Good Wood Good Wood

Good Wood

By Nicola Cranfield

Good Wood Good Wood

We love how handcrafted timber pieces bring visual warmth to a room. 

Whether it's a stool, table, spoon or chopping board they will all change with you, becoming more beautiful and more distinctly yours the longer you have them.. 

Nicola recently visited The Woodsmith to learn more about his craft.

For over 40 years the Woodsmith has been working with timber and for half that period Cranfields have been proudly stocking his wares.

The first step of the process is sourcing the wood, some of the trees he fells are from his property, others have fallen down in storms.  He has a wide network of pals keeping an eye out for ‘good wood.’ When gets a call, he and his wife jump on the tractor to bring the newly felled wood home for seasoning.

When a tree is felled, it contains about 50% or more of its own weight as water and sap. The water needs to be removed to ensure the timber’s future stability - this process of drying of timber is known as the seasoning of timber

For the Woodsmith time is the secret ingredient – seasoning is a process that shouldn’t be rushed.  No heat is used – just air and sunlight.  Most of the timbers are seasoned in large stacks for up to 6 years on his back of his property.

The next stage is looking at the timber to see what it would be most suited to make. And also what mood the artist is in – these are works of art. While it’s his livelihood, he also works with timber because he enjoys the process. “It’s fun making things”.

Then using a combination of traditional tooling with his physical strength and agility the Woodsmith creates each piece.  If a metal component is required like handles or a brace these are all hand forged by him over his mini foundary.

Always in his mind he is thinking how would this look if it had been used for 10 years – how can I pass on that feeling of warmth from use.

The finishing point is a good old fashioned finishing and a polish. The Woodsmith has his own secret polish recipe that has been perfected from all these years of working with timber.

The end product is brimming with character and soul.