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BLACS meeting

At the last evening event to be held at Liphook Village Hall before their move to the Millennium Hall in May, the Bramshott & Liphook Arts Society (BLACS) has invited Chris Howkins, eminent ethnobotanist, writer, and Illustrator to speak on Treen and traditional woodware on Thursday 5th April 2007.

For over forty years, Chris Howkins has researched how people have used trees & plants in Britain by reading through documents and by visiting craftsmen and women still practicing traditional skills. In his talk for the Society, Chris will be looking at the traditional craft of treen-ware, as well as its modern application by today’s artists and craftspeople.

"Treen" meaning "of the tree", includes anything made from wood but is usually applied to small items made for general use around the farm or the household. The definition of treen covers almost any small object which has been turned, or which is shaped by other means, and which is made up of a relatively small number of parts.

For centuries, wood has been used to make both useful and affordable objects for domestic use. Wooden tables were laid with wooden trenchers, spoons and goblets, each with a different patina. Thus wooden butter pats, cooking utensils, food bowls, and simple wooden storage boxes are today referred to as treen-ware; practicality, simplicity, good design and a celebration of the beauty of wood and the skill of the craftsman are all features of prized treen-ware.

Both modern and older treen-ware are collectable and pieces often appear in auctions and specialist sales. Given their functional nature, treen pieces tend not to be overly decorated - those with more elaborative adornment are rare and are sought after by collectors today.

Visitors are welcome to bring pieces to show Chris, as well as learn how to use wood in creative and practical ways. The meeting runs from 8 pm to 10 pm with a break for refreshments (Non-members ticket price £1.50), at the Liphook Village Hall.

Article posted on: 02 April 2007

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