Woodfest again at St. Asaph, don’t miss it! Or try to remember next year… There seem to be a number of different types of people exhibiting or competing. Most working in their field and making a living the way most of us do, wood things being a profitable sideline. There are the commercial firms whose machined products look out of place next to the hand crafted ones. There are also the minority of excellent craftsmen and women making their living solely from their craft, these are the ones one admires the most. Often the craft comes first, financial gain second. They do it for the love of the creating and the pleasure of the wood. I have to say that of all the very good and worthy people showing their skills there is none like the mushroom man, earning a living by turning wooden mushrooms out of Hazel. I imagine one day, he like others, was turning and demonstrating. Made a wooden mushroom and sold it there and then. Then he did another and chatted to those he was making them for as his chisles effortlessly cut away the wood. Where others put up safety screen and sat behind desks, he was stood up outside, nothing to stop the endless waves of wood chippings covering those watching. A few children at the front started to dance in the wood confetti tossing it over their heads in some mock wedding ritual, child meets wood, perhaps touching it for the first time in it’s raw state, ‘feel the wood’ he says ‘it’s wet, isn’t it?’ the youngsters learn this is green wood, straight from the tree, the best for turning, soft and supple it bends to the will of the blade. As the mushroom is finished, complete with ring, furry bits and cone topping, the crowd shifts slightly, those going away clutching a newly carved work of love. For the love of it, and with good humour, is the better path. There are few who can tread the narrow road, but theirs is the path to be travelled!