Book Review: Making Woodland Crafts

Making Woodland Crafts by Patrick Harrison

Reviewed by Amber Greene on her delightful blog – there’s a link at the bottom to it.

Over the years of working in a Steiner kindergarten, surrounded by the most beautiful hand crafts we’d made, and also purchased time and again from local and international fellow craftspeople, there’s one thing I’ve noticed. The older I get, the more I want to craft with really simple and basic materials found in nature.  I want to simplify, strip back, and work with the beauty of things I find around me, rather than spend big bucks on ready-made creativity-limiting goods. Sometimes it is true that the imagination is fired up with less, rather than more.

MWC 1 Amber

So, this book by Patrick Harrison came at the perfect time. It is stuffed full of ideas from how to tie a knot or lashing, how to choose the wood you will use, and simple frames and structures for lanterns, toys, puppets and seats.

This triangle lantern uses the same principles as the ones we’ve been making using dowel in winter festival workshops for the past few years but this one uses natural timbers. I can do this!

MWC 2 Amber

But unfortunately, the only downside to this book of tricks is that some of the timbers and branches he uses are simply not available in Australia that readily, as my friend Melissa, a keen gardener and outdoors type, recently told me.

I’m inclined to say that little piece of information did not deter me too much as I would just tend to use what I found locally and adapt it. I’m sure there are things here that would suffice but I’d need to go on a big bushwalking exploration to find them.

But definitely, this book is filled with inspiration for those who, like me, are kind of organically and unintentionally heading back into that ‘forest kindergarten’ style of teaching where making out of nature is the best kind of crafting.

Read Amber Greene’s blog here…

Buy the book here…