Hewing in Lincoln Cathedral
This week I (Shaun) am honoured to be part of a project in the Chapter House in Lincoln Cathedral and to one of a collective of experienced woodworkers who are spending the week hewing logs as part of the “Log Book” installation by Assemble during the Frequency Festival. The installation aims to enable reflection on wood as a natural resource, in a visually stunning setting in the Chapter House. We are showing the technique and skills as well as physical strength needed to work on the logs by hand, and give the opportunity to reflect on how the timbers used within the room we are working would have been worked upon by people centuries ago.
As part of this, I also had to write about my own relationship with working with wood, and said:
“Working in the woods feels fundamentally right. Whether for a craft piece or furniture, a walk through the woods can be very inspirational, seeing the shapes and the movements of the trees. When creating, the timber dictates the shape and flow of what I make, and I work with the wood rather than against it.
I love the sustainability of what I do and achieve: selecting timbers that have to be removed either through selective thinning or coppicing, or reusing wood that has previously been used for something else; the short distance from the wood to the workshop; and then working with the tools which almost become extensions of my hands to create with passion and pride. With everything I make, I can always tell the client exactly where the timber came from and how old it is. And sometimes there is a story which goes with the piece of wood.
An example of this is where a farmer needed new oak floor joists in the 300 year old farm house which had suffered a fire. So he asked us to remove an oak that was becoming damaged by farm machinery in a gateway. I milled the tree into the beams on site and the farmer counted the rings, realising that this tree had been planted by his grandfather. This tree, planted by his grandfather, will continue to support the house and those who live there for years to come”.
It really is worth coming to Lincoln to experience this installation, and we will be there every day until Sunday 29th October. See our events page for more details.
Further information and videos can be found in the news article below. Shaun.