At the Heritage Skills Centre we have run workshops in two styles of woodwork; woodcarving and wood turning on a pole lathe

Woodcarving is a largely decorative form of woodwork where using a chisel or other cutting implement a design is brought out of the wood by the carver. It is one of the earliest crafts and we have examples in museums going back to the ancient world, and like many crafts has a mediative feel to the process.As fashions and styles have changed over the years so too have the carving's and there are a number of related crafts which have therefore evolved such as cabinet making which have become distinctive crafts, with their own skills sets in their own right.

Wood turning workshops always gather public interest as we use a traditional foot pedal lathes outside, much as the bodgers of old would have done. This craft we know was active from the Viking period thanks to archeological finds, and while for a time it fell out of popularity, it is now one of the most popular traditional craft hobbies people have been returning to. Turning wood on a lathe is another versatile craft with items such as bowls being made on the lathes, not just cylindrical objects such as chair legs. Green (freshly felled) wood is preferred for wood turning and you'll often find a shaving horse being used in addition to the lathe in the production of hand crafted items.