Throughout the conference delegates and volunteers have been able to visit the artists in residence, Michael Fairfax and Gordon Field to create artworks to take away or present as an offering to the ceremonial fire at the end of the event. The opportunity to sit and whittle hazel while chatting (whittling) away made this a light hearted networking hub.
Michael would take each whittler into the wood to select a piece of hazel for their artwork. He got them to reveal and heighten the healed wounds of the hazel. Gordon was letting people tie and decorate found objects as potential offerings. As almost everyone wished to whittle, Gordon concentrated on constructing the sculpture for the ceremonial sculpture.
Whittling is very therapeutic, those who are trying it for the first time were keen to learn to carve safely so they can whittle away the hours. As well as creating the fire structure Gordon with the help of Neroche Conservation Volunteers cleared some of the ash and hazel beneath two of the veteran trees who were not happy with all the youngsters below them. The energy fields of these trees were soon moved out into the wood creating certain very intense emotional experiences for a few of their unsuspecting visitors.