Ben and Lois Orford
Ben has been green woodworking and tool making for over twenty years now and through his years of experience has gained the skills to provide the woodcraft and bushcraft enthusiast with some very well designed products.
Having spent three years training with some of the top green woodworkers at Clissett wood ( Mike Abbott and Gudrun Leitz) and Steve Betts ( woodland management and coppice crafts) and undertaken a cabinet making and furniture design course at Hereford College, Ben gained a wide knowledge in both woodwork and tool use.
This has given him a remarkable skill base from which to move forward and combine with many other crafts from tool making to blacksmithing (Holme Lacey College), spoon and bowl carving (Wille Sundqvist) to leather work (Val Michaels).
Ben has used this fusion of skills to produce a comprehensive range of tools for the outdoor enthusiast. He has travelled around Europe and the U.S passing on the skills he has acquired and also enjoys demonstrating around the UK at various shows (see the Latest News page for details).
Lois has been working as a full time green woodworker and leather worker for over eleven years now and had been studying the crafts on a part time basis for over fifteen.
With her skills and underlying love of craft she makes excellent leather products, all handmade with care and attention to detail.
Lois originally trained in horticulture and this has given her a superb skill base and knowledge of trees and plants in the UK. Her love of green woodwork and the desire to hone her skills took her to Clissett Wood where she attended several courses with Mike Abbott and learned the skills of chair-making and pole-lathe turning. She then used these skills to demonstrate at the Chiltern Open Air Museum and then later ran several greenwood courses in the Arborfield Barn at the museum.
Lois then moved to Herefordshire to expand her skills and help develop The Craft Labs range of bushcraft leatherwork. For every tool or knife that Ben makes, Lois custom makes the leather sheath.
Ben and Lois make a great team and when they are not in the workshop, they enjoy demonstrating at shows, canoeing, walking, bushcraft, woodcraft, green woodwork, spoon carving and anything that gets them out into the great outdoors!