Sweden, Derbyshire and Sizergh Castle

Last week, when it was unseasonably hot outside, I spent most of the time in Edale Village Hall, learning some spoon carving techniques and design from Fritiof Runhal on a course run by Robin Wood.

Fritiof makes beautiful spoons in the mid Sweden style, and as he makes so many of them it is a joy to watch him work, and to draw inspiration from his finished work.  Feast your eyes:

These are beer geese, once used in celebrations to float on a lake of beer and used as cups.

Big ladles, and in detail …

I came home with quite a bunch of spoons, some of Fritiof’s and some lesser artefacts of my own, but also with a lot more insight into how to do spoons, for example, saving some bowl knife work by using the axe!

It was great to see some sensible ways to hold the spoon while working it:

I stayed in the youth hostel in Edale and self-catered (used one of the spoons I’d made for the cassoulet).  I was reflecting on how simple it is in the self-catering kitchen there, and why do people seem to need so much more?

The views from the hostel were pretty stunning:

Anyway it was good to meet up with a lot of woody people with similar interests and aims.

I met Gareth at Edale and then I met him again at Sizergh Castle‘s first wood fair, where we’ve been today.  I was turning on the pole lathe, and Madame was mistress of the wallops.  This is an old Wensleydale game which involves throwing hazel sticks at skittles. Lots of people had good fun, but I failed to take any pix.  Wait for the follow on at Beningborough Hall a week tomorrow.

There were lots of other woody chaps at Sizergh, it was a good event for the first time they’ve tried this out, many thanks to Tom Burditt of the National Trust for this initiative.  I got the gig through the North West Coppice Association, which we’ve just joined as they have more woods in Cumbria, and more people working them, than in Yorkshire.

Owen Jones was there, making swill baskets, seemingly without having to take any notice of what his hands were doing (they just seem to make the baskets while he has a good chat)! I think he has been brought up in the Fritiof school of ignoring what your hands are doing

Despite the weather feeling much like August ( Blimey, did I sweat running the lathe?) signs of autumn were around:

Lots of woody makers together, including coppice workers, shingle makers, basket weavers:

All in all, a Grand Day Out working.