Oakdale Studios Golden Acorns
Vik Filep from Oakdale Studios talks about how he came to use the natural resources of Sherwood Forest creatively:
As a child I was always told “money doesn’t grow on trees”, what a shame I thought, as we used to go on our regular Sunday “holiday” to the Sherwood Forest and we were surrounded by them, especially in the long hot summers we had way back then. There had to be a way for me to utilise this commodity and make some money from it. That was fifty or so years ago, and now I think I have found a way?
I was born in 1957 in Market Warsop, only 3 miles from The Major Oak as the “arrow” flies. Times were tough and money was tight back then and we used to visit the forest on a regular basis. These became our little holidays and were split between The Major Oak and Clumber Park.
I was never left feeling that we missed out on anything, in fact in hind sight, I believe we had the best of times available. I still visit Sherwood Forest now, collecting acorns and oak leaves for plating and still see these happy echoes of my childhood in the faces of families enjoying every moment of their visits today, just like we used to, way back then.
Not being avaricious by nature, I have always wanted to put something back into the places I loved as a child and see this now as my opportunity to do just that.
I electroform, electro plate and Gold or Silver plate real acorns and oak leaves hand selected from Sherwood Forest, the home of The Major Oak and from under the Ghostly footsteps of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This lengthy and delicate process will help to protect and preserve their natural beauty for years to come.
The annual acorn harvest has a very limited availability due to the short growing & ripening season & the speed that the Squirrels gather & bury them, so when they’re gone, they’re all gone, until the following year.
Inspired by Mother-nature, the acorn is a recognizable symbol that calls to mind the stature of England’s favourite tree, The Major Oak; the splendour that is Sherwood Forest; Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; and never forgetting the legendry Robin Hood & his Merry Men.
It has always been my intention is to sell them through “not for profit” outlets such as The Nottingham Tourism Centre and share the profit with them so that some money goes towards promoting tourism, helping to protect, preserve and restore our ancient and historic woodlands for future generations of both people and wildlife.
My real aim is redistributing wealth in a way that both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham would be happy with, and I think this way just about covers that, although, watching the many Robin Hood films that have been made, the Sheriff was never ever satisfied or to that matter, happy…. BooooOoooo……..
During the plating process I have some acorns that I have harvested but for one reason or another can’t use. Some of these are taken back to the forest and simply scattered around for the animals and insects to eat or to rot back and feed the ground. Other acorns start to sprout, so I plant these and in pots on my windowsill, like a miniature Sherwood Forest, some of these will be re-planted and help to reduce my carbon footprint.
The Gold and Silver acorns and leaves would make ideal gifts or mementos & compliment any visit to Nottinghamshire. The acorn is also a symbol of Life, Strength, Wisdom, Nobility, Family, Loyalty, Longevity, Heritage, Honour, and Power. Silver and Gold traditionally represent 25th and 50th anniversaries and would make ideal gifts for weddings, work service and the like.
As the plated acorns contain real nuts, the size and shape will always vary, and if planted, won’t grow into a Mighty Oak bearing Gold or Silver acorns.
In buying my products you are helping the environment, passing on a cherished gift or memorable keepsake and taking home a tiny piece of Nottinghamshire’s heritage.
All of these products are hand crafted with pride, by Vik Filep, at the Oakdale Studios, deep in the Heart of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England.