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, BlacksmithRead more
Pete Caspall is an engineer and sheet metal specialist.
Working from his workshop in Llandrindod Wells, Pete makes our iconic Woodee fire pits, grills and lids. Pete is an expert welder and fabricator in both mild carbon steel and stainless steel.
Traditional Joinery 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
Basket Making 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
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. Seggin Bees started life as a hobby between partners Louise Sheppard and Nick Hall keeping two colonies of bees and selling honey from the door. Seggin Bees has 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 are hand blown by English Antique Glass in Oxford. English Antique Glass is now the UK’s only remaining manufacturer of flat glass. An offshoot of one of the great 19th century Sunderland glassworks, English Antique Glass has decades of experience including hand-crafting stained glass panes for York Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and many of the country's most exalted edifices. Using artisanal techniques first developed in the twelfth century, English Antique Glass offers free blown glass- a highly skilled, labour and time-intensive process. Unlike homogenous mould-made glass, each piece is unique, with air bubbles and slight variations in design demonstrating the care and attention with which it is crafted. A new collection of handmade mouth-blown tableware and decorative accessories keeps traditional glassblowing alive, by bringing ancient skills to new audiences thanks to a renewed global interest in Britain’s manufacturing history.
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.
Mike East is the epitome of the traditional craftsman; humble, talented and eager to try new things to further his craft.
Since officially retiring in 2002, Mike has been ‘pottering about’ working from a small workshop at home; but in the last twelve months has come out of retirement to make our Leather Aprons, Skewer Pouches and Woodee Bellows.
We are so grateful to have Mike and his wealth of experience in team Woodee. What a heritage!