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Tree Charter legacy lives on

posted on April 17, 2018

The Charter for Trees, Woods and People, launched in 2017, continues to result in media interest and actions on the ground. This week is the inaugural meeting of the new Tree Charter UK Board.

Sculptor Simon Clements (based at the Sylva Wood Centre) features this month in the Countryside Magazine, in an article highlighting the best of British craft and focusing on his work creating the Charter Poles. Another of the Sylva Wood Centre craftspeople, Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak, recently returned from Grizedale Forest in Cumbria where he completed installation of seating around the base the ‘Strengthening Landscapes‘ sculpture; one of 11 Charter Pole sculptures located around the UK.

Now that the Tree Charter exists, the next step is to embed it into the fabric of society. A Tree Charter UK Board has been established comprising of organisations which played a key role in developing the Tree Charter to date, and can ensure a broad range of views are represented. We are pleased that Sylva Foundation CEO Gabriel Hemery is one of the Board members, which will meet for the first time this Friday.

Read more about the Tree Charter.

 


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Wood Centre sign takes shape

posted on April 29, 2015

We have commissioned one our tenants at the Sylva Wood Centre – Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak – to design and build a sculptural entrance sign for our newly opened-centre for innovation and enterprise.

We won’t yet reveal the design in full, but here is a sneak preview of progress so far.

Rodas has written about the commission on his own website. He talks about how he cleft the large green oak logs – read more here

 

Category: WOOD
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BBC woodland extravaganza celebrates opening of Sylva Wood Centre

posted on April 20, 2015

We were delighted to be part of the BBC Countryfile ‘Woodland Extravaganza’ programme broadcast on 19th April.

The work of our charity, including the newly-opened new Sylva Wood Centre, featured alongside many of our friends and partners who we work with on a daily basis including Confor, Small Woods, Birmingham Institute for Forestry Research and Woodland Trust.

BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani with Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak, outside the Sylva Wood Centre with the new thermally-modified sycamore cladding. Photo Gabriel Hemery.

BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani with Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak, outside the Sylva Wood Centre. They are standing in front of the new thermally-modified sycamore cladding, supported by Tyler Hardwoods and Grown in Britain. Photo Gabriel Hemery.

 

If you missed it, the programme is available to watch again via the BBC iplayer online

Also, read more on the BBC Countryfile web page


Sylva Wood Centre

read more about the Sylva Wood Centre


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Sylva Wood Centre to feature in BBC Countryfile

posted on April 15, 2015
BBC filming at the Sylva Wood Centre

BBC crew filming at the Sylva Wood Centre

We are excited to be featuring in the BBC One programme Countryfile this coming Sunday.

The programme, which will be broadcast at 19:00 on Sunday 19th April, is on the theme of Britain’s woodlands. Sylva’s CEO Gabriel Hemery is interviewed among beautiful woodland at the Oxford University Harcourt Arborteum, while two of our first tenants moving into the Sylva Wood Centre also feature.

Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak talks about the installation of the thermally-modified hardwood cladding (read more) at the Sylva Wood Centre, which is being applied thanks to the support of Grown in Britain. Simon Clements, another of our new tenants, talks about moving from his current workshop to our exciting new venue, where we are fostering skills and innovation in home-grown wood.

Read more on the BBC Countryfile website


More about the programme from the BBC Countryfile website:

In this themed programme Ellie Harrison, John Craven and Anita Rani explore Britain’s woodlands. Ellie is high up in the canopy with the scientists collecting leaf buds to learn more about the effects of CO2 on woodland. She then helps release some hedgehogs, one of the nations’ favourite and most-threatened woodland species, back into the wild. John finds out what it takes to manage your own woodland and discovers that the return of the old craft of coppicing is proving a boom to wildlife. He also joins the conservationists using novel methods to increase the dormice populations in Shropshire’s woods. And Anita discovers how to build with baked wood – using a new technique that hardens and weatherproofs timbers making them much more durable and better for building with. Adam Henson has the third and final of the Countryfile’s Farming Heroes nominees. The biggest threat to British trees is disease – and in many cases there’s no cure. Tom Heap investigates the threats to our woodland and finds out what we can all do to defend our trees.

Wood innovation

Sylva Wood CentreAnita Rani is in Oxfordshire, with the Sylva Foundation, as they open their brand new Wood Centre for the very first time.  Anita joins Rodas as he finishes the cladding on the building, which is made from thermally treated British ash and sycamore.  This treatment makes the wood more durable, allowing it to be used more widely.  Anita meets with one of the new tenants of the Wood Centre, sculptor Simon Clements, who is taking his inspiration from the quivering leaves of the woodland canopy.


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First meeting at the Sylva Wood Centre

posted on March 13, 2015
Sylva Wood Centre tenants

Sylva Wood Centre people meet for the first time in the partially completed first building. Left to right: Paul Orsi (Sylva), Mary Cowdry, Rodas Irving, Simon Clements, Chris Boreham, Chris Osborne, Neil Scott, Ted Dorey.

