Sunday, 17 April 2011

Weaving the The Armadillo Hut & Clissett Wood Development Week 2011

Willow panels woven around hazel rods
drilled into the chestnut posts make great
shapes, and look good on both sides.

The Armadillo Hut
The 'Armadillo' is a woodland hut, it was built by volunteers at Clissett Wood in Herefordshire, England for people to stay in when greenwood chair making courses are running.

The frame of the hut is built from sweet chestnut in the round and is dug into the clay bank. It has a shingle roof and a larch sleeping platform inside. In April 2011 Sheila Wynter, a basket maker from Stroud and myself (artist Elizabeth Cadd) worked on re-fronting the structure with coloured willows. Instead of doing traditional rectangle woven panels we decided to go a bit freeform to make use of the organic shapes.

We used coppiced materials from the sustainably managed surrounding woodland. Hazel poles create the framework to weave through, and different willows created contrasting panels of colour and texture.

We will be building a similar 'play hut in Sheilas garden this spring for her grandchildren (she is 80 this year)!

Me with Sheila and Gary (cherub like in the centre
window) working on the Armadillo hut April 2011).
Willow panels of the Armadillo

Rod working on the firey willow panel

This is a picture of the Armadillo roof going on in 2009. I think there were over 2000 larch shingles, because the roof shape was so difficult to cover -it being a cone shaped.

There was also the renovation of 'The Whale' hut. This has a lovely whale shape. A massive 3 pronged sweet chestnut fork which lies on the ground gives the framework to the entire structure. We used fresh hazel rods again , bending them to create curved sides, then wove fairly thick wills along the length of the sides and roof. A long job! It creates a beautiful dappled light inside. We were hoping to cover this with a clear polythene so the structure could still be seen. The bed platform is made of oak boards, and a hazel panel stands at the entrance.

More photos of this  Development Week 2011
at Clissett Wood, Herefordshire on the 
Clissett Wood Facebook Group

Rebuilding the surround for the cooking stove.
Tarp going on..

Peter on the roof.

Richard and Peter unfurl the tarp on the new kitchen.

Erecting the new larch frame kitchen

New posts.. about old news ...

An article about Tool Forging with Ben Orford I did back in November 2010 HERE (just about when my blogging started to slip...I'm catching up now!.)

Turning a few bowls

Some more bowls since Christmas.

Three small bowls from 1 apple log

Bottoms of three small bowls from 1 apple log

Spalted silver birch
Silver birch burr bowl, turned on a pole lathe

Silver birch burr bowl, turned on a pole lathe

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Bodging Milano

Bodging Milano designers have a new website up telling the tales of their chair making escapades. Here are the greenwood chairs made at Clissett Wood on show in Milan.

More to see at , including a picture of my quiche if you can spot it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Courses at Rutland Water Nature Reserve for 2011

For 2011 I have been asked to put on a number of Greenwood Working and Spinning courses at Rutland Water Nature Reserve (a partnership between Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and Anglian Water). The courses will be four 'Pole Lathe Taster Days', a 'Make a Shave Horse Weekend' and 'An Introduction to Spinning Weekend'. Check out the events page for details of how to book:

Pole-Lathe Turning Taster Days
Sat 30th April 9am-4pm.
Sun 1st May 9am-4pm.
Sat 18th Jun 9am-4pm
Sun 19th Jun 9am-4pm

Come and learn to use a pole-lathe with the guidance of tutor, Elizabeth Cadd. This one-day course is ideal for beginners new to greenwood working. Starting from a freshly felled tree, you will cleave a log of green wood with axes and wedges, shape it with a draw-knife on a shave-horse, then turn it on a pole-lathe. You should be able to make several simple objects to take away with you such as candlesticks, garden dibbers or experiment with turning some decorative mouldings. Come for a second day to hone your skills. The cost is £45 per person per day. Booking essential
'Make a Shave Horse Weekend'
Sat & Sun 21st-22nd May
9am-4pm. Come and make your most vital piece of greenwood working equipment. On this two day course you will learn to use a variety of hand tools, turn parts on the pole lathe and take away your own working shave horse. The course is led by artist and woodland worker, Elizabeth Cadd. Certificate of achievement on completion,. £90 per person booking essential.

Introduction to Spinning Weekend
Sat & Sun 16th-17th July 9am-4pm.
A two day course using Rutland Water's own sheep wool. You will learn how to select and wash a sheep fleece, prepare it for spinning and then try your hand using a drop spindle. You will be introduced to the basics of using a spinning wheel and for the more advanced, learn some experimental techniques. There will be time to explore ways of creating exciting colour combinations and special effects in your yarn, with chance to practice spinning. Please bring along any spare fleece you may have for the sharing table and any hand spun yarn examples you would like to show the group. Please bring your own spinning wheel if you have one. Certificate of achievement on completion. £90 per person booking essential.

Hope you can make it!