Wicklow Handmade Pens | Our Woods
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Kiln-Dried Hardwoods in the Killruddery Estate, near Bray and the Lisnavagh Estate in Co Carlow (The home of the Bunbury Boards) are my two main sources of wood.



Sycamore and Maple are from the same family and I try to find particularly pale and clean samples. Good woods to turn and sometimes have a beautiful speckled effect or a rippled shimmer effect, giving a beautiful ivory finish.



Laburnum has historically been used for cabinetmaking and inlay, as well as musical instruments. The heart wood of Laburnum may be used as a substitute for Ebony or Rosewood, very hard and a dark chocolate brown with a buttery-yellow sapwood.

Burr Elm


A beautiful warm brown coloured wood, highly grained and distinctive. The Burr of the Elm, which is what I look for, is full of character and really stunning. Stocks of Elm are finite due to the devastation of Dutch Elm Disease.



Spectacular Chocolate-brown in the heartwood contrasts with pale creamy sapwood. Distinctive knots further enhance this smooth and lustrous wood. Slow growing timber which is prised by woodturners. Many of the trees we get are very ancient.



Walnut is a very attractive, hard, dense and tight-grained timber. It has dark chocolate heartwood with creamy white sapwood.  After turning it polishes to a fine smooth finish.

Spalted Beech

The image shows how beech can vary in colour and texture. The Spalting is a fungus and creates wonderful patterns in the wood. It is not the hardest timber but very attractive when carefully selected. The resulting pens vary significantly, every one is unique.

Flamed Beech

The Flamed effect is different to the Spalting and gives a softer appearance with variations in colour from pale orange to grey to creamy white and darker brown.

Irish Oak

Well known native and hardwearing timber. It can have beautiful grain, colour and texture. There are many different kinds of Oak some 300 in total. I concentrate on four in particular.

Holm Oak

This is an evergreen Oak and can have beautiful dark grain which forms distinctive stripes in contrast to the rest of the wood when it is turned.

Irish Brown Oak

This is a darker Oak with beautiful grain. All these woods can vary enormously. I hope that the pictures begin to show this.

Bog Oak


This is ancient timber that has been buried in Irish bogland for centuries, as much as 5000 years. The lack of oxygen in the Bog preserves the wood. It turns black and is very sought-after for decorative pieces. Good pieces are quite hard to get and of great historical significance. The Pens created from this rare timber are spectacular.