Earlier this week the first tenants and users who will move into the Sylva Wood Centre met together for the first time.  This was a major milestone for us at Sylva and it was exciting to witness new acquitances made, and even more so when talk of collaboration and sharing soon echoed around the building site. Some users will be moving in on April 1st, with others following soon afterwards.

  • Mary Cowdry, Mary’s Chairs: has a start-up furniture restoration business, and will be taking up one of our Incubation Units.
  • Rodas Irving, Oxford Oak: specialises in outdoor furniture and small buildings using home-grown oak. www.oxfordoak.co.uk
  • Simon Clements, Wood Carving and Sculpture: is taking a commercial unit and plans to run training courses. www.svwccarving.com
  • Chris Boreham, Bespoke Woodwork: has a fledgling furniture business, and will be taking up one of our Incubation Units.He has already agreed to undertake work with Neil Scott to help subsidise his own making. www.chrisboreham.co.uk
  • Chris Osborne, Timber Tech Global: is informally involved at present and is already mentoring some of the users.
  • Neil Scott, Neil Scott Furniture Ltd: has a successful London-based business which he is relocating to the Sylva Wood Centre. www.neilscottfurniture.com
  • Ted Dorey, is a retired master craftsman, and will be supporting our education and training activities at the centre.

Do you run a wood-based business or dream to establish one? We have some remaining space available for both commercial tenants and business start-ups who work in wood. Read more

Category: WOOD
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Sylva Trail opens at Harcourt Arboretum

posted on April 3, 2014

Harcourt Arboretum is taking part in celebrations occurring in gardens and arboreta throughout the UK and Ireland to mark the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s Sylva, and the publication of a contemporary version – The New Sylva.

A large panel from the Sylva Trail at the Harcourt Arboretum

A large panel from the Sylva Trail at the Harcourt Arboretum

Harcourt Arboretum, part of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, is hosting a Sylva Trail from April until the end of November. It guides visitors while informing them about trees and their purpose, and delighting them with selected text and drawings from The New Sylva. Read more.

Twelve individual panels are distributed throughout the beautiful arboretum, which includes many majestic and some rare tree specimens, as well as areas of natural woodland. It is well-known for its show of bluebells towards the end of April.

Setting up the Sylva Trail at Harcourt Arboretum

Setting up the Sylva Trail at Harcourt Arboretum. Left to right: Ben Jones, Arboretum Curator; Rodas Irving of Oxford Oak, designer of trail leaf boards; Guy Horwood, Arboretum Arborist.

 


Silvologist Gabriel Hemery and artist and Sarah Simblet co-authored The New Sylva. It is published by Bloomsbury, and was sponsored by forestry charity the Sylva Foundation (www.sylva.org.uk). Its 400 pages explores the future of our forests along with forty-four detailed tree profiles, brought to life with 200 exquisite drawings that capture the delicacy, strength and beauty of our trees. www.newsylva.com

 


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OneOak craft items by DZ Design

posted on October 11, 2012

Makers Richard Zakss and Samantha Drewett of DZ Design have produced dozens of craft items from the OneOak wood.

They have worked with the offcuts from other Makers, including Rodas Irving, and parts of the tree that other Makers ignored such as large and bent branches.

These items and more will all be for sale at our exhibition opening tomorrow at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

DZ Design website

Category: OneOak project, Wood
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OneOak news release – One oak tree: Forty gifts to life

posted on July 17, 2012

A unique project following the full life story of a single oak tree reaches a finale this week, with the first of a series of manor exhibitions at Art in Action, where all the items made from the tree are being brought together for the first time. The products range from the waste sawdust used by legendary chef Raymond Blanc to smoke salmon, to a throne chair worth £6000, and dozens of other items including charcoal, wood block prints, tables, benches, door, house, boat, and woodchip for bioenergy.

  • The OneOak project is an environmental project of the Sylva Foundation, following the full life story of one oak tree.
  • The aim of the project is to bring people closer to the importance of our woodlands and of wood in modern society.
  • The 222 year old OneOak tree was felled on the Blenheim Estate in January 2010, witnessed by 250 school children. It had been grown in a plantation for its timber, having been planted in 1788; the same year that The Times was first published and when the French Revolution was just beginning to stir.
  • The OneOak tree is now the most studied oak tree in Britain: it has been weighed, measured with lasers to create a 3D model, studied by a dendrochronologist, and had its carbon content estimated.
  • It has been featured by dozens of artists, sculptors and photographers.
  • Many of Britain’s leading designer-makers have made items using the wood of the OneOak tree. These total over 40 different products, and counting.
  • The 250 children who witnessed the felling each planted a young oak tree in January 2011, one year after the tree was felled, to fulfil the cycle in sustainable forest management.
  • The first exhibition is at Art in Action, followed by six weeks at Blenheim Palace, then six weeks at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

 

Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation and project co-ordinator Dr Gabriel Hemery said “this has been an amazing project that has inspired both the public and those who make a living working with wood and caring for our woodlands. Everyone has given their time to the project in so many different ways because they have been inspired by the concept:- the realisation that trees and wood are still vital to life even in modern society.”

