9 September 2011

Website downtime

Hi All
The website for CrossmanCrafts will be down from 9pm this evening for a short time. this is to allow a newly re-designed, searchable site to be uploaded. It will also have it's own blog page - so this will be the last post here.
Please visit the new CrossmanCrafts website to stay in touch with lots of lovely new items for museums, interpreters, collectors, and anyone wanting a one-off special item.

25 August 2011


Just thought I'd share some work in progress...
I'll be adding these to the website at some point...

3 dolls
They are going to be made from odd bits of material left over from other jobs, which means that they'll be in whatever wood comes to hand, and in lots of different sizes! The above ones are in fruitwood. Of course, if you'd like one turned specially (in boxwood perhaps?) to a certain size, then that can be catered for as well!

toys and games
Above is a selection of toys made previously for clients. I'm hoping to add a 17 century jointed doll to the set soon... although they'll need clothes making as I only do 'nudes' at the moment!

15 August 2011

More niddy noddy...

Handled and unhandled niddy noddy sets ...

... tops come off for storage

9 August 2011

Odd jobs...

A couple of odd jobs picked up in the last few days...

Roll-up, dyed leather chess/draughts board

10 inch square oak tapestry frame (outside dimension)

The chess board is made from 2mm veg tan leather which has been scorch marked and dyed. Alternative colourways are available, the above is a 12" board with 1 1/2" border in black. Prices start at £40

The oak tapestry frame is lap jointed and dowelled for rigidity, but light enough to hold comfortably. Currently made to order, but some stock may be available at the next market, if not earlier... Price from £15

8 August 2011

Niddy Noddy

Latest additions to our range of spinning equipment are 90cm (3 foot) distaffs (£15) and niddy noddies. 
The above picture shows a handled version in oak, but there will also be an unhandled (W10xH10inch) version to follow.  The handled version uses 12mm oak dowelling. Both are £35.
Drop spindle prices start from £6 depending on whether you would like a wooden whorl, or stone, or antler, or lead, or pewter, or anything else you can think of! They are supplied on a dowel shaft unless requested (I can turn versions in boxwood, or cherry, or....)

4 August 2011

Writing equipment

I had a commission recently to make a couple of penners, and as a result shall be adding these to my stock list. They are plain pieces, stamped versions may follow, although they will be waxed (the above are shown unwaxed). They are competitively priced at £30 each, and are supplied on a lucet woven cord. Silk braids may be available later... Other pieces shown are 6"/12" rulers, available with/without numbers (from £3), quills (from £1), boxwood paperknife (from £10), silver point pencils (from £8), brass pen (from £12). I also make lead plummets for ruling (£10 each, but currently sold out), parchment clips (£6 each), bone prickers similar to the silver point pencils (from £8), and occasionally (seasonally) oak gall ink kits. More items to follow...

18 July 2011

Cloak or dress hooks

I picked the original example of these hooks in Essex (it's the one nearest the scale). It's a lovely piece made from rolled bronze sheet which has been turned and sharpened at the ends to form the hooks. The side pieces appear to be held on only by the tightly wound wire. In the versions I have made, which are slightly more robust, the hook is made from bronze wire, and the side pieces (which are brass) have been soldered in place, then over wrapped with fine brass wire.

Cloak hooks, with original piece nearest the scale, £8 each
The dating for this piece was placed by the seller at around 17th Century. My own feeling is that is a little older, possible Tudor, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who has seen anything similar? PAS didn't throw any light on dating...

15 July 2011

Bone Lucets

Just finished a new batch of bone lucets (more are on the way!)...

All the bone (and antler) lucets I make are different. I don't force the material to fit a given profile, so they are far more organic in form than the boxwood lucets I make. This means that occasionally they may look a little.... odd? But sometimes odd is good; after all, isn't it good to be different? The lucets have been sanded and polished to bring up a nice, smooth finish, but they will mellow with time and use and take on a much richer patina.

All my bone lucets are priced at £12 each, regardless of size. The longest is 110mm, the shortest 60mm.

14 July 2011


Time to start prepping some more boxwood for pomanders...

cut blocks ready for turning

end view of one block showing some water staining, and (unfortunately) some rot

the other end waxed to show the grain more clearly
The rot around on edges of the wood is not found as frequently as on other woods. Boxwood is hard and dense that it largely resists water - there is a good chance that some of this damage was done in storage during the winter. It will mean turning from a larger piece, but the resulting pomanders will have an interesting variety of colours in the surface.

11 July 2011

Knitting needles

Now available!

150 mm / 6 inch bone knitting needles £7.50 each
200 mm / c.8 inch needles also available £10 each
The above hand cut and shaped bone needles are 2 mm (approximate) diameter. Hopefully, 3 mm will be coming soon!

8 July 2011

website updated...

....as if there weren't enough buttons (!) I have added a couple more and updated the links


Prices remain competitive, and I am always trying to increase my range of products so if there is anything you don't see on the pages/price list please give me a nudge and I'll see what I can do!


7 July 2011

Boxwood combs

Finally getting back to some comb-making...
These two will be going up on Etsy shortly


Katy's collar was starting to look a little shabby - she does like to roll a lot! - so I spent last night taking it apart and re-stitched it. While I had the chance I gave it a good clean and re-oiled it - now it's all shiny and new again!

5 July 2011


I was asked to make a simple spoon for a friends 50th wedding anniversary recently, so I thought I'd make a couple from some pear wood at the same time. The middle one is boxwood; all three are treated with sunflower oil. I didn't try to avoid the knot in the handle of the lower pear piece as I think it adds character, and it might be useful if you wanted to try a bit of string on it...

1 July 2011


CrossmanCrafts now has an Etsy page! Currently showing pomanders - but more pretty things will follow...

30 June 2011

Antler and chalk whorls

Just a few of the whorls made from the batch of antler shown earlier...

And a few chalk ones made at the same time...

More to follow...

Email me for prices, sizes etc (although I have added the weight in grammes, and the holes are all 6mm).

22 June 2011

Boxwood Beads

This is just a selection of the beads I am able to supply, made to order. They are all versions of Tudor beads recovered from the Mary Rose. Most are of boxwood, apart from those in the centre which are marked. Many of these are also available in bone, at an increased cost, or in other woods, such as ebony.

15 June 2011

Bags for spindles and yarn

A couple of leather bags made to hold yarn and spindles. The square bag is a large (VERY large) version of a Tudor example recovered from the Mary Rose, although I doubt they were knitting or spinning on board the ship! I normally make them for fishing or tool kits. The smaller, drawstring bag is made from two colours of soft sheep skin, and has a leather draw cord. It is completely round when opened flat and holds a surprising amount. Both are made with natural, vegetable tanned leather/skin and are hand sewn with linen thread. The square bag measures 20x13cm at the base, 23x16cm at the top and is 36cm tall. The round, gathered bag has a diameter of 42cm.

2 June 2011

More antler whorls...

Whorls, whorls, whorls!
I have finally got round to starting to process the (rather large) box of antler pedicles to make more antler whorls and buttons. The photo also shows a piece of chalk which will interesting to turn (!) and several pieces of boxwood which are the ends of previous projects. It’s always a shame to waste odd bits of wood and these will make nice whorls. More photos when they are turned up…

31 May 2011


A small bundle of bobbins...
Most of the above bobbins are made from hazel, one is fruitwood, and the carved one at the bottom is boxwood. Most are taken from examples surviving from archaeological sites. The double stoppered bobbin is from the Mary Rose (1545), as is the tapered bobbin (possibly for net-making?). The boxwood bobbin (one of a set of three) is for using with heavy gold thread and is based on one in the Pinto Collection in Birmingham. All are available to order.

Fasteners etc

A (small) selection of fasteners and button bases available to order...

20 May 2011

Heritage Crafts Association

Map of traditional craftspeople in the UK

Whoopee! I'm on the Map!

18 April 2011

Spindle set with antler whorl

This is the final (hopefully!) form of the spindle set made earlier in the year for a client in America. Previously the shaft was too heavy, too long and bellied out in the middle which would have made removal of the spun material difficult. The shaft is now parallel, with a very slight curve outwards near the antler whorl. The whole shaft has also been shortened to 170mm giving a far more pleasing appearance and allowing the whorl to work well with the shaft. The remainder of the wood for the shaft was turned into half size versions of some of the Mary Rose beads on the principle of not wasting material!
Side view of boxwood and antler spindle set

End view of the spindle to show the rings on the whorl and the hook 

Tiny Mary Rose style boxwood beads made from the shaft off-cut

The spindle and beads - now safely delivered!
photo courtesy Kristen M. Hughes

13 January 2011

New Stock of Heart shaped flasks - the perfect gift for St Valentine's Day

Heart shaped mead flask made from leather boiled in beeswax.
Tied and hung on a leather thong, with an individual boxwood stopper.
Size: Approx 90mmH x 90mmW x 40mmD
Capacity... Small, but filled with love
Larger versions in pitched leather available on request

11 January 2011

Hand made brushes

Below is shown our current range of hand made bristle brushes. The handled brush at the rear is suitable for use as a clothing or fabric brush. In the middle is a large vegetable scrubbing brush. The small round brush at the front with a luceted cord is a copy of one recovered from the Mary Rose and dated to 1545. It was found with a boxwood framed razor. We hope to add tooth and paint brushes at some point in the future.
All bristles are sewn in and, the beech body is fixed with water resistant glue and dowels, with the exception of the shaving brush which is glued only.
Please contact me at pxman@hotmail.co.uk for prices and special commissions...