In the beginning

Stump memorial with squirrel and wren.
Stump memorial with squirrel and wren.

The first time I can remember having any understanding of wood and its uses, was when I used to visit my fathers workshop in my lunch break at primary school. Only aged 6 it was a short walk round the corner and I can still remember the smell of the dust, the wood and the big machines like it was yesterday. Growing up in rural Scotland my father made a name for himself locally as a cabinet maker and joiner. He made a whole range of things for local clients ranging from doors and windows to bespoke stairs, kitchens and dining tables.  Although I obviously had no interest in the trade at that age and would much rather be playing in the garden or fields around me, I’m sure it planted an interest in my sub-concious which I would come to access in later life as a woodcarver.

My first owl, carved in lime.
My first owl, carved in lime.

First Years

In later school years, I took an interest in technical drawing and spent time with a local architect learning a great deal about structures of all types and gaining knowledge of drawing/design which has come in handy throughout my years as a craftsman. Upon leaving school, feeling somewhat daunted by the idea of long-term study for a degree in architecture, I chose to enrol and successfully completed an apprenticeship in site carpentry and joinery under my fathers wing, this was a real joy. I enjoyed 8 years in the trade and after working on some interesting jobs, gaining great knowledge from my father and others around me, my path was about to change.

Becoming a woodcarver..

Woodpecker carved in oak.
Woodpecker carved in oak.
Carved post.
Made in Oak.

It’s really all a blur to me, as to where my interest in carving came…I do remember visiting Ulm cathedral when my sister was on a gap year. The carvings in and around the building were awesome, the city itself is an amazing place. Maybe this spurred me on to start whittling the odd piece. A friend had some old gouges for sale, so without hesitation I bought them and attended a short course with a local carver, I soon realised I was hooked. Buying old tools from car boot sales, I soon had a nice collection and was able to create a few simple pieces at home in my shed.

In Late 2012, with an iterest to learn more, I approached another successful local carver, we soon became good friends and colleagues. He stuck me in at the the deep end, with his knowledge and experience, he has allowed me to express my style and turned me into the carver I am today.

 Now this is my livelihood, it has made me realise that there is an artistic bone in there somewhere! The main bulk of my work now is creating hand carved oak memorials for people who have lost thier loved ones and opted for a woodland burial. I hope to do more with the chainsaw in years to come but for now standing at the bench with my hand tools is where I feel best! You can visit my Facebook for regular updates.