Ancient forests once covered Ireland. Huge oaks, yew and pine that grew and died since the last ice age, some 10,000 years ago. The ruthless farming techniques of our stone age farmers, along with dramatic changes in climate, eventually killed much of this original tree cover..

The term bog-oak is often used to describe all types of bog-wood; in other counties, bog-deal is used in the same way. There are three main types of bog-wood – oak, pine & yew. All can be suitable for wood sculpture.

Some roots, and even trunks, were buried in the wet marshy land, which was slowly developing into our modern bog-land. Much of the wood lay undisturbed for up to 7,000 years, preserved in its enclosed environment, hidden from our view.

Modern farming, house & road building, tidal action and demands for fuel have all been cutting away at the bog for centuries, exposing much of this bogwood. It is a rare timber, unique in colour & texture, a finite resource, even a treasure, which predates all our conflicts. And some of it is a perfect challenge for the imagination & techniques of the sculptor and wood carver. 

Ronnie Graham