Walnuts drying by the fire

I had to rescue my harvest of drying walnuts from hungry Mr squirrel this week.  They were drying out perfectly in the log shed when Mr squirrels eager nose sniffed them out and one by one began to bury them for his winter stores. So I swiftly gathered them up and thought of no better place to dry them out than in front of the roaring wood burner.   They look incredibly cosy huddled together in front of the fire.

Walnuts drying by fire, wood burner, walnut harvest, November, Cold winter days
Walnuts drying by the roaring wood burner.

 

They have dried out really well and should be ready to use in no time at all.  I have really enjoyed the whole process of this years walnut harvest from gathering them one sunny September afternoon to the less glamorous job of removing the outer rotten husks.  The whole process has allowed me to connect with the natural materials I work with and given me a greater appreciation for their form and structure.

Catch up with me soon when I shall begin transforming these little beauties into sculptures.

The Grand Walnut Revealing!

I found myself on a foggy November morning, wrapped up in my winter wardrobe, donning a pair of surgical gloves, cracking open a box full of rotting blackened walnut husks that I had been ‘drying out’ in the shed, to reveal the beautifully formed walnut shell within!  I use the term ‘drying out’ loosely, as they did in fact rot but luckily with the correct desired affect to allow me to easily remove their husks!

 

Walnut picking, foraging, drying process

The rotting husks were in my grand plan all along…it makes life so much easier to extract the nut shell if the husk has softened and is no longer adhered to the shell itself.  It can get a little stinky and the husk will stain your hands yellow…hence the gloves!

 

Unripe walnut husk, green husk,

 

Above you can see an unripe walnut husk…these are far trickier to detach from the walnut shell beneath….compared to a fine moldy blackened specimen seen below!!

 

Blackened walnut husk, revealing walnut shell beneath

Moldy….but so easy to work with!!  I wouldn’t recommend eating these nuts after all they have been through, but for my creative sculptures I discard the nut itself anyway so it doesn’t matter!

Next time you hear from me i’ll be posting photos of shiny clean beautiful walnut shells ready to transform into sculptures!  There’s a lot of drying to happen in between then and now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Drying Process

Drying Walnuts
Drying Walnuts

 

The walnuts I foraged a month ago are drying out well! I have spread them out on newspaper in my studio where its dry and warm!  I have another batch outside in the log shed drying out between layers of newspaper.

I can’t wait to use them in my work to create lots of quirky little walnut sculptures!  Watch this space!!

Walnut Picking

Walnut Picking

Last week we hit the road and headed for the Hereford Worcester border to pick walnuts from a gorgeous landscaped garden!!  What a perfect way to spend the afternoon, foraging for walnuts to stock up my stores ready to make more unique sculptures!!

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Reaching the high ones!!!

Good job I bought Alex along to reach all the highest ones!!

Walnut Picking, Beautiful Gradens, Foraging, Trees, Landscaping
Walnut picking on a gorgeous sunny day in a picturesque location.

We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather and location!!  What a lovely afternoon we had!

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Good team work!!

Cheers for the lift…ladders are totally overrated!!

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A pair of fresh walnuts!

The trees were heavily laden with fresh, ripe walnuts!!  I was in heaven!!

Freshly picked walnuts, foraging, walnuts, trees, countryside
Freshly picked walnuts

It’s so satisfying to forage for your own supply of materials out in the beautiful countryside and to be so local to me!!  Perfection!!

nut sculpture

 Quirky nut sculptures by Iker Studios … keep your eyes peeled for new sculptures on the way!