Watercress Woodcrafts – hand turned wooden objects
Watercress Woodcrafts is based in Dalkeith, Midothian and run by Dr Mike Cressey who is a palaeoenvironmental archaeologist and wood turner. He has over 25 years of specialist experience in wood anatomy and microscopic charcoal identification which is a prerequisite of radiocarbon dating. Mike is also a historic building surveyor.
FOG (found on the ground) wood is probably the most abundant resource available for the wood turner. Good wood is often recycled from old buildings. Oak floor timbers dating from 1587 were salvaged during the recent renovation of Riddles Court, a merchant’s house on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The oak was slow grown and rock hard but its finish was fantastic.
Mike’s pieces are sometimes made from spalted beech which has been altered by fungal impregnation, forming wavy lines and abstract patterns.
Inspiration comes from the beauty of the wood itself and its history as far as can be known. Turning an unprepossessing lump of firewood into something nice and pleasing to the eye is sheer joy. Mike is delighted to receive gifted wood which is often returned to the giver in the shape of a vase or bowl. He is often asked “is this wood any good?” and the usual reply is “yes, there is something in it, just wait and see.”