Caught by the River

The Man Who Made Things Out Of Trees

Jeff Barrett | 29th November 2015

Extracting the trunk 1

Longtime readers of this site should remember the name Robert Penn from the enthusiastic response we gave to his 2011 book It’s All About The Bike (reviewed by Billy Campbell here). Rob is back with a new one this month and this time it’s all about the trees. In particular, an ash tree, one that he cut down and what became of it next at the hands of craftsmen.

Here’s Rob from the introduction:
I realized how little I knew. At the same time I understood that this didn’t matter. I would be helped through every step of the journey by craftsmen who did know, people who provide the continuity in human sensibility for this remarkable material. For now, it was enough to know that I had found my tree – a beautiful ash tree, the tree I would come to know better than any other, the tree that would be part of the rest of my life.

The Man Who Made Things Out Of Trees by Rob Penn (Particular Books, 2015). Buy a copy from the Caught by the River shop.

Arrow Shaft-Tom MareschallArrow Shaft-Tom Mareschall
Axe handleAxe handle
Ash nesting bowlsAsh nesting bowls
Phil gregson-Wheelwright 4Phil Gregson – wheelwright
Geoff Fisher catapultsGeoff Fisher-catapults
Canoe paddleCanoe paddle
Hurley stickHurley stick
Tent pegs 2Tent peg

All photos by Rob Penn.

Rob Penn high res jkt