I work in green wood in the woodlands of Yorkshire; currently Strid Wood at Bolton Abbey. I work where there is a high volume of passing public which makes for a mixture of banale and interesting conversations and comments. My tools and methods are traditional – axes, chisels, a pole lathe and shaving horse.
Working in the woodland, I create furniture to give Strid Wood trees, and myself a longer life working in a craft thousands of years old. My pieces must have a purpose and emphasise the natural sinuousness of the indigenous hardwoods. While close to nature, my work uses traditional construction methods.
When I work with the pole lathe I am reminded that I am working in the way craftsmen have done for thousands of years. I begin a piece by selecting the wood from the trees I have felled, occasionally being able to select interesting timber I had previously allocated as firewood. I know when a piece is done when it is good enough, perfection is never just around the corner, beauty is another matter. When my work is going well I am filled with a sense of completion. When people see my work I’d like them to smile.