Thursday 15 October 2020

The Man Who made things Out Of Trees

 I think I might be a little late to the party with this book, but the last few weeks I've been working my way through it. 

This is a book that is, pretty obviously, going to appeal to me. The premise is that Robert Penn has an Ash tree cut down than tries to use as much of the timber as he can to make as many things as he can from it. 

The author writes brilliantly and his affection for trees, wood and things of beauty is apparent from the first page. 

I love his zero waste approach to this tree and how he gets so many things from it. At the end of the book there is a list of all the items and it's impressive. I also like how rather than trying to make the things himself he seeks out the true master crafts people to make them for him, while he witnesses the work. Each comes with it's own story and memory then and I love how the items he collects aren't just for decoration - they are to be used. Something I think we should do more in this country, beautiful items enrich our lives and using them daily gives a reason to own them. 

From a carpenters point of view it's great to learn more about ash and it's uses, a wood I have only used a few times, other than in tools handles.  I did use ash many years ago to make some legs on a stool on a pole lathe, something I'd love to do again when we get round to building a pole lathe here (there's a link to a blog post on the course I took here)

I love this book for it's simple promotion of craft in so many different forms and the fact that we have just a few of some of these traditional and very specific trades left in the world (fletcher, wheelwright, etc) and how they need to be looked after as much as any historic building or monument.

If you enjoy craft and wood then you'll enjoy this book. 


  1. I've just had a log, from a felled tree in my childhood village made into 3 pots, 2 for my sister and one for me. My sister stopped and asked for the logs as they were clearing the tree, she had stored them for 3 years in her dry garage.

    1. That's wonderful - To turn something into a useful item is a great thing to do and I imagine it holds a lot of sentimental value for you as well.
      When I made the porch for my brothers house it was a tree he felled at a school we both went to and have sat under.

  2. This sounds like the kind of book Dan would enjoy. Thanks for the recommendation!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...