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I arrived at carving via a keen interest in woodwork, which I pursued with classes with Michael Huntley when he taught at the workshop. My first visit was at a workshop Open Day in 2006 and I was hooked immediately, by the people, the building and the inspiring work on show.

Having spent my working life staring at computer screens, publishing and editing guides to education courses, the workshop is a refreshing change. I have always liked using my hands, but the precision and use of unfamiliar tools needed for woodwork was an exciting challenge.

I particularly enjoy the co-operative workshop atmosphere and knowing people with a variety of woodworking skills and interests, that I probably wouldn’t have met elsewhere. I have learnt a great deal from other members of the club, often without really being aware of it at the time.

I confess to being one of the ‘tool nuts’ and take great pleasure from the collection that I am still gradually acquiring – there is always another one on the list! The real thrill though, is transforming a lump of wood into something else entirely, decorative, useful, or sometimes, both.

Organic abstract form in American black walnut

Stool in burr oak, ash and brown oak

Green Man in lime

Medieval design in Bath stone
Fleur-de-lys in Portland stone
Acanthus leaf in oak

Maori-style ‘tattooed’ fish in lime

Box in elm, walnut and burr oak
Stool Before Stool After
Chair in black poplar and ash