'In a world of mass production and ever-advancing technologies, we strive to produce exceptional, handmade carvings using traditional methods and honest values.' William Barsley 2019
Fascinated by historic crafts from a young age, whittling small gifts for family and friends, I started exploring woodcarving more seriously in 2009. Over the next few years my passion continued to grow and, in 2013, I took a leap of faith and left his 9-5 office job working for the United Nations in Rome to travel the globe in search of master woodcarvers, documenting his journey along the way. My aim was to echo craftsmen of the past who would travel great distances in search of new skills. After six months, eleven countries, and having met hundreds of craftsmen, I realised I knew more about the carving techniques of most Asian countries than my own countries. Eager to learn about the UK's carving heritage and hone my own skills, I enrolled on one of the best woodcarving courses in Europe, completing a three-year diploma in Ornamental Woodcarving and Gilding at the City and Guilds of London Art School.
Proud to have worked with Holy Well Glass to produce a door handle master copy for the Queen's private chapel at Windsor Castle.
In this fun project, I carved the crest of Roald Dahl's grandson's new family coat of arms, featuring the Roly Poly bird from the much loved books.
In 2018, I participated in Homo Faber, an international exhibition in Venice organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.
Commissioned to carve a memorial plaque for the WW1 centenary, in honour of the famous war poet Siegfried Sassoon my home village.
In 2014, I began a journey to meet and interview woodcarvers in different parts of the world, documenting their stories through CarvingCountries.com with the aim of inspiring and sharing with others this incredible and globally diverse craft. To date, i've travelled through eleven countries, meeting hundreds of craftspeople, from the islands of Indonesia to the foothills of the Himalayas. These videos give a glimpse into the journey.
Diploma in Ornamental Woodcarving and Gilding from the City and Guilds of London Art School.
Awarded the Prize for Carving from the Master Carvers' Association.
Awarded a Journeyman Carver Certificate by Livery Companies Skills Council.
Made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers.