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 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. Link to my joinery website: astriddegroot.wordpress.com
Nine years ago, I moved to Pembrokeshire as a self-employed 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.