I am a Maker of Hand-carved Spoons & Bowls and live in Great Bourton, north of Banbury, Oxfordshire.
While at university as a mature student in Aberystwyth during 2000 I had a chance meeting with Bob Shaw, a local woodland owner and craftsman. By the end of our first meeting we had agreed that in exchange for a day's labour, Bob would teach me woodland management and traditional craft. Thus started my career as a traditional craftsman.
The following summer Bob kindly invited me to live in his wood and to help make desks and benches for an outdoor classroom in Aberystwyth.
Initially, I focused on making rustic furniture and field items such as cleft ash hurdles. Although I still occasionally turn items on a traditional foot-powered pole lathe, I now specialise in hand carving bowls, platters and spoons.
There are two characteristics that apply to all the work that I produce. Firstly, I follow traditional practice and use wood that has been locally sourced. Mostly I use British timbers including ash, beech, sycamore, lime, field maple and fruitwoods, such as 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. Consequently, everything is hand-crafted and not machine-made.
While my approach is not suitable for modern mass production, each item is unique. To me it is essential that the items I produce are functional. My aim is to produce something that is functional and a pleasure to look at, handle and use everyday. In doing so, I endeavour to utilise the natural characteristics and features of the wood.
Keen to promote the appreciation and practice of traditional crafts, I regularly do demonstrations and run spoon-carving courses and other workshops.
Telephone: 01295 - 758519.