I’m often amazed at the patience involved in some crafts, and wood carving is definitely one of those. Paul Rook carves amazing-looking pagan Green Man faces into logs and they must take him hours! He told me more about what he does and how he started the craft….
‘After working fifteen years as a commercial fisherman I decided to set up a small garden and property maintenance firm in my local area. I have always wanted to have a go at carving so around eight years ago I bought a set of cheap chisels from ebay and started messing around with scrap pieces of wood from my local saw mill. I started carving green men and wood spirits which has now become my focus.
I only really have time to do one festival a year, which is the New Forest Fairy Festival at Burley, but I make a few bits and pieces to order throughout the year, and also run three or four log carving courses in the woodland learning centre at Hoburne, Bashley.
My inspiration comes mainly from my love of the New Forest and local folklore. Along with log carvings, I also make staffs, sticks, house signs, incense holders, candle holders, chopping boards….sometimes I don’t actually know what I am going to do with a piece of wood until it is on the bench!
My advice to anyone thinking of setting up a hand crafted business is to know your limits, and don’t take on too much!’
Paul Rook can be found online at his Bearded Man Wood Carving facebook page.