Monday, 9 March 2015

Wood carving in the Woods.....

Yesterday was my first day at Spooniverstiy of Grange - a small wood working group run by Tony Saunders of Ynot Coppice and reserve manager of Cumbria Wildlife Trust Reserve Brown Robin

The weather was better than forecast and the sun shone through the trees. I had a brilliant day learning the basics about how to work with wood and begin a wood carving project......

I didn't take a great deal of pics today as I was too busy concentrating on what I was meant to be doing. To begin with, Pete who is a reserves manager for Cumbria Wildlife Trust taught me some basics, while Tony was leading a birding walk. We found a nice piece of hazel and this was split using a froe. Pete started this off for me and I basically tapped the froe with the wooden mallet. I have to admit I was a bit scared of all these manly tools - not being a natural with screwdrivers and drills! After the wood was split, I was handed a very scary looking draw knife and shown by Pete how to sit at the shave horse. However, once I got going I became less scared and really enjoyed working away on the wood, listening to the birds singing away in the trees.

The shave horse
The froe
My first wood carving project is a Scandinavian butter paddle, which in theory is a nice simple design to start with! Initially I removed the pith on the inside of my split piece of wood and the bark from the outer, using the draw knife with my block of wood secured on the shave horse. I then drew a rough shape of what I wanted my butter paddle to look like and with the saw cut in some notches to work towards. Pete explained about the grain of the wood and drew some arrows on my piece to help me work the wood in the best direction until I got a feel for it. Before I got going with the knife, I removed a bit more off my piece with the draw knife as my block of wood was still quite chunky!

The outline of my butter paddle
Working with the draw knife on the shave horse
Now it was time for some instruction on cutting techniques from Tony. He started me off on a pencil and showed me a few different and safe methods such as holding the wood into my chest. After practising for a little while I then started on my piece. I worked with gloves on and also tried the kevlar gloves that Tony had bought for another student Beth who likes to remove chunks of her fingers! As I got more confident I eventually took my gloves off and sat and whittled the day away!

My butter paddle - nearly finished
I didn't quite get my project finished but I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge to keep the wood green until next time. What a brilliant day in the woods in a beautiful spot and a great way to relax and forget about the real world!

Spooniversity workshop
Brown Robin Woods

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucy. Looks like a lovely way to spend some time -whittling in the woods! Glad you didn't lose any fingers