Charlie the Trug Maker

Traditional trugs are handmade still, the only concession to modern technology being a power saw tucked away in the shadows of Charlie’s old workshop. Here, ankle-deep in curling wood shavings, he sits astride a shavehorse, a traditional work bench upon which he ‘dresses the willow’, dexterously shaving and shaping each board. ‘It’s done entirely by hand, and has always been recognised as the most difficult part of the job,’ he explains. Success is totally dependent on the quality of the wood. ‘It can vary, but when I can work with beautiful willow and beautiful chestnut at the same time, it’s absolute heaven,’ he says. His is a beautiful rural craft and, as he deftly curves willow boards into shape, he demonstrates great skill and feel for wood.

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