Search

Mattishall Butcher's big arts break

PUBLISHED: 10:09 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 July 2010

Woodturning butcher, Robert Kidd from Hewitt's Butchers in Mattishall who is taking part in the Norfolk Open Studios.

Woodturning butcher, Robert Kidd from Hewitt's Butchers in Mattishall who is taking part in the Norfolk Open Studios.

A CHIP off the old butcher's block? Not exactly, but timber turned with loving care by the burly arms of shopkeeper Robert Kidd has been proving as alluring as his prime cuts.

A CHIP off the old butcher's block? Not exactly, but timber turned with loving care by the burly arms of shopkeeper Robert Kidd has been proving as alluring as his prime cuts.

And now some of the amateur craftsman's wares are going on show alongside those of the professionals at the 2009 Norfolk Open Studios event.

Customers at Hewitt's butcher's shop at Mattishall, which Robert revived after its closure last year, are already well aware of his ability to fashion random pieces of wild wood into bowls and vases and other curios for the dining room table or mantelpiece.

Working at a lathe at his Attleborough home, the father of two daughters can turn his hand to anything but especially enjoys transforming yew, oak and ash into objects pleasing to the eye.

“Much of the stuff I use is wood I have acquired through my customers in the shop,” he said. “They come in, and if they've had a tree cut down I'll put my name forward for a few pieces.”

A while back, Robert put some of his craftwork on sale at his Church Plain shop. Unbeknown to him, a satisfied customer was professional potter Ruthanne Tudball, who is based at Welborne and who is acclaimed worldwide for the array of unusual and creative teapots she makes.

Ruthanne invited him to display some of his work in her display for Open Studios, the annual countywide celebration of artists, craftspeople and sculptors, which this year starts on Saturday and runs until May 31.

Lately, Robert has incorporated recycled metal, including an old CD rack, into some of his creations. But his pride and joy is a wooden steam engine, modelled possibly on one made by the Norfolk and Suffolk marque of Burrell and named Emma-Lou, after daughters Emma and Louise. “It took a lot of hours, and there's everything in there: mahogany, ash, beech... It's all the odds and sods I found around the shed,” he said.

You can see Robert's work at Ruthanne's Temple Barn Pottery at Solomon's Temple, Welborne. Call 01362 858770 to check opening times.

He also expects to have wares on show at All Saints' Church, Mattishall, during the Norwich Diocese/Norfolk County Council Art Alive in Churches event over the bank holiday weekend of May 23-25 (details on 01379 677843; www.norwich.anglican.org/artalive).

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Dereham Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists