Hi, I’m James Wilkes. I’m a green wood worker and blacksmith.
I did a year of Foundation Blacksmithing at Herefordshire College of Technology where we learned the basics of traditional blacksmithing. We covered:
- Making our own tools (such as tongs)
- Forging (to leave a good hammer finish with no tools marks visible)
- Bending (without leaving toolmarks)
- Fire welding (welding metal using the forge heat)
- Chain making (bending short lengths and fire welding links together)
- Tool making
I’ve spent time specialising in tool making, particularly traditional green wood working tools (chisels, knives, gouges, axes, hook tools for bowl-turning).
I am a green wood worker which gives me a chance to test tools. I am taking great pains to test and refine the tools that I make and getting feedback from as many other wood-workers as possible.
While attending college I lived in a tent in the woods which was one of the best experiences of my life: