Our Woodlands Surviving Us

29. May 2016 Wood 2
Our Woodlands Surviving Us
It’s amazing how woodlands regenerate all by themselves. A few years ago BHMAT ran their annual course here. It was raining and the ground got churned up and muddy. But now, 8 years on, the shaving break is all that remains. The blue bells are back and all looks beautiful!    

Leather Tool Sheath Course

18. May 2016 Leather 0
Leather Tool Sheath Course
Last weekend I had the pleasure of running a tool sheath making course in the beautiful woodlands of South Cumbria. Why outside and why in the woods? The course was hosted by the Coppice Association North West as a collection of coppicing-related subjects, called Weekend in the Woods. My students made sheaths for their billhooks, axes, ...

Taking the Bark back to the Bark House

07. May 2016 Leather 2
Taking the Bark back to the Bark House
Bark House is a very old, one-room stone building owned by the National Trust. It’s set near Ashness Bridge – an iconic place where tourists come to take photos. Bark House was originally used to store oak bark before it was sent to the Keswick tannery. But no longer, as tanneries across the country have ...

Back Yard Micro Tannery

Back Yard Micro Tannery
A few months ago I started experimenting with tanning deerskin using oak bark. Here’s what I’ve done so far… NB – This post is not for my squeamish, faint-hearted or vegans friends!   The Skin and Defleshing   Liming Once the inside of the skin (flesh side) has been scraped this then gets put in a bucket ...

Back Yard Willow Growing

Back Yard Willow Growing
For the past four years I’ve been growing willow in our back garden. It’s not a huge space, about 10ft (3m) by 18ft (5.5m). I started in 2012 by covering the area with breathable weed suppressing membrane and then cut rows of small slits at 18 inch (45cm) gaps, each row being 12 inches (30cm) ...

Willow Basket Course

09. September 2015 Basketry 0
Willow Basket Course
In August I ran a traditional English round basket course – my 4th one for the Coppice Co-op – for three lovely ladies. We all had a great couple of days in the warmth of summer.                

How to make a Wooden Goblet on a Pole Lathe

20. August 2011 Wood 0
How to make a Wooden Goblet on a Pole Lathe
Photos of me making two wooden goblets from field maple. Start with a log approximately 30cm (1 foot) in diameter and 45cm (18 inches) long. Split it in half with axes, then in half again so you have a quarter of a log. Use an axe to remove the central pith of the tree and then ...