Branding is a brilliant way of producing signs and lettering for use in playgrounds and outdoor spaces. It creates attractive and durable signs made by the children.
I use a forge which if fueled with lumpwood charcoal. The forge needs air, so the children operate a bellows to keep it hot. The brands are an alphabet of metal letters on long rods which are heated in the forge. I then assist the children to place them on the timber, and each letter is burned into the wood.
I have been working as a carpenter for the last 15 years on a wide range of projects from staircases to traditional green oak framing. During this time I have also provided environmental educational workshops, specialising innovative equipment for young children equipment to allow young children to produce finished and functional objects.
I Studied Rural Resource Management (2:1 hons) at the Scottish Agricultural College and went on to run an organic farm for 3 years. This brings in a unique set of knowledge and experience to what I offer.
As a maker I set up Angus and Mack Ltd. with Malcolm Mack and specialised in bespoke staircase manufacture for five years. I have now sold this business and moved with my family to Oxford.
I have worked extensively in Scotland as and environmental educator for the National Trust for Scotland, Woods For All (Reforesting Scotland), Fife Council, Midlothian Council, Perth and Kinross Council, The Four Winds Inspiration Centre, The woodland Trust, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, The Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds.
This is a great activity for children 7yrs and above (key stage 2). I lead the participants through reading plans, measuring to identify which bit of wood is appropriate, setting the saw based on a cutting list. Then they learn the key skills of sawing, hammering and nailing and bolting timber together. At the end of two 1 hour sessions, a bench in produced which is left in on site for the children to enjoy.
I try to adapt classes to include themes being explored in school, but it is best suited to look at forestry, sustainable harvest, and industrial uses of timber.
This activity can be set up outside in a playground, in the woods, or wherever your site is.
I carry out commissions for a wide range of clients, commercial, voluntary and domestic, making a wide range of things. I am happy to consider outdoor work for public spaces, collaboration with schools etc., along with domestic work such as furniture and staircases.
These activities are carried out outdoors. I provide a shelter (24ft x 12ft) which makes the activities all weather.
I think it works best with two or three people. This can be myself plus one or two from the yourselves. This helps with supervision, I also have a policy of no lone working with children.
The carpentry activity works best with two groups of 15 children, each with around an hour of time with me. This allows two benches to be made within the school day. I work with children from 7 upwards, so Key Stage 2.
I can provide details of insurance cover up to £5M public liability along with risk assessments. I can also provide references on request.