för att inte tränga ut näverburken med tiden och bottnen trycktes in någon millimeter extra så att burken fick en mjuk känsla mot underlaget, då den inte stod på själva träbotten utan på den mjuka näverkanten.

När jag gör mina egna näverburkar inspireras jag av det som Nils Blixt förespråkade. Han har i sin tur hämtat sin inspiration från Näverjollen och burkarna ingår på så sätt i en tradition av näverslöjd, utan att jag för den skull gör någon övrig liknelse med Nils burkar. Han var en folkkonstnär, som gjorde näverburkar som var och en i sig bar Nils egen mytologi och föreställningsvärld som var unik. Jag har en stor beundran för honom.

Wallshelf for plates

Wallshelf for plates, gustavian style. Made of old panels. 1200×960 mm. Handplaned with profiles. Painted with linseedoil paint. By Niklas Karlsson.
Carved troughs and shoerack by Niklas Karlsson.