We work with both natural woods and synthetic materials.
We aim to limit ourselves to common UK and European woods preferring to source wood locally from woods that fall within miles of our workshop.
We are also able to source exotic hardwood blanks from further afield sourcing them from responsible timber merchants like Yandles in Martock or Stiles & Bates in Sutton.
Off-cuts are another source of timber for us. Sourced from local timber merchants these bits are often two small for larger items and could easily end up chipped or burnt as firewood. But for us they are perfect for small items or can be bonded together for larger pieces.
I enjoy turning every species of wood even if ONLY ONCE for the learning and development of my own skills and understanding – as an ongoing apprenticeship if you like which is why some exotics appear in my portfolio!
Please read below for our comments on conservation.
Not all woods are available in all sizes at all times because of the availability of the timber and the natural growth size of the tree. There are a number of characteristics such as colour, grain and density that will affect the suitability of a wood species for a design.
We can also make some items from synthetics such as polyester, acrylic or epoxy resins. The use of synthetics in combination with wood can mean that a piece that is not workable can be turned into a beautiful gift. This might be through a stabilisation process on soft or partially rotten wood or to produce a suitable blank from a partial piece.
There are two lists that identify species that are endangered or at risk.
The IUCN are not a legally binding organisation but are used by a number of important organisations such as governments, NGOs, and the business community in their decision making processes.
Examples include: Iroko, Sapele, Wenge and Zebrano.
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) is an agreement between multiple countries, and their governments, to protect endangered plants and animals. It includes agreements/restrictions designed to limit their trade to sustainable levels. The trade in wild plants and animals found in the appendix is controlled with export or re-export permits.
Examples include: Bubinga
Depending on whether woods appear on one, other or both of these lists we limit our use of them ensuring that we are part of a sustainable solution and only use them when there are not suitable alternatives or techniques.
Woods appearing on both lists include: Ebony, Swietenia Mahogany and African Blackwood.
We would actively welcome more woods appearing on the CITES appendix so that they are subject to trade and export controls. We appreciate that for local populations jobs and business opportunities often go hand in hand with habitat destruction, critical biome reduction, the loss of historical homelands, not to mention the impact on the wider issue of climate change.
Controls on trade and exportation could promote a long term sustainable solution where both people and planet have a future.