Today I have been turning copies of 11th century bowls for an English Heritage order for Dover Castle. These three are 12″ diameter and made from alder which was the most commonly used timber at the time though not commonly used today.
They are based on an original from Winchester which I studied a few years ago and is pictured in my book, I keep a copy of the book in the workshop to help me when turning historical work. The original is bottom right in this picture.
Tomorrow I will be turning a few more in the morning than in the afternoon I am visiting the last scissors factory in the country where they make quality scissors by hand. It is not far away in Sheffield and I also need to pick up some steel for forging a set of turning tools for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film.
The scissor folk are wanting to develop a retail website and I am going to do some photos of their scissors for them. I wrote about the factory in December here
They have been trying to get funding for an apprentice to learn the skills from the three craftsmen who work there but as yet all the schemes only offer to cover the costs of off site training if an aprentice were to take an NVQ. The three craftsmen working there have 130 years experience between them and can pass on so much more knowledge than is available in an NVQ. The Heritage Crafts Association hopes to get this situation recognised and to create the conditions in which craftspeople can pass on their skills.