Spoons, birds and baskets at Brantwood

My stall at Brantwood Winter FairI had a lot of fun at the weekend running my stall at Brantwood House. It was a beautiful weekend and something of a shame to spend it indoors but we were fortunately in a brilliant location in the Studio with a window overlooking Coniston Water. It is a beautiful spot and, on days like these, easy to see how it inspired John Ruskin while he lived here. I was running the stall with the help of my friend Susan who’s starting out as a basketmaker and did a good trade in willow stars. My fan birds were also selling well, catching nearly everyone’s eye as they entered the room especially once they realised that each bird is carved from a single, solid piece of wood.

Phil Sanders trug makerOutside I met Bill Sanders, a trug maker from Shropshire. We talked about making and people we both know from the Greenwood Centre at Ironbridge. I particularly liked the caption on his sweatshirt which highlights how trug making is just one more traditional craft in danger of disappearing. While we chatted,Bill l carried on working on his trugs. Demonstrating your craft at shows like this helps you engage with visitors and show them your skills and the time involved in producing the products. It’s also a good way to keep up your stock and helps the day go by too. Although we were a bit more pushed for space up in the Studio, I brought along my chopping block and carved a few greenwood eating spoons from a lovely bit of cherry.

A steady stream of people over the 2 days kept us all busy and it’s a pleasure to meet people at these events, share my  passion for greenwood carving and swap a few stories.


About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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