Tree surgeon teaches 500-year-old wood carving techniques
1:00pm Saturday 16th June 2012 in News
A tree surgeon is teaching woodcraft techniques dating back hundreds of years in a bid to stop wood being wasted.
Stephen Alfrey’s love of wood has already seen him restore his home – an ex-smallholding in Carshalton – using only wood he has cut down from trees in Sutton and the surrounding area.
The 32-year-old and his partner Trish Ovens cook and heat their home during the summer months with heat from a woodburning stove – again from trees cut down that would otherwise be turned into woodchip.
Now he has launched a green woodworking and bushcraft skills course from his home, enabling people to make their own piece of rustic woodland furniture using traditional skills and hand tools.
Miss Ovens, 32, said: “As far as we are aware this is a first for these kind of skills being taught in south London.”
Participants get their hands on traditional tools within the first hour, carving their very own mallet from a log – an essential tool for the afternoon’s activities.
Using an axe and froe, students are put in charge of a shaving horse, which allows them to clamp their materials by applying pressure with their feet, while they craft their piece of furniture.
The couple hope to start a debate about attitudes to wood and trees.
For more information visit thewoodcotewoodhouse.com.