Cotswold Woodland Crafts offers the following range of Green Woodwork courses and caters for all levels of skill: novice, intermediate and advanced.
Green Woodwork (1,2 & 3 day)
Make a Shave Horse
Make a Pole-lathe
Our workshops are light-hearted, fun and focus on learning how to use traditional edge tools in a safe manner. You can expect to make new friends, learn how to use a froe, axe and drawknife and learn woodturning using a Pole-lathe.
Questions about Green Woodwork: (Hover over question)
What? The term "green woodwork" describes a process used for the making of wooden objects from un-seasoned timber.
Why? The timber used is often a by-product of the woodland management process. Coppiced timber in its green state is easier to cut, shape and turn. The timber does not require a sawmill or a kiln and once felled is ready to be worked by the craftsman. The techniques described are simple, cheap, clean and safe. There is less reliance on machinery and greater opportunity for creativity and craftsmanship.
Who? The green woodworker applies traditional techniques that have been used for hundreds of years. Today's craftsman uses tools and skills developed during the early industrialisation of chairmaking as depicted by the "bodgers" of the Chiltern beech forests.
How? The tree is felled, cut to length and then split along its length with wedges. A technique known as cleaving splits the timber into near-size stock that is then trimmed using an axe and drawn with a drawknife on a shave horse. The wood can finally be shaped with chisels on a pole-lathe. With more complicated structures, such as chairs, the components are turned and dried prior to assembly.
Whether we are making chairs, hurdles, garden dibbers or rolling pins our use of the timber is both economic and sustainable and the connection between trees and the products reinforced. Our work is based in the environment that supplies our raw material and with efficient application of the tools, equipment and treadle-power we can make products without use of electricity.
Spending the day working in the woods is both pleasurable and inspiring, the rhythm of the pole-lathe against a background of birdsong and the occasional rustle of a meandering mammal - we love it!