David saves a damson in distress

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
For David Rodgers, taking part in Bucks Art Weeks last year helped him make more art - literally.

‘I'm a wood turner, and I like to source characterful timber locally where possible,’ he says. ‘A Bucks Art Weeks visitor had a damson tree that came down in their garden in a storm, and they were wondering what to do with it - put it on their log burner, or see if someone could make use of it. Fortunately for me, they found me on the Bucks Art Weeks website, contacted me about the tree, and now I’m making characterful bowls from it.’

David works with wood using traditional tools and techniques from his base in Chesham. ‘I love the varying texture and characteristics of each piece of timber,’ he tells us. ‘There is some pretty incredible wood inside the damson tree logs - the heart wood is a dark red colour, not that dissimilar to the inside of a damson.’ We’ll wait to see how the bowls he’s making take shape.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bucks Art Weeks isn’t just a great way of upcycling fallen trees though… It’s the county’s largest visual arts festival - and it’s free to visit! It’s happening now until 23rd June.

David at work in his studioDavid at work in his studio
David at work in his studio

Every year in June the bright yellow signs go up across and around Buckinghamshire, and visitors can drop in on all the artists and makers taking part. This year there are over 300 painters, potters, glassworkers, printmakers, jewellers, sculptors, photographers, textile workers and others showing their work and processes. It’s a good day out - most venues offer refreshments in exchange for a donation to charity.

As a visitor you might decide to visit artists on your doorstep and to consider buying work made very locally. Other visitors plan tours around their area using a town art trail, fuelled by a morning coffee or afternoon tea (many venues offer refreshments in exchange for a donation to charity).

Why not join other adventurous visitors who plan a trip further afield? The free festival directory and website has a map of the locations of creatives county-wide. Consider a day trip to North Bucks, the Vale of Aylesbury or the Thames Valley and get to know the area through its artists and makers, combining lunch or a walk.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

By going to the website www.bucksartweeks.org.uk you can decide on your stop-offs by looking at the online gallery belonging to each artist or maker, and check opening dates and times, parking, access and whether it’s a working studio with demonstrations. Keep an eye on social media for updates too: @bucksartweeksofficial.

You can find out more about David’s work - including how the damson tree ends up - at www.seated-wood-turner.co.uk.