Book Reviews

The Man Who Made Things out of Trees

I was given a book for Christmas entitled.” The Man Who Made Things out of Trees” by Robert Penn. I received it with customary thanks but with a certain amount of quiet cynicism. However, I read it and was enthralled from start to finish. Here is the synopsis:
“Rob Penn felled a single ash and then set about seeing how many objects (useful, beautiful, ideally both) that he, roping in suitably expert assistance, could make from this solitary specimen.”

There are several reviews but one which sums up the whole book states that ‘Penn spends time with many dogged almost devout, craftsmen, collecting words and the beautiful products they create for him, but also eloquently making the case for wood as a sustainable material. He writes beautifully’ Tobias Jones, Guardian

He includes all manner of topics including the history of wood turning, calculating approximate age of a tree, externally; percentage of water in new timber through to its elasticity and strength.

The book is available at all good book shops but for those who would like to borrow from the library, if you can find one, the ISBN no is 978-0-141-97751-5

by Colin Bushell


George Charlton also read the book and commented:

“I also was a bit sceptical when I was given the same book “The man who made things out of Trees”, but I persevered and ended up enjoying it enormously. It is not a tree hugger type of book but nicely written and utterly charming and quite instructive in its own quiet way. For example he visited the factory in the USA where they turn ash timber into baseball bats, using that as an excuse to give a potted history of why the bats are made of ash, and how they make them.

I would recommend this book wholeheartedly”.