Friday, 24 October 2008

Fun, learning & hard work in Hainault Forest

What an exhausting week running the Hainault Forest Woodland Craft Workshop - but good fun! We've had schoolchildren visiting in 2 hour sessions - up to 30 in a group, aged 5-11. A lot were special needs including handicapped, emotionally disturbed, blind & partially sighted. They had a go at turning, willow weaving and we all had fun playing in The Woodland Orchestra . . .

Jo Hammond showed them how to make
A God's Eye - ancient lucky charm -
from willow and rush.

In both photos you see a big blue container. This is where we had to pack everything away each night as Hainault is a public Forest and there are quite a few vandalistic neds around. So we had to put up and take it all down each day - not ideal.

Also I've been working with Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) all week. It's a lovely wood but it's full of tannic acid. This reacts with the iron in the steel and builds up as a purple gunk on all the tool edges. It also does my hands in something rotten - my thumb and finger ends are all split and cracked.

This weekend we are entertaining the Scouts and Beavers although only a half day on Sunday. I'm looking forward to next Monday morning's lie-in !

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