Gateshead man's wood carvings driving wife up the wall

A retired builder has used his spare time to become a master of wood carvings which are now taking over the family home, much to his wife's disdain

Drew Henderson of Crawcrook with some of his woodwork
Drew Henderson of Crawcrook with some of his woodwork

His wood carvings show signs of true talent but Drew Henderson’s hobby is proving a bone of contention with his wife who wants rid of the one-off pieces.

The 68-year-old former joiner fills much of his days painstakingly working away to make bespoke wood works that more often than not end up placed among the growing collection of his creations in the couple’s Gateshead home.

While his wife Pam first appreciated his skills, she says the time has now come to do something about the hundreds of pieces that are cluttering up their house making it almost impossible for her to move around.

Pam, 68, said: “He is crazy for making things, he makes the most unusual things. He is very good and determined with it but it’s got to the stage where I’ve had to sell a dining table to house all these things.

“I’m at the stage where I’m really fed up because I struggle to do things like get a Christmas tree up.”

 

But despite her frustrations, Pam does acknowledge her husband’s talent for creating imaginative one-off wood works that she feels could be valued additions to other people’s homes.

“He is so creative with it. It would be nice for people to recognise his work,” she added.

“The things he makes are all out of his own head. He was once sat as we were having a meal just scribbling his ideas on the back of a beer mat. Also, if he saw something in a shop he could just copy it straight away.”

Drew’s collection of creations is made up of quirky original designs whether it be a rocking horse, wine rack or even a wood carving of his own hand, but they all starting to take over the couple’s Crawcrook home.

He said: “I’m still very enthusiastic about what I do. I still love to be up at my workshop early and I shut the door, put the radio on and I’m set for the day.

“Everything I do is one-off, I can’t do the same thing twice. I buy the wood and then think of something to do with it.”

Drew has always been good with his hands having been a well-respected joiner for many years but it was when he decided to retire that his fondness for wood carving took hold.

What started with a few bits and bobs here and there to pass the time soon escalated and Drew’s pieces were getting more elaborate.

“It’s just a hobby,” Pam said. “It started with him making rocking horses years ago because a few people wanted them custom made. He now has a little workshop where he does everything.

“He’s working all the time, sometimes he doesn’t sleep. I have got a little grand-daughter and she’s so used to seeing him in his work clothes that if he’s not wearing them she just won’t go near him.”

Drew’s passion almost cost him a thumb recently when he cut it on a saw and he had to have plastic surgery to save it.

Pam is now hoping that people may help her begin the long journey to clearing her house out a bit by taking some of the pieces off her hands and giving them a good home.

She said: “He has sold a few things but not enough to empty my house. Everyone says it’s brilliant but there’s a time when you have to stop but he says it gives him something to do.”

Some of Drew’s work is currently available in North East Art Collective in Eldon Garden but most of his pieces are still in the house.

Anyone who is interested in any of Drew’s pieces can visit the gallery.

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