Steve Hunt Reclaimed woodworker

Steve Hunt Reclaimed woodworker Case study

Lets learn a little more about: Steve Hunt

What do you reuse / repurpose / recycle? 
In craft work I use Hardwoods, softwoods, plywood, furniture, some plastics and PVC, roofing materials, pond liner, landscaping materials, copper and steel wire, sheet metal, computers, scrap non-ferrous metals, unwanted craft materials

How would you describe what you do? 
I like to make things that are useful in the home or garden or workshop. I reclaim timber and metals to extend their life, stop them from going to landfill and create something useful and elegant and contributes to wildlife conservation in some way. So I make insect shelters, bird nesting boxes, hedgehog houses, all from reclaimed materials. I also make small garden ornaments and sculptures.

I also make things from green wood: prunings and trees taken down by friends, neighbours or local tree surgeons or builders. Hand carved items made from cherry, apple, plum, beech, hawthorn, chestnut and rowan have been used for centuries as useful and beautiful things for every home.

Nowadays thousands of tons of wood are left  on the ground to rot, chipped for compost,  or buried in landfill. I am exploring how I can use my own designs to create useful and sculptural items from found, rescued and donated materials. My insect hotels and bird nesting boxes are made from reclaimed timber - donated by friends and neighbours or found abandoned or discarded as rubbish. There is a story behind everything I make.

My bowls, spatulas and spoons are normally made from green wood. I do not use any power tools or machinery, only traditional hand tools – adze, gouges, chisels and a wood carving knife. In my bowls, I  adapt Scandinavian designs and try to achieve a balanced, pleasing shape that is practical, traditional and well-proportioned.

I have made many commissioned pieces and like to explore using found materials, carving wood while it is still green or recently cut. I love making memento pieces from much loved trees that have to be removed or have been brought down by the wind.

How did you get into woodworking? 

I started thinking more about the wildlife in the garden, especially birds, insects and hedgehogs and thought it would be good to help them find shelter for hibernation, breeding etc.  I also thought that lots of nice pieces of wood in gardens and parks and on building sites are being left to rot or chipped for compost and that this could be put to better use.

How long have you been doing woodwork?  
For about 30 years all together.

What tips do you have for other Nottinghamshire residents to help them reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle? 
Try to avoid putting things in the general waste bin by finding another use for them. Use materials in the garden, make something, repair it rather than throw it away, or better still, transform it into something better, something useful or something beautiful.

Steve's website where you can find out more:

Photographs of Steve taken by Neil Pledger