Best woodworker in Britain? Dalston’s Emma thinks she might just nail it


* UPDATE 221020: The series described here, The Chop, has been, uhm, chopped, since a national newspaper noticed that some of a male contestant’s tattoos were similar to Nazi and other extreme-right symbols. How disappointing for the other contestants that the production company did not spot what a journalist did 

EMMA©NA Emma Chesterman
Dalstoner Emma Chesterman, above, met a woman in France and found a career. Top, craftsman William Hardie

IF YOU GO DOWN To The Woodwork Today could be a theme song for a new craft contest that, like MasterChef and other spinoffs, might teach you something useful. 

Dalstoner Emma Chesterman is one of ten joiners who have been whittling, carving and chopping in Epping Forest in the hope of being named “Britain’s Top Woodworker”. And with luck, along the way teaching us finger-hammerers how not to do things properly.

Daughter of a draughtsman who gave her a love of craft, she took a furniture-making course two years ago then started Dead Mary’s, a furniture design and making business.

In The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker carpenter — and natty waistcoat-wearer — William Hardie oversees the construction of a spacious cabin in the woods. Each room takes a different historical theme, including a Victorian pub, Nelson’s quarters on HMS Victory, a gothic bedroom, a Georgian hunting lodge and a 1960s-era lounge. 

Hamish Scott 151020

* The Chop starts on Sky History today at 9pm. NB: the series has been cancelled after one episode. See update at top.

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