As well as this blog, I also have a website and Instagram page with lots more images of my work as well as a few more stories.
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Saturday 11 April 2015

Woodcarving lessons for visitors to the Tree Life Centre in Bristol

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, as I headed back to the Tree Life Centre in Kingswood to teach visitors to their Open Day how to carve wood.

We were carving a sign from oak that once grew on the Quantock Hills in Somerset. Most of those having a go were aged between about 5 and 12 years old, although I'd say that one young carver was less than 3. As her mum watched, I carefully let her hold the carving mallet and V tool, then held her small hands inside mine to make sure that she was completely safe as she carved. Despite some initial shyness, she quite obviously loved it!

A couple of the grown-ups also took a mallet and V tool for a spin and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Altogether, I'd say around sixty people tried their hand at carving during the day.  I asked a couple of the young people whether it was harder to carve than it looks. After some thought, they said that it wasn't always too hard, although as they did more of it they found some parts harder to do than others. Sounds fair enough to me.

The finished sign was finished with tung oil and will be situated next to the Tree Trail at the centre, which means that many of the visitors who live locally will be able to see it whenever they like. The trail has native trees growing along a path and the centre also sells native British trees and plants.

Whilst walking around the site, I also saw one of my favourite British wildflowers (although I'm pretty sure these ones had been planted there). It's called the snake's head fritillary.

These drooping tulip-like flowers, with their chequerboard patterning, always seem strange and exotic even though they are native to this country. They grow in damp meadows in the wild but are quite local in their distribution, so aren't commonly seen in most of Britain which made it even nicer to see them yesterday.

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