Monthly Archives: March 2009

climate camp 09


Nature doesn’t do bailouts!

2008 saw the biggest Climate Camp to date and the most incredible array of direct action against climate change on record.

In 2009, we’re focusing on the fact that the failed economic system has caused climate change, and that proposals to use similar systems to address climate change – at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December and elsewhere – are doomed to fail. We will be actively opposing these attempts and promoting alternatives – starting in City of London on 1st April.

spoon carving

Every kitchen has a wooden spoon but it’s great to have one that you’ve carved yourself. When practicing anything I like to end up with, or at least work towards, making a practical item. I think it’s better to have an idea of what you’d like rather than just whittling away until you end up with a tooth pick.

Yesterday I had a go at turning the spoon blank on the pole lathe, which if it goes right leaves you with two blanks. I got the idea from Mike Abbott’s Green Woodworking book.


you start by cleaving the log though the pith and then rounding it off on the shave horse.
<a href=”; border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”>

spoon blank turning detail

Next you turn a spoon shape on the lathe and remember to -as I forgot- leave a stub at the end to avoid the mark made by the metal centres.





Then the scary bit cleaving the blank into two. Be brave.

turned spoon blanks

spoon carving detail

Then you have to carve out the bowl using a spoon carving knife.

carved spoons

spoon carving knife

Here are some that I’ve carved free hand.

from tree to tool

Here’s some more photo’s from my week in Strid woods at Bolton Abbey under the tuition of Richard Law, the current bodger in residence. Mornings were spent collecting the logs produced from the coppicing and stacking them close to the rides or back at the workshop where they are sorted into three different piles. One for fire wood, large logs but which are too knotty for turing, one for straight grained which is ideal for cleaving and turning and the smaller logs are stacked ready for a charcoal burn later in the year.

It’s such an amazing environment, as I stop to give my legs a rest I smell the ash wood smoke from the kelly kettle, I look across to the river watching dippers jump in and out looking for lunch. A deer walks casually through the trees, only briefly glancing in my direction, I feel part of something but more importantly I feel I belong.






richard Law's bodgery


wood mallet

The Mallet has an Ash handle, Elm head and the wedge is made from Oak. I’ve left the wedge proud for now to allow for shrinkage and will cut it off later.

a week in the woods


This week I’ll be under woodsman to Richard Law a woodsman and bodger working out the woods at Bolton Abbey. I came across his bodgery while walking through the woods a few weeks ago, found him out on the internet and offered to lend a hand in return for some turning tuition.

I done a little before but seem to make much more headway this time. Probably due to Richard’s heavy duty lathe. There’s a whole different aspect to working within the woods, not just the practicality but there is a sense of belonging.

The cycle of coppice and the transformation from tree to product still holds a little magic for me, you spend the day working and leave only with only what you need. It’s as if the whole process is catered for your benefit. The action keeps you warm the shavings heat the water in the Kelly kettle and each piece of wood seems to lend itself to one particular job or another. I’m hooked.

Find Richard’s website at