I have always been interested in wood. I was lucky enough to grow up in a place where my interest could easily be trained into a skill which I still have just as much love for today as I did then.
There was always plenty of wood to work with at home: Ash; Hazel (my favourite for a long time); Oak; Birch; Walnut; Apple; Plum; Horse Chestnut; Cherry and so on…
I have very clear memories of my first attempts at carving wood with a knife, not least because I used
blunt kitchen knives! I was about 7 when I first had a knife which actually cut and didn’t just rip or mar wood. It was an Opinel, the best folding knife I know of even now, and was a great introduction to working wood with a sharp tool.
When you are young, bigger fixed bladed knives can seem too scary to use, but I quickly came to realise that what I wanted to achieve could not be done with a folding knife. I was lucky again when I was given a fixed bladed knife which worked. A rather large Mora knife with the single bevelled edge that is necessary for controlled carving. The blade was far too big for my needs, but far safer to use than a folding knife and with good control.
These days I have a modest array of knives for different purposes, but never enough of course. You can read more about these tools here.
All written material: Copyright Ian Tompsett 2010-2011