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biography

Robin's definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl.

Robin Wood is an internationally respected woodworker. He was introduced to traditional woodland crafts whilst working as a National Trust forester, clearing and replanting woodlands in Kent after the 1987 storm.

He found turning bowls and carving spoons to be the perfect way to learn about the qualities of the different trees timbers and at the same time produce something beautiful and useful for the kitchen.

Robin gave up the forestry job in 1995 to become a full time woodworker specialising in making bowls on a foot powered lathe, recreating the Medieval craft which had died out with the last practitioner George Lailey in 1958.

Over the next ten years he travelled widely across Europe: learning from traditional turners and carvers in Romania; studying Medieval wooden bowls and spoons from archaeological sites in Russia, Germany, France and Belgium; as well as working with UK archaeologists on major collections such as the Mary Rose. In 2005 he published the definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl.

Robin continues to make outdoor seating, bridges and other countryside furniture influenced by his early work with the National Trust, apprenticed to a warden who had started working in forestry before the days of power tools. The wood is especially sawn to maintain the natural curves of the trees and sculpted to give a really organic, natural look.

In addition, inspired by time spent in Scandinavia, Robin has now started teaching the skills of axe and knife work. Spoon carving is a very accessible hobby: the tools are reasonably-priced, the raw material is everywhere, and there is no need for a dedicated workspace.

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