Archive for September, 2013

Coppicing In Cornwall

September 17, 2013

It is a privilege to be able to work in the woods throughout the year, and to see one woodland change over the years is truly incredible.

Looking up through the ash coppice this summer

Looking up through the ash coppice this summer

Such a warm summer has been fantastic for all that flora and fauna, especially the invertebrates.The bees have been extra busy building resilience for the winter and the butterflies!!!…well

The Plan-It Earth goddess with a fluttering heart

The Plan-It Earth goddess with a fluttering heart

The ash coppice has been putting on girth ready for the Winter cut this year…

Cornish Ash Coppice

Cornish Ash Coppice

…and we are hoping Calara Fraxinea (Ash Dieback) will not get down to this part of the world for the next 10years or so, so cutting now will produce another good crop in 8-10years. That’s the scientific projection anyway!? It will be such a cause of pain to me to see these trees disappear, but we can always replant with another woodfuel crop; Sycamore maybe?…does anyone out there have any ideas?

If you are interested in sustainable woodland management, or coppicing please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

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Artists Charcoal

September 17, 2013

“Every time I use Greg’s charcoal something magic happens” – Naomi Frears.

Over the past 3 years I have been refining the process of producing artists charcoal. Down here in Cornwall there is no shortage of artists believe me 🙂 Even so, the majority of clients I have for this charcoal are in education. Larger clients include Newlyn Art School (www.newlynartschool.co.uk) and Woldingham School (www.woldinghamschool.co.uk), but I also run workshops teaching people how to make their own.

Making artists charcoal for a workshop

Making artists charcoal for a workshop

If you are interested in ordering artists charcoal, or learning to make it yourself then please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

Greenwood Computer Table

September 17, 2013

A tricky commission this one. The client wanted a pair of trestles to old a 5mm thick glass tabletop, which would be used as a computer desk. They needed to be sturdy enough to hold the weight as well as beautiful. Gulp!

Anyway, I used a combination of ash, maple and hazel coppiced last year then included “wedged and pegged” joints to prevent the whole thing collapsing as the wood seasoned.

The final table in situ

The final table in situ

The pegged joints

The pegged joints

The result is truly stunning (even if I do say so myself :-)).

If you are interested in ordering greenwood furniture, or are interested in learning to make it yourself then please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

Greenwood Stool Making

September 17, 2013

I have been making greenwood furniture from the wood I coppice for a few years now. This summer I have been teaching people the green woodwork skills I know via 1-2-1 workshops.

People have found sitting in the woods, by the fire a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend time learning new and useful skills. Invariably they go away with their new piece of furniture happy and content.

A happy customer with his greenwood stool

A happy customer with his greenwood stool

If you are interested in ordering greenwood furniture, or would like to learn how to make your own, then please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

Spoon Carving

September 17, 2013

This summer I have been hand carving spoons for various clients and have found chefs particularly like them as I can tailor the shape, length, bowl size and weight to their specifications.

Made from Cornish sycamore as it doesn’t flavour the food, and sealed with food grade flax oil, these spoons are bespoke items hand crafted for individuals.

Hand crafted spoons - front

Hand crafted spoons – front

Hand carved spoons - back

Hand carved spoons – back

If you are interested in ordering hand carved spoons, or are interested in learning to carve them yourself please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

Willow Fencing Panels

September 17, 2013

The Gover Valley Forest project wanted to learn how to make willow fencing panels, or “hurdles” (so called because the original use for this portable fencing system was for shepherds to pen in sheep on the hills overnight). They came along for a 1-day workshop to learn my basic hurdle pattern.

Working hard to lay in the central section

Working hard to lay in the central section

Finished hurdles still in the hurdle jig

Finished hurdles still in the hurdle jig

Beautiful finished panels

Beautiful finished panels

Detail of willow in finished panels

Detail of willow in finished panels

These beautiful finished panels are ideal for vegetable garden plots as they provide shelter and allow a certain amount of air through rather than creating a solid barrier.

If you are interested in purchasing fencing panels, or would like to learn how to make your own then please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

Building Shave Horses

September 17, 2013

A local community group commissioned me to produce a couple of shave horses for them to use in their woodland.

I completed them in 3 days in early summer from a mixture of Sweet Chestnut, Ash and Hazel I had cut in the Winter. The finished horses were then flooded with linseed oil to seal them against moisture.

The finished shavehorses

The finished shavehorses

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The clients were very happy to recieve them.

If you are interested in commissioning Green Woodwork pieces, or want to learn coppicing, bushcraft or green woodwork skills then please contact me at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk

How To Build A Pole Lathe

September 17, 2013

For the past year or so I have been consulting for the Gover Valley Forest Project; passing on and sharing skills to help them manage and maintain their own small woodland near St Austell, Cornwall. Back in May I designed and helped them construct their own portable pole lathe to use in the woods.

The group was separated into smaler units to work on the poppets, legs and bed.

Working on the shavehorse

Working on the legs with the drawknife and shavehorse

This 1 -day workshop is an intensive day with everyone having to lend a hand and get stuck into the work to have a working pole lathe by 4pm! It incorporates many green woodwork skills to achieve a working lathe, including axe work, shavehorse, brace and bit joints etc .

Using The Brace and Bit

Using The Brace and Bit

Axe work on the leg joints

Axe work on the leg joints

Well done everyone for all the hard work, and getting it done on time.

The final working pole lathe

The final working pole lathe

If you are interested in learning about coppicing or Green Woodwork, please contact me via at gregh@futuretracks.co.uk