Astrid de Groot
Woodworking is in my blood; my grandfather and great- grandfather before him were traditional clog makers in Brabant, the Netherlands. As a child, I watched my granddad at his special clog making bench working wood with interesting chisels. Me, I was just whittling sticks or would be found using my dad’s tools in the shed at home. Without anyone noticing, slowly but surely, I followed my ancestors to become the first woman professional woodworker of the family.
I studied graphic design and went to art academie in The Netherlands before returning to wood, as an apprentice in a small Dutch restoration business learning to make original old-style windows and doors with the locked-up mortice and tenon joints, as well as the new innovative techniques.
By the end of 2007, I moved to Pembrokeshire as a self-employed joiner/ woodworker, more recently specialising in spoon-carving and bowl-turning. Today, my relationship with wood has become increasingly close-up, as I focus on intimate hand-carving, using hand tools, appreciating the different species of trees, going with the grain, fighting it, smelling it and ultimately loving it, creating my own individual style striving for practical and beautiful designs.