After nearly 15 years working in amenity horticulture, Mike became a full-time green woodworker in 1985, since when he has made his living running courses in traditional woodcrafts.
He moved to Herefordshire in 1993, when along with six others he bought a share in a woodland near Bosbury and established the Clissett Wood Trust, named after local Victorian chair-maker Philip Clissett. Now in semi-retirement, Mike continues to run small-scale courses in his garden at home, but he has also embarked on producing a series of 100 handmade chairs using logs from local woodlands. He will be displaying a selection of these chairs at Out of Nature 2017.
I spent my childhood carving sticks and building dens in the woodlands around my home in Bristol, which led me to establish a career running courses and writing books on woodland crafts, and chair-making in particular. Central to my approach is the technique of cleaving, in which a fresh log is split along the grain, prizing apart the wood fibres. This results in chairs that retain the vibrancy of the living tree, while being attractive, strong and above all, comfortable.