A PAIR of craftsmen are trying to revive the skills of the ancient ‘Bodgers’ at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.
Sherwood Forest conservationist Ian Major and craftsman and chair maker Bryan Eskriett, from Clipstone, are sharing their love for wood by helping to stage a rustic stool making workshop for beginners.
Wood turning, or bodgering, was traditionally the way household furniture and many other items were made. In Ian’s family for two decades, he now plans to share his love for this traditional craft.
Ian and Bryan, who have dubbed themselves ‘The Jolly Bodgers of Sherwood Forest’, describe it as a great way to unwind and learn a fun skill.
“I spend my working life protecting and encouraging people to cherish Sherwood, but trees are not just for looking at,” said Ian.
“We have a brilliant raw material and wood has been worked for thousands of years. It would be great to see more local craftspeople using our timber.
“Areas like Worksop and Ollerton were once famous chair making areas and the potential remains. Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees and don’t realise timber is a fantastic resource, as well as providing us with a wonderful and historic landscape.”
The pair make chairs, stools and other household items, most of which they give away or use themselves.
“We’ll be teaching people how to make a stool and spurring them to be creative with the design,” Ian said.
“Wood, shaving horse, draw knife and mallet, together with practical advice are all you need to get started. There’s tremendous satisfaction in making something with your own hands and taking it away to use.”
Tools, materials and refreshments will be provided for the 31st March workshop at the park, and lunch on Sunday will be cooked over a camp fire. People can also spend the night in the woods with tents and sleeping bag.
Booking is essential and for more information contact Mansfield 821459, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is £85, or £110 if you stay the night.