I am a traditional green woodworker and live in Great Bourton, north of Banbury, and specialise in hand-carving spoons and bowls.
To me it is essential that the items I produce are functional. My aim is to produce something that is useful and a pleasure to look at and handle everyday. In doing so, I endeavour to utilise the natural characteristics and features of the wood.
There are two characteristics that apply to all my work. Firstly, I follow traditional practice and use wood that has been locally sourced, usually from within five miles of the workshop. Mostly I use British timbers including beech, sycamore, lime, field maple and fruitwoods, such as apple, cherry or damson.
Secondly, only traditional tools and skills are used. Typically a small number of tools are required and emphasis is placed on their effective use and an appreciation of the material being worked. Once I get the timber to the workshop only a limited set of hand tools are needed to produce a spoon or bowl; wedges or an axe to split the wood; carving axe and adze to roughly shape the items and carving chisels and knives for final shaping and finishing. If further finishing is required cabinet scrapers are used and items are sealed using linseed oil or wax polish. Consequently, everything is hand-crafted and not machine-made.
Keen to promote traditional craft I regularly demonstrate my craft and run courses in green woodworking and spoon carving.