My green woodworking adventures were ignited many years ago thanks to my woodburner. As a child I loved whittling sticks in the garden with my penknife and had a great little treadle jigsaw on which I turned out gifts for my family. With a lack of woodculture around me these were shelved for a while, but I'd always been interested in finding out about practical uses for the plants and trees I saw around me.
When I got a woodburner for my home I began to gather firewood and started to wonder about the different qualities of the tree species. Working with hand tools is the best way to learn about the grain, strength and characteristics in the wood and the continuing fascination is this variation and the endless subtle design variations possible.
I've taken every opportunity to further my skills in the 12 years since I started, studying with many skilled craftspeople, and now have the honour of being asked to teach alongside many of them at green wood events.
What continues to pull me in is the love of using and enjoying handmade items in my everyday life, the simple pleasures of using a hand thrown mug, a turned wooden bowl and a handmade wooden spoon for my breakfast every morning makes my heart sing. These objects transmit the energy and care the maker put into them, and I feel a connection to the people who made them.
The wood I use is sustainably sourced from local tree surgeons, or coppiced woodland, and is worked with hand tools. My spoons aren't sanded, instead they are finished with the skilled use of super sharp knives which leave a smooth yet faceted surface showing the final cuts. My bowls are made on a pole lathe with the tool marks present such as our ancestors would have known.
Amy Leake, Sussex, UK