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Shaving trees

I went down to St Ives for the weekend and came across a shop called The Spruce Tree in Fore Street. They had for sale of some lovely stuff from Cornwall and around the world. The one thing that did catch my interest were some small trees, made by Mathias Schelling from Germany.

I have seen trees like this in David and Sally Nye`s book More fan-carving with examples by Victor Hukka of Finland and some examples which have no name, but are made in Germany.
The tree on the left is made by shaving the wood with a drawknife or more likely, a straight chisel. I had a quick go at making one on Monday but dry willow is no good, or maybe it could be the tool or my technique. I am sure pine is the way to go with these trees. The tree on the left is done by turning on a lathe and not parting off the shavings. See this video by Stuart King for making them from hazel.

Some time ago I had a try at making a tree, by using nearly dry sycamore and a drawknife. It is going to take me some practise to perfect.

I have just got some bowl turning tools from Paul, and have sweated out a couple of small bowls of about 6 inch diameter. The one on the left is apple and is still green. The one on the right is oak and has been dried and oiled. My next task is to make a bowl-turning lathe as my pole-lathe is not sturdy enough and is designed only for spindle turning.
It is interesting being a complete beginner again and not knowing how to use the tools efficiently or even correctly. The biggest hurdle is being tense and not being able to relax, I hurt after turning a bowl, a proper lathe will help a bit with this as will lots of practise.

3 thoughts on “Shaving trees

  1. well done matey keep up the good work those bowls look great

  2. Hi Sean,

    Nice to see those trees, they are made in the small town of Seiffen in the Erzgebirge region of Germany. Everybody in the town is involved in woodturning and they produce hundreds of thousands of those trees amongst many other things. search google images for "seiffen erzgebirge" my favourites are the animal ring turners.

    Nice bowl too. ;0)

  3. Thanks for that Robin, I found a photo of the jig for making them and an image of these trees made from 7 foot high poles, WOW

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