Coppice Craft

Wabi Sabi – perfectly imperfect craft

“A way of living that focusses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay. Celebrating cracks, crevices, and all other marks, that time, weather and loving use leave behind”

Wabi-sabi describes the ethos of all our work in the woodland, but is particularly relevant in our coppice craft pieces. We use the markings and imperfections in the wood to enhance the products we are working on.

Our products start their life in the woodland workshop, handcrafted by Graham and polished, stained or painted by Diana.

The wood used for craft is green, it has been recently harvested and is softer and easier to work. Seasoned (dried) wood is harder and denser which makes the products hard wearing and long lasting.  The bowls, pots, spoons, dolls, and other products are shaped and turned on the pole lathe. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pole-lathe-g-recent.jpeg
Graham working on the pole lathe

Wabi sabi – our perfect imperfections. As all our craftwork is handmade and hand finished, no two pieces are the exact shape, size or colour. Ash is used for all our craft however the uptake of oil is greater in some areas of the wood than others and can turn it different shades during the polishing and finishing stages. Bark and knots in the wood add extra interest.

You will sometimes notice a little white spot near the centre of the wood. This spot is the very core of the wood, the first year of growth from a seed into a sapling.

Wabi sabi pots just off the pole lathe, prior to being oiled and polished

Tools of the trade

Graham uses a pole lathe which is sited in an open workshop in the woodland. He uses many hand tools to work with the wood to shape and carve it such as a side axe, adze, saw, froe, turning chisels and a draw knife.

Apart from the pole lathe and hand tools, an angle grinder is sometimes used to power carve the wood from the centre of pots or dough bowls. Using the ball gouge on the grinder allows wood to be removed quickly to save time until they are ready to be hand finished.

Sometimes Graham will turn pots traditionally on the pole lathe using hooked tools to turn the inside of the pot but this does take longer.

The dough bowls are hand carved due to their irregular shape.

A beautiful hand carved dough bowl ready for oiling and finishing

Some items can be purchased before they are painted, waxed or oiled so our customers have the opportunity to create their own unique finish. Leave a message or email us to make a request.

Wabi-sabi coppice crafts – exclusively made by Isle of Wight woodland products and so called due to the imperfections in the wood. Perfectly imperfect; finding beauty in imperfection,

Environmentally friendly, sustainable and non-toxic finishes

Every product is made from our sustainable source of ash logs. Click here to find out more about our Woodland Management

The products used to finish the craft items are mostly environmentally friendly, non toxic, sustainable and are vegan – except for our polish which is made using beeswax.

Graham uses tung oil on the dough bowls to close the grain as he finishes them.

Occasionally we may use a non toxic paint finish that is made from ethically sourced pigment and a natural acrylic polymer to achieve the effect we want, mainly used for the dolls to make them safe and hardwearing for children to play with. The ingredients on these items will be clearly labelled.

Paints, stains and dyes are made using sustainable natural earth pigments or clay paint. The pigment is mixed with water or oil (walnut, coconut, olive, vegetable), depending on the desired finish. A vegetable based glycerine is sometimes used to give paint an extra sheen.

Diana makes her own translucent stain or dye to allow the beautiful grain of the wood to show through. Other products are painted with pigment oil paint for a more opaque finish. A variety of oils are used such as walnut; olive; *fractioned and whole coconut oil or vegetable oil. Sustainable and ethically sourced mica powder is sometimes used to enhance paint colours. *Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the whole oil, in which the different fatty acids are separated for specific uses and remain liquid, it has no colour, odour or taste.

Any embellishments such as glitter or glass beads are from sustainable sources. The glitter is vegetable based without plastic and is biodegradable in both sea and fresh water, within minutes.

Natural earth pigments used for paint, stains and dyes

We make our own beeswax polish, using a vegetable, coconut or olive oil and use a local sustainable supply of beeswax. A few drops of pure lemon essential oil or grapefruit extract oil is added to the polish as a preservative.

If you have a nut allergy please let us know when ordering so we can make sure your product has not be finished with nut oils.

Making sure that the product has been thoroughly oiled, inside and out, and polishing it to produce a nice sheen can take several days. No matter what the items are finished with, each one will be beautifully unique, ideal for gifts or for yourself.

If you are interested in purchasing a completely bespoke item, please contact us by email at diana@isleofwightwoodlandproducts.co.uk or by telephoning Graham on 07841261066. We can let you know whether it’s possible to meet your request and how much the item is likely to cost.

Wabi-sabi Pots

These little pots are ideal for keeping small items in, such as pins, keys, rings. All the pots are food safe and could be used for herbs or spices, salt or other dry food.

Please note that the pots are not airtight.

The pots measure approximately 22 to 28cm around its middle and is approximately 6cm to 9cm tall . Measurements exclude the knob on top of the pot.

shop

Dough Bowls

Dough bowls were prized possessions for many centuries across the world. In Victorian England they lost favour as ceramic and stoneware became more popular. Used for making bread, dough bowls can come in many sizes. In Victorian times a bakery might have a a bowl big enough for three or more people to get in!

This one measures 30 cm length and approximately 20cm width.

Prices start at £75.00 Please contact us if you would like a bigger dough bowl if we haven’t got one that you like in our shop.

Wabi Sabi Dough Bowl

Shop

Coming online soon

Christmas craft – Christmas trees, bells and snowmen

Dolls

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *