Wood, A Rediscovered Love Affair

If you’d known Alex as a child you would have known how much he loved woodwork. He was always messing about in his Grandad’s workshop building something from wooden off-cuts. Model aeroplanes were a speciality, what he couldn’t make out of a few bits of balsa wood wasn’t worth having. But as he got older, metalwork took his fancy and the rest as they say is history.

Alex has never lost his love of woodwork though, every holiday is spent whittling something from handy bits of driftwood collected on walks. My favourite is the dog he made me, modelled on our much loved English Bull Terrier, who I was missing so much. At home, if things are needed for the house, it’s always wood that he turns to, making our boys, when they were little, a step from his grandad’s old broom into which he’d carved his initials.

He says the joy of wood as opposed to metal are many. It’s a friendlier material and is more forgiving, he loves the way that designs grow from the wood - finished objects are often completely different to an initial design - it’s easier to work and is more homely. We’ve been looking at ways to combine more wood into our work and then at a recent birthday, his sister bought him a spoon carving knife. Well you’ll never see my husband more excited than when holding a new tool. Discovering its many charms took a whole day sat in the garden under our cherry tree with a growing pile of shavings dusting his feet. The next day was the same, in fact I woke to hear him already in the garden, already on his second spoon.

We’re not clear yet where the spoons will take us, but he loves making them, discovering the depth of the grain and the changing weight of each piece as he works. He’s made some chopping boards too as gifts for family, perfect companions for his growing collection of spoons. We may look at selling some in the future, developing our range of home products, but for now the woodwork is a happy distraction and a joyful reawakening of his first love.