Meet the teacher - Cleft oak gate making
We would like to tell you about Jack Holden who is teaching our Gatemaking course on 25-27 April in Wernog Wood
Jack learned the skills of traditional woodcraft, coppicing and woodland management through an apprenticeship with oak craftsman, Ian Taylor in Windermere. He was drawn to others who wanted to work with their hands, not just for the money, but for the love of creation, the satisfaction of working with wood and to maintain a connection with the natural world.
Jack has since established Mountain Oak Woodcraft, a successful business making cleft oak gates, fences, timberframe structures and bespoke furniture, as well as undertaking woodland management projects within the Lake District.
Everything he makes has a unique, practical and durable character, borne out of the traditional materials and processes he uses. Using traditional hand tools, his designs follow the natural shapes and curves of the timber. The integral strength of his products come from the process of cleaving, which is the technique of splitting wood down the grain rather than the more conventional sawing of fibres. He works mainly in oak which requires no treatment at all due to its high tannin content.
We chose Jack to run our cleft oak gate making course in April as we love the qualities of his work. Over three memorable days, he will guide you through every step of making your own affordable handcrafted gate. Your chosen piece of timber will influence your own gate design, and you will remember every knot and fibre of its making.