Chair-Making Magic at Clissett Wood!
Class 4 had an utterly brilliant time at Clissett Wood last week as they explored the secrets that this area of woodland named after Bosbury's finest chair-maker had to offer, before having a go at making their own stools which the great man himself would have no doubt been extremely proud of!
First stop was to meet the very knowledgeable owner of the woods Gudrun to collect some good ash which would be used to make the stools, followed by one of the highlights (if not the highlight) of the visit as the children keenly took the opportunity to experience the site's one and only toileting facility! After further exploring they even found a woodland shower as well as what appeared to be the beds where Goldilocks and the three bears apparently slept - it would appear that this is where she was all the time Class 2!
Woodland accommodation tested it was then time to explore the rest of the site as the children discovered a brilliant open field area where tree-climbing was very popular much to the heightening nerves of the adults ("Don't forget - if you can climb up, you must be able to get down!"), with some children perhaps becoming rather too attached to their respective trees! A bit of role play even took place as one young actor decided to step into the well-worn shoes of Philip Clissett himself!
With a good 45 minutes to spare before lunchtime it was then time to delve deeper into the wood as the children discovered a Lord of the Rings-style barren redwood area, as well as a good lookout point and a tricky log to balance on!
Rumbling tummies satisfied it was then time to tackle the real task of the day as Gudrun showed the pupils how to use the axe and mallet to obtain their stool leg, how to plane it correctly using the workshop's horses and then how to add the fine grooves to the leg design using an ingeniously-designed all-natural lathe.
Some superb examples of craftsmanship and teamwork were on display as the children took their time to produce some fine stool legs - aided of course by the assistance of the odd very helpful mum or two as two magnificent stools were created in the end which now proudly stand in Class 4's book corner.
Many thanks to Mr. Dunn for organizing the trip with the Ledbury and District Civic Society (many of Clissett's chairs can now be seen in a new exhibition at the Butcher Row House Museum at Church Lane in Ledbury - who knows, some of Bosbury's own designs might find their way there soon!), to Gudrun for being so welcoming and teaching the children well in the fine art of chair-making, to Mr. Ponter and Miss Earl for accompanying the children on the trip and also to Mrs. Ruddick and Mrs. Willis for their help on the day.