The next batch of willow skeining tools has just been completed and are ready for sending out with orders coming in from California and Canada, not to mention Scotland. Further details on the willow page.
Whimmy Diddle, A traditional folk toy found in Britain and America. I first saw one in a museum fifty years ago. In the past they would have been whittled from twigs but I now make them form Suffolk Ash. Hold the handle very firmly and rub the stick along the arm with notches, after a bit of practise and luck the propeller will spin quickly. Advanced Whimmy Diddlers are able to make the propeller reverse… This is NOTa toy due to the small parts ! Come and have a go with one at my Suffolk Open Studio 15th – 16th June or watch the video clip on my Instagram account !
A new hedge chair with an oak seat and octagonal ash legs. The crest or back is a natural grown curve. I have kept the waney edge of the seat plank and just carved it back to remove the soft wood and to give a smooth surface. I have used chalk paint on the legs and underside followed by several coats of Danish oil. the legs are lightly rubbed back to show some of the grain patterns. all hedge chairs are a one off as you can never get quite the same seat plank and back curve so if you like this one snap it up for £245
The new benches are here at last ! I have been thinking about these for some time, too long in fact. So some simple design to show off some great pieces of wood combined with elegant legs and a splash of vibrant colour. More colours and designs to follow, also some arms and backs, maybe even chairs.
The tops are oak and then spalted sycamore on the left.
It is not long now to the 2018 autumn Cornucopia Festival at White House Farm. As usual there will be a great mix of artists and makers and the festival will run from 15th September to 7th October. My studio workshop will be open on Saturdays and Sundays. I will be busy making a new range of coloured ash bowls and look forward to meeting you. If you wish to buy a bowl please email or phone me, other colours soon available.
Ash bowl with coloured and textured base, approximately 6 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ high £65
We had a great weekend at FolkEast and it was great to have the little yurt on display while I was sitting in the background spoon carving ! There was a lot of interest in the yurt which has a handmade felt cover and a frame made by the renowned yurt maker, Hal Wynne-Jones. It was very cosy for overnight camping.
We had a great day spoon carving with some really good spoons at the end of the day and lots of shavings produced. People had a chance to try a range of spoon knives including Svante Djarv, Hans Karlsson, Ben Orford and Bo Helgesson. My preference remains with the Hans Karlsson knives but I am always keen to try out new knives and am tempted to buy a Twca Cam after reading Barn the Spoons excellent new book “Spon”.
We will be running another course in the near future and also shorter taster sessions if you don’t have much time or are not quite sure it is for you.
We had a great shed building course at White House Farm. Over the two days we built the frame, door and roof for a small shed and completed a logstore. It was great to use cedar shingles for the roof, very pleasant to work with and giving a great look. We will be running the course again on the 13th and 14th October. You will learn basic carpentry skills, look at different structures on site and learn about a range of materials. In this photo you can see the completed frame and in the background a reused stained glass window.
Here is a detail I really like from a structure on site. The cladding planks alternately overlap and have gaps with a very large, overhanging roof. This gives great shade and ventilation, ideal for our recent heat wave.
We will have a shed and log store available for sale shortly and I will upload pictures as soon as they are completed.
The dates for the Alde Valley Spring Festival are from the 21st April to the 20th May. As usual there will be a great range of art on display and also local makers showcasing their work. The workshops will be open at weekends from 10am – 6pm.
There have been some exciting developments with the building of a dedicated space to run craft workshops and a redevelopment of the woodworking shop to provide two workshop spaces. The renowned Suffolk chair maker, Jim Parsons, will be moving in to his new workshop very soon.
A full programme of courses will be launched shortly, including willow work, spoon carving, rustic chairmaking, introduction to green woodwork and a new course, building a shed. This course is suitable for complete beginners and will introduce basic hand skills, design and sourcing and choosing materials. Keep an eye on the website for further details.