Studio Visit to Geoffrey Fisher

14 December 2015

Studio Visit to Geoffrey Fisher

Nestled on the first floor of an outbuilding surrounded by other makers is green woodworker Geoffrey Fisher. After a quick coffee at Geoff’s studio in High Wycombe, he got me straight to work, drilling a hole into the end of a branch in order to make a whistle. Little did I know that the whistle might come in handy later when we took a trip to the nearby Penn Woods.

One side of Geoff’s studio houses neatly stacked shelves full of brushes of all size, wooden spatulas both made and half-made, slingshots and a range of packing options. On the next bench lay a line of neatly bound skipping ropes ready for dispatch. The other side of the workshop is where is action happens, a wooden bench overlooks the car park which is a hive of activity for all the other makers: bike-builders, glass window specialists and the family-run printers. Behind the wooden bench is another very neat shelving unit packed with wood, all ordered in boxes of all the same size for coat hooks, skipping rope handles, handles for brushes, wood for the slingshots, dowel for the whistles, and thin ply pre-cut ready for the dustpans. Below sit blue buckets ready for sorting. The bench at the end of the room is where all of Geoff’s tools sit on a very impressive tool wall, from string to tape, hammers to saws, measuring devices of all sorts to chisels, including a much needed essential piece of kit: a kettle!

After making the whistle we headed out to Penn Woods where Geoff has permission to use any wood that has already been cut by the landowner to maintain pathways, etc. I was given a foraging bag with a rather large folding Japanese saw and a pair of gloves. I was put to work to find wood for coat hooks, skipping rope handles, brush handles and slingshot V’s. After filling a whole bagful and some longer pieces, it was just about manageable to carry back. I can easily see how you could get carried away and then not be able to carry it all back. I think Geoff needs a sledge for Christmas!

En route back to his workshop we stopped off at the local pub for a warm up and, on Geoff’s recommendation, I went for the meat-feast sandwich. It was epic and delicious! During the afternoon we firstly had to sort through the foraged wood, then we got to work. Firstly, to ease myself into the making we made a set of six coat hooks. These are now very proudly in use in my house!  Then we began making the dustpan and brush set, alongside analysing each step of the process in order to turn this into a masterclass.

All in all what a fantastic day out: I made stuff, took a trip through the woods, and prepared two masterclasses which will be happening early next year.
Thank you Geoff for your hospitality and I cannot wait for the masterclasses.

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