Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Miscellaneous Adventures

A couple of weekends ago I booked a last minute woodcarving workshop with Miscellaneous Adventures. I first heard about them a couple of years ago through Emma Ruth Hughes amazing embroidery (you should definitely check her out if you're as into embroidery and typography as me!) as her and her husband Andrew run them. They had a kickstarter campaign to get the workshops going which I backed and I've been meaning to go on one ever since.

When I arrived we were taken to a secluded bit of woodland with fresh coffee brewing over the campfire and cake at the ready. The day started with an introduction on the different types of axes and how to use them, we were chopping logs and making kindling, which was a lot of fun! We then chopped our own logs to get a piece that would be suitable to make a spatular from, and then taught how to carve the wood with the axe. I had never realised how much detailed work you could do with just an axe.

Then it was lunch time, which was cooked over the camp fire by Emma and was so delicious! Afterwards we had a walk in the woods and learnt about the different trees, how to responsibly source our materials and what types of wood works best for what. We were then set a challenge to find the perfect branch to make a pot holder to go over the fire, here's my one (I was quite impressed that it actually worked!) :

After this my phone ran out of battery so I couldn't take any more photos! But we were shown how to carve with a knife and I was shown how to use a crook knife (a curved knife) to carve spoons. It's something I've wanted to learn for a looong time now and I've already started on my first one, more on that at a later date though.

When the sun went down we moved into a yurt provided by Trakke Bags (that's one of his bags hanging on the tree too). Along with a glass of local ale we were told about how to sharpen our tools and what were the best oils and polishes to finish our pieces with. The perfect finish to the day.

I had so much fun and learnt everything I'd hoped to and more, despite being in the woods all day at the beginning of February I didn't even notice the cold and the day went by too quickly. Miscellaneous Adventures have put on more workshops for later in the year and I'd definitely recommend booking one if you're interested in learning a bit of woodcarving too.


  1. This looks like an amazing experience Kate, I'd love to do one- where do they take place? my problem is always transport as I don't drive. Would love to see a spoon you've carved when you are done with it.
    Beautiful photos as always, what filter is on these? (if any) I love the natural earthy look.

    1. Hi Claire, they offer to pick you up from the nearest train station if you can't get to them by car which is really handy! I edited the photos in VSCOcam on my Iphone, think I used HB1 or HB2 filters to sort the colours out but toned them down a bit :)