I was brought up in a medieval farmhouse in the beautiful Gwaun valley in North Pembrokeshire living a self-sufficient lifestyle I have has been nurtured by tradition, nature and sustainability. This informs every aspect of my work and life.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work in a traditional craft with a natural material like wood. All my wood is locally sourced and none has ever been felled for me. In fact much of my work is produced from hedgerow trimming or coppicing. The tree grows stronger afterwards.
I have no need for exotic timber. The range and beauty of wood in the immediate area is vast. I have worked with Burr Elm, Walnut, Cedar, Yew, Laburnum, Cherry, Apple as well as Oak, Ash, Lime, Sycamore…the list goes on. Occasionally, I am enraptured to find something just that little bit unusual – a small burr in some Elder or Laburnum, delicate figuring, scars healed over showing human involvement years ago. Some are a source of pain as well as delight – nails or wire cause havoc with my tools but can leave beautiful colouring in the surrounding wood.
I will also work with reclaimed wood. Indeed many of my tools and machines were originally used by other skilled craft workers They have been reclaimed from a previous life. My band-saw was designed for cloth-cutting at a local clothing factory. My largest lathe started its life as a metal spinning lathe (making such things as saucepans). I therefore work not just with nature around and within my work but also with the feel of history & tradition all around.
I work with green wood or seasoned, branch wood or planked from entire tree trunks. All the work (such as planking the trunks & seasoning) is done on site thereby impacting on the environment as little as possible. The work is mainly finished with an oil/wax mixture then wax polish. I will use a food-safe finish whenever requested.