Dr Hemery continued “after three years of hard work it is immensely exciting to be bringing together all the various elements of the OneOak project for our exhibitions during the Summer and Autumn. We will be able to show the public the stunning artwork, spell-binding films, earth-shattering science, and the myriad of truly amazing wood-based products. The only products that we won’t be able include in real life in the exhibitions will be the house and the boat!”

The OneOak exhibition at Art in Action is replacing the usual ‘Woodworking’ section; the marquee will be filled uniquely with all the products of the OneOak tree. Artists, musicians, sculptors and designer-makers will be on-hand to talk and demonstrate about their work in the OneOak project. Some 25,000 people are expected to attend over the four days, and where special measures have been put in place to cope with the soggy ground.  See note from Art in Action

The following have been made to date: firewood, woodchip (to heat a house for 6 weeks), sawdust for smoking food by Raymond Blanc, charcoal, bracing beams for a house, transom beam in a boat rowed in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, door and frame, chest, pedestal table, coffee table, throne chair, clock, lantern, moebius sculpture, jewellery, acorn oakbot sculpture from waste slabwood, memorial sculpture, carved bowls, carved spoons, turned bowls, carvings, automata, commemorative garden bench by disabled workers, five benches for primary schools including the spider bench, contemplation bench, MakeIT! bench national school design competition, nesting tables, fine furniture competition winners pieces, small craft items, deer, viola chin rest, printing blocks, relief carving, sounding bowl.

Details of the OneOak products along with the stories of their making can be found here: www.oneoak.info/wood_products.php

The project website is www.OneOak.info

Exhibition dates:

Art in Action, Waterperry                             19th – 22nd July 2012                      Art in Action

Blenheim Palace                                               25th July – 4th October                  OneOak at Blenheim Palace

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh               12th October – 2nd December    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


More information

download the full News Release

download the full News Release

Download the full News Release

 

end of News Release


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Made from OneOak wood

posted on July 16, 2012
OneOak website

OneOak website

Over the last two and a half years, ever since the OneOak tree was felled in January 2010, we have been endeavoring to make as many and as varied items as possible from the tree to demonstrate how important trees and wood are to us in modern life.

Now that the first of our finale exhibitions is about to open (Art in Action July 19-22), we can list for the first time the number and variety of items made from the OneOak tree.

Here is a list of items made so far that exceeds 30 in number, while for some items there have been multiple versions (e.g. benches for five different schools) – the links point to stories on the OneOak blog over the last two and half years. See also our Products page on the OneOak website

  1. firewood from branchwood
  2. woodchip, from branchwood, for heating a house
  3. sawdust for smoking food, waste from processing other items
  4. charcoal
  5. bracing beams for a house
  6. transom beam in a boat, rowed in the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Flotilla
  7. door and frame
  8. chest
  9. pedestal table
  10. coffee table
  11. throne chair
  12. clock
  13. lantern
  14. moebius sculpture
  15. jewellery
  16. acorn oakbot sculpture, from waste slabwood
  17. memorial sculpture, from branchwood
  18. carved bowls
  19. carved spoons
  20. turned bowls
  21. carvings
  22. automata
  23. Commemorative garden bench
  24. five benches for primary schools, including the spider bench
  25. contemplation bench
  26. MakeIT! bench, national school design competition
  27. nesting tables, fine furniture competition winner
  28. small craft items
  29. deer
  30. viola chin rest
  31. printing blocks
  32. relief carving
  33. sounding bowl

We will update this list in the future and include information on some of the items that so far have not been featured in the OneOak blog.

We hope to see at one of our exhibitions during 2012

 

Category: News, OneOak project, Wood

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OneOak at major art show

posted on July 15, 2011
Art in Action 2011

For the second year running we are taking the OneOak exhibition to Art in Action; one the UK’s major art shows.

This year we are delighted to have some of our makers and collaborators alongside us in the Woodworking area.  These include Richard Fox sculptor, Rodas Irving green furniture maker, Martin Damen green woodworker, Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Living Woods magazine, DZ Design and Simon Clements.

We will be showing several of our films, displaying some of the inspiring original works of art, and have several large pieces that have been already been made from the OneOak tree.  We will display the memorial sculpture made by Simon Clements, a spider bench made by Ian Smith of Rycotewood, and we will display the first length of timber and the 22 boards from the tree in the form that it’s been dried at the sawmill.

For the first time we are also selling limited edition prints of some of the artwork.

Art in Action is on between Thursday 21st and Sunday 24th July – we hope to see you there.

Find out more including directions and about the show

Category: OneOak project

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