Lifelong Learners: Eric Breese – Woodcarver extraordinaire

Eric Breese

Eric Breese with his 9 layer carving The Festoon, which took him 18 months.

Eric is one of our students who returns again and again on one course in particular. He typifies what such things as go on at Higham can do to enhance life and we wanted to share this with you. We believe such things can only give us all encouragement to continue on our journey through life successfully by pursuing interesting things that can, in some cases, result in astounding achievements.

Over the last few times Eric has visited Higham for Sharon Littley’s CREATIVE AND RELIEF WOODCARVING, we have been able to witness a remarkable piece of work develop. This has been in stages, and involves NINE separate layers which have been invisibly connected to make a huge piece called THE FESTOON.



  • The carving is in limewood in the style of Grinlin Gibbons and is composed of nine separate layers assembled with invisible fixings.
  • There is no surface finish applied, true to Grinlin Gibbons’ style.
  • It took eighteen months of my spare time to complete.
  • The mounting board is made from Iroko and is waxed only.
Eric brings pieces he continues to work on each time he comes to Higham. He obviously does plenty away from us and really does not stop for a minute – except for one time when he climbed Ingleborough for his 90th birthday with his family, but we’ll let him off that one.

His carving covers variety of techniques including

Carving in the round, Deep relief, Pierced and Chip carving. Each piece will have taken hours to complete but the end results, as you can see, are tremendous.
Lifetime hobby woodworker.
“The only subjects I excelled in at school were woodwork and metalwork.”
Past sports and hobbies: Archery, tennis, scouting, swimming, marquetry, cross stitch, fell and long distance walking, choral singing, sailing and boat building and photography.
Present activities: Indoor and crown green bowling, table tennis, gardening, walking.
“My woodworking crafts including wood carving and turning.”
Career: Varied career in engineering ending up with 13 years lecturing in electrical engineering.
“Present age, 91¬† and looking forward to getting old.” E.B. (Oct 2018)
Now, surely that’s genuine Lifelong Learning!

Some more of Eric’s creations are pictured below. Our thanks to Eric and his talented granddaughter for providing the pictures and the information. We are proud to share these.