Tomorrow is the first day of our first spooncarving course of the year. We are fully booked again which is nice and I am looking forward to meeting 8 new folks and sharing time carving together. Yesterday I sharpened 8 knives, 8 axes and 8 hook knives. I spent today collecting wood, first a trip to meet with a past course participant John who now sources willow sticks for me. We use these for teaching the different knife cuts with. Then I went to Mr Anderson the Tree surgeon and picked up a load of larger diameter willow for splitting up to practice axe work and make spoons from. I always split a bit and work it a little into a tent peg or something to check it will be easy to use. I am really pleased with the raw materials, good materials make the learning experience so much easier.
I also bought two large oak trees which we will cut up into two inch thick planks for making benches from. This one is particularly fine as it has a lot of epicormic growth, little twigs and that means that inside it will have lots of little pippy patterns in the grain.
Tonight was a committee meeting of "Working Woodlands" a local group that promotes the use of local timber, we had an excellent meeting working on our new business plan which I think will bring a new focus to the group and help us concentrate on our core message of using local timber. It's very much like the message about locally, sustainably sourced food which has become so mainstream now, hopefully timber will get there too and folk will begin to think about tropical hardwood picnic tables for £50 in much the same way as they look at battery farmed eggs.