We have recently been sent the following, lovely post, from long-term Woodlorean Bosco Li. Bosco has successfully tried his hand at making a pair of beautiful Sami shoe bands, after seeing them on his Arctic Experience Expedition with Woodlore:
I remember hazy childhood days when we had the luxury of daydreaming about the world and pondering fanciful thoughts. I recall one such recurring whimsy being whether I’d prefer living in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat if I were forced to choose. I’d mull over the pros and cons endlessly, until I concluded the answer would simply be whichever one I was more adept at thriving in! To that end, many years later I booked and was fortunate enough to learn about arctic survival with the Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft.
James Smith attended his first course, the Fundamental Bushcraft, with us in April this year and caught the ‘bushcraft bug’. Here is a short review from James after completion of his second course, the Carving Master Class with Ray Mears, which he booked very shortly after returning home from the Fundamental Bushcraft course:
As anyone reading this may appreciate, completing the Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft course can leave you with severe withdrawal symptoms! This was certainly true for myself. So before I’d even unpacked all my gear I jumped at the chance to attend a Carving Masterclass with Ray Mears.
Many aspects of bushcraft require patience and observation: carving is no exception. As students we were encouraged to take our time, deal with problems early on (‘a philosophy for life’) and also factor in some breaks. After all, tiredness and very sharp tools do not mix well…
Throughout the course Ray and his assistants were constantly on hand to offer advice and guidance, all within easy reach of the campfire kettle. Slowly but surely we turned humble pieces of birch into spoons.
Spoons?! On the surface it can seem like no big deal. But there are many valuable skills and procedures involved in the creation of even the most utilitarian of objects – skills that we are increasingly losing touch with. If you want to gain a new appreciation of simple, everyday objects, try making some of them!
Huge thanks to Ray, Keith, Steve, Jamie and all at Woodlore for a truly unforgettable day.
Now, I just need to befriend a tree surgeon…
Carved spoons from the Fundamental Bushcraft and Carving Master Class courses –
We were recently contacted by a customer who was interested in making a parang like the ones featured in Ray’s programmes based in the jungle. Sadly the parangs that Ray uses are very often used and left behind as they are relatively cheap to purchase and can cause problems when travelling with them in your luggage. We therefore did not have any measurements that we could pass on to our customer, however, he took a good look at the videos on www.youtube.com and was able to work with a blacksmith to produce the following results:
Parang and Sheath
Thank you to Andy Barber for sharing this with us.
Ever since we began stocking Julius Pettersson’s hand-forged knife blades, craftsmen and women the world over have been sending in photos of the superb finished knives they’ve made using these carbon steel blanks. From the more traditional reindeer antler, right through to reclaimed bowling balls, we’ve seen an incredible variety of materials being used to make an equally wide range of handle styles. Shown here are just a few of the more recent submissions:
“Here is the Julius Pettersson Knife I completed in 2013. The choice of handle materials reflects my family history: The wood is black walnut, taken from my grandfather’s ranch in Oklahoma before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flooded most of the ranch to create Sardis Lake. I am Penobscot Indian (a band of Abenaki) on my mother’s side and decided to use birch bark I gathered in Maine, which I would think also suits a Scandinavian knife very well.” – William Blake
It was a pleasure to hear from one of our regular clients about his experience of the Carving Master Class with Ray Mears. Charles made contact with us after attending his course and gave us this lovely feedback:
Wood carving – an activity that is practical, calming, skilful and quite often entertaining all at the same time.
I recently had the privilege of spending a day improving my carving ability whilst on the Carving Master Class with Ray Mears, a course bought for me (as I expect many people’s courses are) by my wife.
A stroll down into the woods with a course assistant brought us to a clearing with Ray already hard at work splitting a large sweet chestnut log into foot and a half long planks. Logs for seats, the trusty old camp kettle suspended over a open fire and a beautiful sunny day – what could be better!
The spoon I finished to a rough standard by the end of the day