Herefordshire is a beautiful county, surrounded by the Black Mountains, Malvern Hills and Brecon Beacons. It has no motorways or heavy industry, has more ancient oak trees than any other county and is home to the National School of Blacksmithing. Herefordshire is the silent partner in the Woodee. The collaboration between the local craftspeople, natural materials and traditional skills are at the heart of what we do and why. Because of this collaboration, every piece in the Woodee range is unique and can be the work of up to seven different craftspeople. This is their story.
Between father and son Derek and Steve Lloyd, they have more than 100 years’ experience as both traditional blacksmiths and farriers. They have both lectured at the National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford and use the same skills and techniques to make the Woodee fire irons and tools that have been used for millennia.
“Since I started working with Louise at Woodee, my business has developed into areas I had not thought of before. This keeps us fresh, coming up with new ideas and I enjoy the collaboration between the many different craftspeople involved. I am sure that they, as I do, look forward to the new challenges Louise is surely going to set us in the future. I wish her the very best of luck.” Steve Lloyd, Blacksmith
Award winning farmer Hayley Hanson tans locally reared Hereford Bull hides in her micro tannery, for all the leather in the Woodee range. Each tool strap is stitched in traditional saddlery colours on Hayley’s trusty Singer Sewing Machine.
“Louise is an absolute inspiration. It has been our absolute pleasure to work with her since the beginning and her custom provides a valuable addition to our income. Louise’s breed specific requirements of Hereford hides allow us to source from within the immediate locality thereby contributing to the local rural economy. As a fellow working mother I admire everything Louise has done, how she strives for perfection and her determination to support not only her family but local producers.”
Hayley Hanson, Hayley Hanson Hides
An agricultural engineer for more than 40 years, Steve Methven skilfully makes the wheels for the log trolleys and nozzles for the bellows. When his team are not making Woodee fire pits, they are fixing machinery and making tractor parts for local farmers. Everything they make is practical, heavy duty and engineered to last.
“Louise has tapped into a rich vane of demand from discerning clients, for her well designed, durable, pleasing products, incorporating a skilled blend of production from traditional rural crafts people. I am proud to be associated with the Woodee brand and look forward to working with Louise for years to come; she has helped secure our jobs in the countryside”
Steve Methven, Agricultural Engineer
David Malone, a traditional joiner in Hereford, hand crafts each Woodee handle, fire iron handle and bellows. In his workshop, local Herefordshire oak and ash is sawn, planed, moulded, chamfered, drilled, routed and sanded to give a beautiful finish and tactile shape.
“The Woodee is a growing asset to its community, keeping traditional local crafts alive, and making people aware that these skills exist. It may even inspire the next generation of crafts and trades people to get involved.”
David Malone, Traditional Joinery
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Jenny Crisp has been a professional basket maker & willow grower for more than 30 years. Her baskets have appeared in the V&A Museum and on film sets. Jenny plants, grows and harvests her willow beds in Herefordshire and each Woodee log basket she makes is a unique mix of different varieties of willow and weave.
“The collaboration that Woodee offers gives us the chance to produce work that we would never normally think of or make whilst working alone. It moves traditional design forwards.”
Jenny Crisp, Basket Maker
Dave Weaver is a traditional upholsterer and has been upholstering fine furniture and luxury cars for more than 20 years. Dave skilfully works with each individual handmade component to bring the Woodee bellows to life.
Each Woodee presentation box is handmade by heritage roofer and wood turner Seamus Hayes in his workshop in Madley. More used to shingling, slating and stone tiling roofs, Seamus’ craftsmanship extends to making every Woodee Box.
Each Woodee and fire iron is finished in Herefordshire beeswax made by Seggin Bees. Nick and Louise have 16 colonies of bees making honey and wax near Leominster in Herefordshire. Louise also makes the beeswax candles in our storm lanterns.
The beautiful glass liners in the Woodee storm lanterns and hand blown by Paul and Rowena from Eirian Glass Studio in Hay on Wye. The pair set up their studio and gallery in 1989 and today run glass-blowing courses as well as making stunning glass tableware, lighting and one-off pieces.
"Louise with her belief in sourcing locally, has not only put together a beautiful range of products, but by collaborating with local crafts and business, has added more life and much needed vibrancy to a local rural economy."
Paul and Rowena, Eirian Glass Studio
All the oak and ash used in the Woodee range is either fallen or felled wood from Herefordshire. Our woodsman, Andrew Hewitt, fells and seasons our wood before it is handcrafted into our range of artisan tools. Andrew seasons the wood traditionally, stacking it flat in large open sheds.