6 February 2018
Jack Holden, of Mountain Oak Woodcraft, creates handmade traditional cleft oak gates, fences and furniture from sustainably managed Lake District woodlands using traditional hand tools. Jack will be exhibiting with us at Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show 2018 in March. We spoke to Jack to find out more.
How did the business begin?
My business has developed over the past three years or so. I was an apprentice with the Bill Hogarth Memorial Apprenticeship Trust in the south Lakes. I trained in coppicing, woodland management and traditional woodcraft. Thanks to working in the beautiful Lake District woodlands, I found a love for working with oak and traditional hand tools.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
The most satisfying part of the job is working from woodland to workshop, covering the whole process of each commission. Sustainable woodland management in an important part of the business and knowing the story of each tree and its journey into people’s gardens and homes is quite special.
What inspires your work?
My work is inspired by the great oak heritage we have in this country; the castles, cathedrals, barns, ships and mills. The workmanship that has gone into many of the things we are surrounded by has changed and using the natural strength, shape, and beauty of oak in my work pays homage to the trees and Britain’s long traditions of craftsmanship.
What’s your favourite part of your home and garden and why?
The favourite part of my home is probably my bookshelves. There’s no order to the books, and I keep rediscovering worlds I’d forgotten about and ideas I’ve never visited before. There’s a real beauty to lots of books packed together. In the garden, my wood stacks are best-loved. The work that goes into them is a future investment, perhaps my favourite way to spend a Sunday in spring.
Meet Jack and find out more about his craft at Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show 2018 in March. Find out more and book here.