It has been a busy time since my last post. I have continued playing with birch, this time making a birch bark box. I have admired these for years and at Christmas was sent two by a German friend, they were made in Lithuania. I managed to take one apart and put it back together learning how the joints worked and so make one of my own. Mine is not as nice as the original which was finished with rather beautiful spruce root stitching but I was pleased for a first attempt.

Whilst I was doing that Nicola was finishing a rather nice spoon that I had roughed out the night before. This one is made from a sycamore crook so the grain flows round the curve of the spoon and is very strong.

So much for playing in the evening worktime has been mostly working on an oak bench, it is well on the way now and I hope to install it next week weather permitting.

I have another rather nice green oak project on the go alongside. This one is a bridge, I felled one tree for it on Monday and will fell another tomorrow. Once the trees are down I can work on them over the next few weeks but they needed to be down before the sap rises. This is one of the most beautiful places I could imagine working in so I am not going to hurry, I shall work on the bridge when the weather is nice over the next 4 weeks. The wood has the largest population of pied flycatchers in Derbyshire and the first bluebells are just beginning to flower. The old bridge is rotten but has lasted many years, I like to think mine will be there for as many years to come.

Now whatever else I am doing I like to spend a little time in the workshop turning so yesterday I turned a laburnum quaich. These are traditional Scottish whiskey drinking vessels and it is rather tricky making them to fit perfectly to the silver rim. I do like the contrast or the dark wood and the silver though.

We have a bust weekend ahead with a spooncarving course running Saturday to Monday so no long weekend for us, they are normally very enjoyable though if hard work.