Reaching Through Time - Taxus Baccata - Nicholas McMillan
The tree grows at Kingley Vale Nature Reserve, near Chichester in West Sussex. It is the largest yew tree woodland in Europe. It is one o... Read more
The tree grows at Kingley Vale Nature Reserve, near Chichester in West Sussex. It is the largest yew tree woodland in Europe. It is one of many ancient yews growing at the site and is thought to be between 2000 - 3000 years old.
The yew tree is especially significant to Nick as he also makes traditional English longbows.
Yew is the perfect timber for building these weapons, the sapwood, on the outside or ‘back’ of the bow, is very strong in tension. The heartwood, on the inside or ’belly’ of the bow, is very good at resisting compression forces.
All this together gives you the perfect timber for bow making. This island has a long history with the wooden bow, from the 6,000-year-old Rotten Bottom bow to the 100 Years War and the famous battles of Agincourt and Crécy.
The lower branches of this tree have layered (taken root) and are growing a ring of new trees around itself. It is thought that this tree was once a layered branch from an older parent tree.
The drawing is built up with layers of compressed charcoal smoothed out and softened using a putty rubber as a blending tool. It can take 4 - 5 layers of this to achieve the rich texture and tone required.
Nick likes to isolate his subjects from their environment to give full attention to the subject.
Products may slightly differ from the original images due to natural properties and handmade craftsmanship. Variations, such as wood grain, and colour, add to the uniqueness of each piece. Rest assured, these differences contribute to the authentic charm of your purchase, maintaining the high-quality standards we uphold.
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