Wooden birds and brushes for Lancashire Woodcarvers

What do you do when you’re invited to give a demonstration and teach an afternoon workshop for 15 hobby woodcarvers? Earlier in the year I was asked to do just that for the Lancashire branch of the Woodcarvers Association and decided to give them something they’d never seen before.

wooden fan bird decorationI started the day by talking about my work including how and why I make in the way I do. Carving with an axe was an eye-opener for lots of them and I explained my preference for having fewer tools which I have mastered and how this frees me to be creative with what I make. Something we shared in common was a preference for a tool finish without sanding which gives my work a much more tactile and natural finish.

My demonstration for the morning took the group through the process of how to carve a fan bird. They guessed correctly that I would split rather than saw the feathers but were still nicely amazed to watch the wings take shape as I bent them into place.

For the afternoon workshop I had promised ‘something completely different’ and think that the session on making wooden brushes fitted the bill. The bristles for these brushes are pulled from a stick, building up into a head which is still attached to the stem and finished with a string band. After some initial good-natured frustration while they learned the technique they got on and everyone finished at least one brush with enthusiasm and plenty of banter.
carving greenwood brush carving greenwood brush

A terrific, friendly bunch of people and a lovely way to spend the day. If you’re nearby and interested, visit their website for more information.
Carving wooden brushes

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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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