What is green woodwork?

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Green woodwork encompasses a wide range of woodland craft activities from timber framing to spoon-carving. Historically, such crafts were practised in woods all over the country.

At Cherry Wood we concentrate mainly on 'bodging' or chair-making. Chairs are made using the pole-lathe and shave-horse, utilising 'green' (unseasoned) wood - normally cut down a matter of days or weeks beforehand.

The wood is cleft rather than sawn which gives it more strength and flexibility. This makes stronger, lighter and more graceful furniture than that produced by machines. It also allows the maker to follow the natural shape of the wood to produce a truly individual piece.

The green woodworking techniques used are age-old, such as steam bending; using the shrinkage of the green timber to make strong, long-lasting joints; and the use of Elm bark for seating.

I also teach spoon and bowl carving - again from green timber, using the grain of the cleft wood to give strength and beauty to the finished piece.

The joy of green woodwork is that the wood cuts and shapes easily using hand-tools. The timber is sustainably grown and managed in the wood where we are working. The furniture is as individual as the maker but always strong, light and functional. And the offcuts and shavings help cook the supper!

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