An automaton can amuse and entertain using the simplest of mechanical technology and can be made by anyone using basic woodworking skills.
Wildwood and woodturning blog
The Wildwood is still giving up its secrets, albeit slowly. Exploration started rather late due to a wet spring but continued well into the autumn with each carefully dug and recorded trench revealing a little more of life from prehistory to the medieval period.
A Bronze Age burial chamber was discovered on Dartmoor, with the remains of a woman, and four lathe-turned ear studs. So began an archaeological experiment.
The BBC TV news visits Stuart King in the Wildwood to seek out the Romans
What were the Romans doing in the Wildwood?
Most folk wouldn’t recognise a beech flower. Those that remain on the trees are maturing into distinctive triangular beech nuts.
This has been a fantastic year for the Speckled Wood butterfly. There has been fierce competition for the shafts of sunlight that our 2013 summer has provided in abundance.
In one corner of the Wildwood is a pheasant feeder. To monitor the effectiveness I acquired an infrared motion activated camera to observe what really happens both in the daytime and at night, and I have been delighted with the first two 24 hour sequences. Amongst the visitors were badgers, muntjack deer, fox, squirrels, a rabbit, rook and jay… but no pheasants.
I recently visited the new Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth. What a fantastic job they have done. I was so taken by the sailor’s boxwood hair combs that it was straight to the workshop to make a couple of examples.
The Wildwood is a nature photographer’s paradise and I never visit without my camera.
PS: The register of professional turners has a new website, http://registerofprofessionalturners.co.uk
May, The long awaited spring warmth has been very slow to materialise but the Wildwood is now populated with a variety of specialist Chiltern woodland plants and flowers, some areas are completely transformed.
This Chilterns Wildwood holds many secrets of our ancient ancestors, watch this space
It is time to thin the trees, to bring down some of the giant oaks, beech and more recent ash to allow those that are left more elbow room.
Within the Wildwood is a small rhomboid shaped bank and ditch, in fact this was the first archaeological feature to be recognised way back in 1982 and reported by two local school boys.
In many of the Chiltern’s ancient woodlands are mysterious dells, often called chalk pits. Many are huge excavations, so what was their purpose?
The winter of 2012/13 has been wet, cold and snowy, and the Wildwood is sleeping, but not for too much longer. The roar of chain saws will soon be heard and the workman like growl of diesel engined timber extraction vehicles will soon echo through the woodland.
Is TV showing more interest in traditional crafts?, Stuart King appeared on Time Team, the Alan Titchmarsh Show, and Great Railway Journeys.
In my village of Holmer Green we have a number of old track ways that through history, from time to time would have been used for droving animals, particularly sheep.
Wassailing is 1000 year old English tradition. Stuart King outlines the simple chronology and and some details of the wassail bowl.
Wizardry in Wood is the worlds premiere show case for the craft, historical and contemporary, held every four years in the City of London.