Presenter Sandra Harris and cameraman Charlie Figgis were amazed at the wonderful isolation of this precious environment. I have been doing quite a lot of archaeological work during the summer, everything is recorded of course and some of my discoveries will appear here in the future.
Pann Mill is now the only working water mill on the river Wye. The first recorded mill on this High Wycombe site is in the Domesday census of 1086.
Pann Mill is now under the gardianship of the High Wycombe Society and is open to the public on ‘Milling days’ several times a year. The stone ground flour from this mill makes the best apple crumble ever.
In 1998 I was privileged to visit Ion Constantin in Romania to film him creating his range of domestic woodware including the spoon he is seen making from lime wood (linden). This is a true craftsman in action.
Stuart King’s home village of Holmer Green, high in the Chiltern Hills of Bucks, has a fruit growing tradition that goes back several centuries. In 2010 Stuart took part in an episode of the popular TV series Edwardian Farm where the Chiltern tradition was compared with that of the West Country in the Tama Valley.
Stuart King explores the making of a windsor chair by attending the development week at The Skills Centre at Axminster Tools in Devon. It is intended that the five day course will be a regular feature of the many woodworking and engineering courses they run throughout the year.
Trevor Austin is the last of the English rake makers. This video, taken in the Kentish village of Smeeth, shows the rake workshop established in 1870 and the nearby Ash coppice that provided the rake handles, and Trevor then demonstrates how he makes a rake.
Robin Fawcett demonstrates how to make a spinning top on a pole lathe. An ash log is riven into quarters, using a maul and froe. It’s cut to length with a pull saw and shaped with a side axe, before being put in the pole lathe…
Yasuhiro entertained delegates at the 2009 AWGB seminar with his unusal (to us in the west) turning techniques and tools. It is always good to experience the craft skills of other cultures from which we can often learn a great deal.
The Log to Leg Race is just one of the fun events that take place at the annual Bodgers Ball, a gathering of British pole lathe turners and green woodworkers. It is organised by the Association of Pole Lathe Turners (APT). This film was made by Stuart King.
This young woodturner can be found plying his trade in the medina of old Marrakech. With just one tool (a skew chisel) he turns a chess piece on a bow lathe that would have been a familiar sight in ancient Greece or the Pharaohs’ Egypt.
I filmed this sawmill in 1998 during a tour of romania to record some of Romania’s woodworking traditions. This is very rare footage of a ‘gang saw’ in action. The newly felled logs were delivered at the top of the mill, progressed down through the mill machinery to the bottom road and loaded onto a lorry to be delivered to the waiting builders.
Fan bird carving is a form of folk art woodcarving that has been practised all over Europe, from Romania to Russia and from Poland to Scandanavia, and was often executed with nothing more than a pocket knife to while away the time. I shot this video at the annual gathering of the Association of Pole Lathe Turners, an event known affectionately as the Bodgers Ball.
We all like objects that move and do things, and this electronic age has brought us some fantastic toys and novelties, but they all need batteries! Fun objects such as this automaton can amuse and entertain using the simplest of mechanical technology and can be made by anyone using basic woodworking skills.
This example of automata started out as being just a rat catcher and rodent but, having available spare space for extra cams etc, I ended up adding other moving parts. It’s called “Catch Me if You Can” and I’ve made a video to show you how it works.