Son of a Beech! Artisan-Crafted Slingshot
December 18, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
UK maker and friend, Geoff Fisher, has just announced two new additions to his popular artisan-crafted Trook family of hand whittled hooks.
Fisher makes his new artisan-crafted Slingshot and Brush from the same local Beech and other woods he uses for his signature Trooks. The hooks and the slingshot have become celebrity favorites. David Sedaris has already acquired 36 Trooks in London, and Robert de Niro was recently spotted purchasing a slingshot in upstate New York.
If a Tree Falls…
I visited Fisher last year at his High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire studio, aptly located in an English county with a long history of wood crafters. He showed me the woods where he forages for the fallen branches used to craft his one of a kind pieces.
Most of the wood comes from a nearby coppice, but Fisher’s also been known to bring back kilos of branches in his suitcase from as far away as Greece. Lately he’s been lobbying me to send him wood from New England. We’ll see.
The Local Beech
“The town I live in,” Fisher told me, “was once famous for furniture making because there are lots of beech trees in areas like Penn Wood, owned makers years ago by a furniture maker. The brush makers of Chesham used the off cuts from the furniture makers to make handles for their brushes. Those handles now come from Italy and Germany so my brush will be the first one for a long time that’s made entirely in Buckinghamshire.”
An artist with a keen appreciation of detail–and perhaps a bit of a perfectionist–Fisher’s very particular about where he procures his materials. He aims to source everything as locally as possible. In fact, he gets the brush end of his Trook brushes from Russell Brushes, a purveryor of brushes since 1840 who’s literally down the road from Fisher. The same goes for the non-wooden parts for his works. A recent but temporary unavailablity of just the right kind of “sling” for his Slingshot nearly catapulted the whole project right out of the studio.
A Tale of Two (or More) Twigs
Each of Fisher’s pieces includes its own unique story, a short tale referencing the wood’s origin and sometimes accompanied by a bit of history from the particular site. Interestingly, but of no historical signifigance, much of Fisher’s material comes from nearby Horton Wood–no relation to me, though I do find it nice that we share the name.
Trooks, Slingshots, and Brushes may be purchased here. I also have a limited supply of Trooks for sale in the US. If interested, email me at info (at) urbangardensweb.com