Welcome to JB Woodcrafts
Home of Traditionally Turned Wooden Bowls
All the items on this site have been made using green wood and traditional hand tools
The Beauty and Sustainability of Green Woodworking
Woodworking using freshly cut wood is an age-old craft that has been making a resurgence in recent years. This traditional technique uses fresh, unseasoned wood to create beautiful and functional items. As a woodworking enthusiast and visitor to the JBwoodcrafts.co.uk homepage, this article will help you understand the beauty and sustainability of green woodworking.
The Art of Green Woodworking
It is a technique that uses freshly cut, “green” wood. This type of wood is softer and easier to work with than seasoned wood. As a result, green woodworking is ideal for creating handcrafted items such as wooden bowls, furniture, and other decorative pieces. One of the most notable features of green woodworking is its minimal reliance on powered tools.
The Craft of Turning a Wooden Bowl
The process begins by selecting the correct wood type. Common wood bowl choices include hardwoods like oak, ash, and cherry, as they can withstand the turning process. The following steps outline how to craft a wooden bowl:
- Preparing the Wood: Begin by cutting the wood to the desired size, ensuring the piece is large enough to accommodate the finished bowl. Keep in mind that the size of the bowl may change slightly as the wood dries and contracts.
- Create a bowl blank. Using an axe and chopping block, the craftsperson roughs out a bowl blank before mounting it on a pole-lathe.
- Shaping the Bowl: The craftsperson removes waste wood from the bowl blank using specialist hook tools. Initially, the outside shape of the bowl is created.
- Hollowing the Bowl: The bowl turner will hollow out once the bowl’s exterior. This process can be time-consuming, as it requires removing wood from the inside of the bowl without compromising the integrity of the exterior.
- Allowing the Bowl to Dry: As the wood dries, it will naturally contract and change shape. This is a normal part of the green woodworking process and can add character to the finished piece. Allow the bowl to dry for several weeks or until it reaches the desired dryness level.
- Finishing the Bowl: Apply a food-safe polymerising oil to the wooden bowl to protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty. This step will also help preserve the wood as it dries and contracts.
Sustainability in Green Woodworking
One of the key benefits of this craft is its sustainability. By using freshly cut wood, woodworkers can use local resources and avoid the need for kiln-drying, which can consume significant amounts of energy. Additionally, woodworkers, using greenwood, typically use hand tools rather than powered tools, further reducing the environmental impact of the craft.
Green woodworking is a beautiful and sustainable way to create unique, handcrafted items. Using local, unseasoned wood and hand tools, woodworkers can minimise their environmental impact and create stunning pieces with character and charm. With patience and practice, you can also learn the art of green woodworking and create beautiful, functional items, like wooden bowls, using this traditional technique. Not only does this craft offer a more eco-friendly approach to woodworking, but it also allows for a deeper connection to the materials and the process itself.
The Revival of a Time-Honoured Craft
In recent years, green woodworking has experienced a revival. This resurgence can be attributed to the growing interest in sustainable living and traditional crafts. Green woodworking offers an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional woodworking methods and provides a rewarding experience for those who practice it.
The Importance of Skill Development
Mastering green woodworking requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn. As you gain experience, you will develop a deeper understanding of the properties of different types of wood and how to work with them effectively. This knowledge will enable you to create more intricate and detailed pieces, expanding the scope of your woodworking abilities.
As green woodworking relies heavily on hand tools, you can hone your skills using traditional tools like chisels, gouges, and hand planes. These skills can prove invaluable in other areas of woodworking and other crafts and DIY projects.
The Community Aspect of Green Woodworking
Greenwood woodworking has a vital community aspect, with many workshops, classes, and events held worldwide. Participating in these gatherings allows you to share knowledge, learn from experienced artisans, and connect with others who share your passion for this time-honoured craft. This sense of camaraderie not only enhances the enjoyment of green woodworking and fosters the preservation and growth of this traditional art form.
In summary, the beauty and sustainability of green woodworking make it an attractive option for both seasoned woodworkers and newcomers alike. By embracing this eco-friendly and traditional craft, you can create stunning, unique pieces while minimising your environmental impact and fostering a deeper connection to the natural world. If you’re interested in turning a wooden bowl or crafting other unique items, my green woodworking courses offer a rewarding and fulfilling experience that celebrates the timeless beauty of wood.
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