Miscellaneous Adventures and Reconnecting with Materials

We humans have industrialised and now many of us sit at desks all day. We have lost our direct connection with nature and no longer work materials with our hands. Designers and illustrators Andrew Groves and Emma Hughes decided to do something about it. They moved into a small barn in the woods. They started making things with their hands from the materials they found around them. Their passion is infectious and they have set up Miscellaneous Adventures to spread the word and help others reconnect.

I recently attended one of their workshops and whittled my own spoon. It’s not a bad first attempt, I don’t think. The workshop gave me three hours away from my desk-based life. And during those three hours, I shaped a block of silver birch with my hands (and a knife) into something that I wanted to own. Their next spoon carving workshop is in the woods in West Sussex in April 2018 and they do others too.

Andrew and Emma also sell a range of products that they’ve made and because they’re designers, they make nice products. The design is good but the story is perhaps even better. I couldn’t stop myself buying one of four ‘Micro Hiking Hatchets’ that they made in collaboration with Somerset blacksmith Alex Pole. I admit I haven’t actually used it yet but I love it nonetheless – it’s an awesome object with an awesome story and you can’t ask for more than that. Sorry guys, I bought the last one.

By Bert Beagley-Brown