First few sessions go very well.

Since being awarded funding by The National Lottery Community Fund we’ve bought the tools needed to start taking small groups at Milkwoods. During the last two weeks we have hosted several different workshops.

The first of these was spoon carving from log to finished article, those involved were delighted to end the day with a cooking spoon they crafted using just a carving axe and sloyd (type of carving knife). Future groups will come for up to five consecutive weeks where they will learn not just the skills involved in carving a spoon but also the process of sharpening and how to maintain the tools in order to sustain their craft.

Another small group joined me for a day simply to help cutting, splitting and stacking firewood. While sitting by the fire for a tea break chatting, we decided next week it’d be nice to make stools, a task/activity that can be as rustic and simple or indeed refined and complexed as one wants. Having discussed that with those involved I hope some thought has been given to it so when we meet again next week can start to make what those doing it have imagined they’d like and I can assist with achieving the desired result. I myself know how satisfying that is and how doing so will boost confidence and self esteem. It might take a few sessions to complete making a stool depending on the chosen process, be it split a log in half and use three branch pieces for legs or carving a seat and tuning legs on the pole lathe, either way, I’m looking forward to taking people on this woody therapeutic journey.

Another group I had with friends as a taster session was basket weaving using willow. We don’t usually do eight hour workshops for therapy as it can be quite tiring but though we’d have a go. Everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the day and found it very rewarding to take home their own beautifully crafted basket. I think Basket weaving will be on offer soon.