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3D Printing in wood, insects and clay

3D Printing in wood, insects and clay

by Angus ~ 28 December, 2013 ~ 5 comments

Large numbers of 3D printers are now being produced and used for home use.  It is estimated that the worldwide market in 3D printing will be £3 billion within 5 years - but what materials are used for printing?  Most currently use plastic filament (mostly PLA or ABS), but some printers are being developed to print using more natural materials such as clay or wood, and even 'mushed-up' insects.

Standard home-use 3D printers can print in "wood fill" using a mixture of plastic and wood to create objects that look as through they are wooden whist avoiding many of the issues with production of objects using real wood.  The image below this post shows an array of objects 3D-printed by a desktop machine using a "wood fill" filament supplied by ColorFabb, part of the Dutch company Helian Polymers.  This woody filament contains 30% wood Read more...

Creating a sustainable Christmas

Creating a sustainable Christmas

by Victoria ~ 23 December, 2013 ~ 5 comments

As you reach to buy the last roll of Christmas wrapping paper, spare a thought for the route it has taken to get to you.  Christmas is renowned as the time of over-indulgence.  The use of wrapping paper is no exception.   Every year 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper are used to disguise the gifts we give and receive.  This, according to The Guardian’s Hilary Osbourne is the equivalent of 50,000 trees.

Plenty of people will admit the wrapping and unwrapping of presents at Christmas is part of the festive ritual.  However, it is having serious environmental consequences.  In the UK, alone, enough Christmas wrapping paper is thrown away Read more...

An enchanted Christmas

An enchanted Christmas

by Dick ~ 9 December, 2013 ~ one comment

Many of us who are regular visitors to the National Arboretum at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire are familiar with some of their most popular events such as ‘Treefest’ over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the spectacular autumn displays of colour in the acer groves.   This year though – acting on the recommendation of one of the catering concession holders at Treefest – my family and I decided to make a visit to Westonbirt’s festive special: An Enchanted Christmas.   Read more...

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

by Dick ~ 8 November, 2013 ~ 2 comments

A recent visit to the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail turned out to be not one, but three truly memorable experiences.   Firstly, the 7km walk through the forest in all its early autumn colours, with spectacular, huge beeches and ancient yews was worth the admission in itself. In fact, entry is free but there is a pay & display car park and a map/guide for the trail is £1.50 – but well worth the money.

The walking is easy along broad, well-maintained tracks with only the occasional slope to negotiate; although it is also possible, indeed necessary to wander off the tracks to try and discover some of the uncharted sculptures which have been deliberately left off the guide in order to encourage exploration. Read more...

Royal Forestry Society finds Furniture collection - at the Victoria and Albert

Royal Forestry Society finds Furniture collection – at the Victoria and Albert

by Angus ~ 15 August, 2013 ~ one comment

Nick Humphrey is the curator of the new furniture gallery at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) and he points out the paradox that a museum thought of as specialising in furniture did not, until late last year, actually have a dedicated furniture gallery.   It has plenty of galleries for particular regions or cultures but it didn't have one just for furniture. This new furniture gallery is also arranged unusually - rather than looking at one period, is it set out by techniques of manufacture, so that there is a section on joints and others on carving and on finishes. Read more...

Feast in the woods

Feast in the woods

by Rebecca Cork ~ 30 May, 2013 ~ comments welcome

It seems like a very long time ago that I met up with Angus, of www.woodlands.co.uk, to introduce my fledgling idea to him. It must have been around October that I sat in his kitchen and talked through my business plan - to start up a pop up camping initiative, bringing talented and creative people and families to a woodland to explore, create a sense of community, enjoy our beautiful woodland heritage. He must have seen something in the idea, because a couple of weeks later we were touring some potential sites for the first pop up camping event.

Without his belief in the ideals I aspired to, it would not have happened at all. Read more...

Making model trees and woodlands in tabletop battles.

Making model trees and woodlands in tabletop battles.

by Oliver ~ 28 December, 2012 ~ comments welcome

Many wargames are enhanced by miniature woodlands as scenery. The first stage to building woodland scenery is to start building model trees. Generally these are either plastic trees or homemade trees, made of wire, lichen and flock. In contrast to other tabletop scenery  - such as scale houses, 40k bunkers or warhammer watchtowers, trees are difficult to assemble. There are, however some easy methods for making cheap model trees as well as buying realistic tabletop forests. Read more...

Whittling: wood carving keeps the mind sharp

Whittling: wood carving keeps the mind sharp

by David, Dan and Patricia. ~ 21 June, 2012 ~ 22 comments

Wood whittling is so fulfilling, say the experts, it can develop into an addiction. It may start as a leisurely pastime but, before you know it, it develops into lifetime pursuit for many. First of all, whittling is an easy hobby to take up because it is cheap: a sharp knife, a piece of wood and a bit of oil is all you need. Secondly, whittling produces many a useful and loveable object such as spoons, bowls and figures which are unique. Also, whittling is relaxing and enjoyable so it can work wonders at settling down a busy mind. For holding a sharp knife in your hand to shape a small piece of wood requires undivided attention and focus, so whittlers become completely absorbed.

If you are lucky to own your own woodland, or visit one frequently, the temptation to turn odd pieces of wood into useful or decorative objects is huge.   David Alty and Dan Watson of woodlands.co.uk, two seasoned whittlers, tell us step-by-step how to make our first ever whittling project fun. Read more...

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