This spring illustrator Andrew Groves will be expanding Miscellaneous Adventures and running woodcarving workshops.
About Miscellaneous Adventures
I've been working as a freelance illustrator for 6 years, during which time I've been fortunate enough to work for a wide range of clients and to of been involved in some amazing projects. My biggest influences to the content and style of my work have always been nature and the great outdoors and as such I've always tried to live an active outdoor life in order to fuel my imagination; surfing, snowboarding, hiking and studying natural phenomenon whenever possible. Back in the autumn of 2011 I decided I wanted to begin a new project that would tie my passion with the outdoors and my creativity together more directly; a project that would actually allow me to spend time working outside with natural materials.
That summer, I had been on a hiking adventure to the far north of Sweden and was introduced to the traditional handicrafts of the Sami people, who make beautiful wooden cups, bowls, spoons and tools from the natural materials available to them in the northern wilderness. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, these objects and utensils have an inherent spirit and significance; a far cry from the plastic sporks and gadgets I had been using on my adventure.
With my new found inspiration, I set about teaching myself to work with wood using hand tools and started building my first collection of wooden utensils designed for use on camping trips and outdoor adventures. At the same time I began to develop an identity and style that would compliment both my hand made objects and my illustration work, thus Miscellaneous Adventures was born.
My first collection was well received, all the items were sold and I was flattered by the positive response that Miscellaneous Adventures was getting from fellow creatives and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Several high profile magazines and blogs wrote features and articles about my project and Hypebeast even came to film me making things from wood in a series called Modern Day Artisans.
Since then I've continued to create with wood alongside my regular work as an illustrator and launched my most recent collection this winter which has now expanded to include art prints, carving knives, and waxed cotton pouches alongside hand carved spoons, cups bowls and toggles.
As well as words of encouragement and support, I receive a high number of e-mails and comments from designers, illustrators and artists asking for advice on how to start working with wood and how they can start making their own utensils and objects. For me this is the greatest achievement for Miscellaneous Adventures. I feel that in an age of instant gratification and mass produced products it's really important to keep traditional skills alive and to continue to work with natural materials in order to promote a level of respect and care for our natural environment. I'm genuinely excited that perhaps my work has inspired people to get outside and start making things and I hope I can share my knowledge and the skills I've learnt since starting Miscellaneous Adventures which has led me to the next phase in my project: Woodland Woodcarving Workshops!
This spring, Miscellaneous Adventures will be running a series of woodcarving workshops in a secluded forest location in the Sussex countryside. With an emphasis on carving techniques that can be employed to create all manner of useful objects when in remote locations. Participants will learn how to use an axe, carving knife and crook knife safely and efficiently, how to select and source suitable timber and how to protect finished objects from the elements.
I want these workshops to be special. I want to create a magical, educational and inspiring environment and I want people to leave feeling empowered and proud of their new set of skills. Because of this I need to raise enough funds to make sure I can get the best equipment available and to provide participants with all the little extras that will make these workshops unique.
In order for me to run these workshops, I'll need to buy a whole set of tools for each participant including an axe, carving Knife, crook Knife, folding saw and woodworking apron and supply additional extras such as printed materials and stickers and patches to give to each participant at the end of the day. I'll also be adding new items to the Miscellaneous Adventures store to celebrate the launch of the workshops, including limited edition Risograph prints, screen printed t-shirts, enamel pins and embroidered patches and I'll be providing these items as rewards for your generous contributions.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my project, I'm really grateful for any support and help to make Miscellaneous Adventures Woodland Woodcarving Workshops a massive success. Cheers!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I'm hoping there will be very few risks involved with this project but as always anything can happen! My biggest challenge has been finding a location for the workshops and this is something I've already overcome. The workshops will held outside so I'm at the mercy of the British weather in order to complete the workshops on the allocated days so finding a solution to this is a potential challenge, although if the weather is truly inclement the workshop will simply be moved to a different date. Fingers crossed.
I would love to be able offer places on future workshops as rewards, but unfortunately it's not really possible due to the costs and processes involved in renting the woodland for the workshops.
In order to rent the location I need a minimum of 8 people, which would mean that if only 3 people signed up through Kickstarter for example, I wouldn't be able to run that workshop and therefore, I wouldn't be able to honour the rewards and the last thing I want to is to let people down.
If you are interested in attending a future workshop, then you can e-mail: email@example.com and I’ll add you to the mailing list to let you know when places are available to book.
Many thanks again for all your support. Andrew.