For four days each summer Art in Action brings together a wide range of artists and craftspeople, more than 450 this year, providing a wonderful opportunity to revisit the media you know and to explore those that are new to you. In addition, it affords the chance to see artists and craftspeople using the same medium in very different ways and to very different ends. The Woodwork Tent this year excelled in that respect. A dozen or more woodworkers were on hand to demonstrate and explain their furniture, artefacts, musical instruments and carvings.

There were the Oxfordshire-based Sylvan Foundation presenting their One Oak Project, which follows the life story of a 225-year-old oak from the Blenheim estate. It had been planted in order to be farmed and was felled in January 2009. The green oak wood is already ready for working. And local green woodworker Martin Damen was there, demonstrating how he carved curvaceous and tactile spoons from it. Sylvan plan to use the seasoned oak to create new buildings and make carvings or artefacts for the five schools which have been involved in the project, by documenting its progress and creating artworks based on what they have seen and experienced.

Also there and using oak, but from a different source, was Nigel Sabin of The Boat Building Academy. He paired his oak with North American Yellow Cedar in order to create a traditional eight-foot pram dinghy, without the use of resins or metals. Each joint was secured by oak wood tree nails: almost 800 of them. And the result was a practical boat that has tackled both Thames and the Channel, and one that was quite beautiful to look at.

And a complete contrast was provided by the highly attractive ornamental birds and fish, by Michael Lythgoe, including Wee Blue Fish, a regimented shoal of some 20 or so little wooden fish mounted on flexible stems which allowed them to move as a shoal when caught by the breeze.