A great painting of how hard life for a woodland worker could be. It’s by Carl Larsson (1853-1919) and titled Woodcutters in the Forest. It arrived in the post in the first week of January on a morning with snow goose feathers blowing in the wind and brought to mind how often I’ve been working in freezing cold weather harvesting the crop that warms you twice! Very poetic placing of the logs and I’m sure they must have a fire with a kettle on the go somewhere. Made me really appreciate the warm insulated Winter Workshop I have here in Waltham Abbey. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve become concerned about treating myself with a bit more kindness and being able to work comfortably in a well insulated and brightly lit workshop somehow make winter working far more of a pleasure.
Yesterday I had the first Course of the year – a One-to-One Introduction to Green Woodwork and it was most satisfying. We had an excellent day spending the morning at the Pole Lathe using some excellent green Ash left with me in late November which was made into a superb rounders bat, professional sized, with some wonderful rippling in the grain. The afternoon we spent playing with some fresh Willow I collected from the Abbey Gardens right on the edge of the Cornmill Stream and together with some Cherry from Magdalen Laver they were transformed into some excellent eating and serving spoons.
I’ll continue working here in my cosy den until about March, well till the clocks go forward that is and then I’ll be back in the Woodland Workshop.