On the Road – A Craft Trail through Britain
In the run up to the opening of our new shop next month, we’ll be running a series of blogs entitled “On the Road” – revealing our quest for the finest makers, materials and products in the land. Ours is a story of continual discovery; since 2010 we have been touring the British Isles to discover the hidden makers and leading exponents of vernacular craft skills. Our trail weaves its way from region to region, exposing Britain as a treasure trove of skill, creativity and commitment to craft.
Part 1 – Edale, Derbyshire
The appropriately named Robin Wood, an internationally respected woodworker hailing from Edale in the Peak District, will be one of the first makers to be championed in our new space, as we celebrate and examine the work of different makers in wood and their connection towards the forms of the forest.
Robin specializes in the use of local timbers and traditional techniques, but with a distinctively modern twist. Using a foot-powered lathe, Robin turns stylish but functional bowls and plates, and his extensive research into the history of the craft led to the publication of the definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl.
Following in the footsteps of George Lailey – the last person in England to make a living out of turning wooden bowls on a pole lathe and who died in 1958 – Robin became fascinated by this 2000 year old skill of traditional turning, and set about reviving the technique. Like the old turners, Robin uses no sandpaper, relying entirely on the sharpness of his tools to get a good finish, creating a distinct character through the marks of the tools.