I’ll be there on Sun 3rd and will have some scythe kits available to purchase
Sat 2 July Forest of Bowland Meadow Day Join us on the Saturday for guided tours in the meadow, meadow plant school, scything and hay time demonstrations, hebal tea and herbal essences, range of local craft stalls and demonstrations, local meadow plug plants to purchase, music and more!
Sun 3 July Northern Scythe Festival This is a great new site for the festival this year, with lovely Lancashire grass to mow, a large practice area, individual and team competitions with lots of medals!
A lovely day last weekend teaching a spoon carving workshop for a group at Greenwood Days near Derby. We always start from a green log so people work through the whole process of splitting, axing and carving to create a unique spoon and learn all the skills needed to continue the hobby afterwards.
I have more spoon carving workshop dates coming up in locations around the UK. If you can’t find something to suit you, please contact me to discuss organising a private course for yourself or a group of friends.
The first Learn to Scythe course for 2022 was at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park at Holywell, North Wales. I was teaching a group of volunteers who will be using the scythes to manage areas of wildflower meadow around the site.
It was a glorious sunny day and warm to be out working. Learning new skills is tiring business so I always encourage people to take time to rest. Without the sounds of machinery, the meadow is a really relaxing place to be even while others continue working.
I teach scything courses around the UK and can deliver training for your volunteer or community group as well as private courses, please contact me for details: steve[at]stevetomlincrafts.co.uk
I’m just back home after a fantastic weekend at Greenwood Days near Derby. Yesterday I had a group with me learning to make fan birds which is a great project for beginners looking to start wood carving or more experienced carvers who want a new, fun project.
I’m teaching another fan bird carving course at GWD again on 12th June 2022, book your place here and learn a new craft.
Starting with a single piece of wood, we shaped, split and fanned the feathers to create some beautiful birds. I was really impressed with everyone’s work and it’s always a treat to be there for the proud and happy moment when students have their first successes.
I’m very pleased to see that the No Mow May campaign is being repeated by Plantlife this year after the success of 2021. Allowing the grass and other plants to grow during the early part of the season provides early nectar sources for pollinators which are so vital for a healthy environment. After May, the guidance across the year is to have a areas of shorter grass complemented by patches of longer grass.
This kind of management is perfect for a scythe which is as happy to cut long wildflowers meadow grass as it is mowing a lawn, all without any noise or fossil fuels. Visit my Learn to Scythe page for details of courses.
The date for my next spoon carving workshop in Manchester is now set for 16th October 2022 in Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Chorlton is a brilliant location, with a a wonderfully creative community, great places to get food and lots of transport options.
The workshop is suitable for beginners or those wanting to improve their skills. We’ll start with a log of fresh, green wood and you’ll use an axe and knives to carve your own, unique cooking spoon.
Book your place through this eventbrite link – Spoon carving in Manchester. I plan to organise more dates so feel free to contact me to express interest or follow me on Eventbrite.
I can also come and teach a private workshop for you and your friends at your own venue, including in your home – please email steve[at]stevetomlincrafts.co.uk for more details. Check out this workshop with a lovely group carving spoons from their own tree in their conservatory!
In partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), Fortnum & Mason will be hosting a series of exhibitions in their Piccadilly store to celebrate the wealth of talent across food and crafts, culminating in a handmade unique one-off Platinum Jubilee hamper.
WOOD – GLASS – PAPER 11th April – 8th May
I am delighted to have been selected to take part in The Art of the Exceptional at Fortnum & Mason this spring. My ash splint packbasket and Devon stave basket will be on display during the second week at Fortnum’s flagship store in Piccadilly. The exhibition is free and will showcase the best in British craft so is definitely worth visiting.
Full press release:
FORTNUM & MASON HOLDS FOUR MONTH EXHIBITION
TO CELEBRATE CRAFT, CREATIVITY AND MAKING,
CULMINATING IN AN ICONIC ONE-OFF JUBILEE HAMPER
To mark the anniversary of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Fortnum & Mason have partnered with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) to host four exhibitions in the heart of their flagship store in Piccadilly. From March to June, the exhibitions will celebrate the best of British creativity, crafts and making, and conclude with the creation of a one-off Jubilee hamper of artisan products made over the four months.
The exhibition series ‘The Art of the Exceptional, a Jubilee Celebration of Makers’ will take place across Fortnum’s third floor, demonstrating their ongoing commitment and passion to crafts and making. Focusing on materiality, the exhibitions champion the extraordinary diversity within craftsmanship, with each having a different theme, from ‘Wicker – Clay – Thread’, ‘Wood – Glass – Paper’, to ‘Leather – Metal – Cloth’. In addition, ‘Typography & Illustration’ will be showcased throughout the entirety of the series, as the two key elements represent Fortnum’s brand visual identity and packaging.
Each exhibition will introduce three of the makers commissioned to produce objects for the hamper, alongside a selection of their work and other QEST scholars within their field. The events are a chance for guests to meet exceptional creatives, see their work and be inspired by the back stories that underpin this joyful celebration of all things British and handmade.
To strengthen the position of British crafts across this Jubilee year, Fortnum & Mason will have a dedicated selling space on the third floor for fellow Royal Warrant-holding businesses to showcase their products. Having also been recognised by the Royal Family for their exceptional quality of work, Fortnum’s has handpicked those companies that have similar products and skills to those being showcased at the exhibitions.
The series will end with the Jubilee Hamper reveal, which will hold products created across the four months, in parallel with the ‘Scent of Summer’ exhibition
Can you believe it’s the 10th anniversary of International Peening Day already? Although I’m still waiting for someone to make an official range of merch, it’s been brilliant to watch the idea take off since I started it in 2012. More and more local events are happening with scythers meeting to share skills and sharpen their blades ready for the season while eating cake.
This year, IPD officially takes place on 3rd April 2022. Rembember that it’s an ‘everywhere event’ meaning that, if there’s just you and some friends sharing knowledge or even just you and the cat, it’s still officially part of the celebration.
Spring is here! Sunday was the Vernal Equinox and it’s great to feel the weather improving and the season turning. Leaves are appearing on the trees, the council have been out cutting the grass so scything season must be nearly here! My Learn to Scythe course dates for 2022 are set and booking up well already so please don’t wait until your meadow is knee high before you book.
During the one-day course, you’ll learn everything you need to set-up, hone and swing the scythe for efficient and ergonomic mowing.