Thursday 14 March 2024

Plank and muntin job now completely finished.

One final trip to Dorset. A last few finishing touches.

There's a fair bit of Devon oak gone into restoring this screen. Then there's the internal windowsills.

The ledge doors with rosehead nails.

New treads for the stairs.

And various other bits and pieces. The whole house is much more in keeping now for a grade 2* 16th century building. Just what it deserves. A pleasure to work on. More of the same please,

Monday 8 January 2024

Jack in the the Pew

 Some people call it Devon, some call it Exeter,'s my favourite carving style.

For me, it goes from 1480-ish through to 1700-ish. Tudors and Stuarts from Henry and Henry, through to William and Mary. She died of smallpox in 1694, he in 1702, after a fall from his horse. For all the harm they caused and all the good they failed to do, a lot of the carving in Devon's churches survived. 550 years, 22 generations and here am I trying to connect with those carvers of Devon, by carving what they carved.

It's a lot of hard graft, for which they may have been paid very little. Oh joy!

And the carpentry.

Thursday 4 January 2024

Pew Top End. Devon Style.

 Just getting down to the ground on this one took forever. Then the fun carving started.

Sunday 10 December 2023

Making the pilgrimage


The original of this is at the other end of Devon from where I live. I first saw the carving on someone else's photograph, and set about carving it from that. After carving the main parts of it, I realised I could not see the details on their photo. So there was nothing for it, but to make the pilgrimage. In fact, I went twice; the first time the place was locked!

This one (from the same place) is a little shallower than the original, but the original of the top carving is much deeper at 19mm 3/4" and much bigger. I thought I was struggling to make the different layers look 3D; now I know why.

You can see that the original is degrading; not surprising after 500 years of passing feet, scuffs, knocks and woodworm. All the more important to learn how it was carved, and re-make it. These carvings are some of my favourite Devon carvings.

I will leave my first attempt how it is, not try to make it any deeper. The original is twice the size. I will carve it again, wider and deeper. The photograph that I carved from did not show it, but in the flesh, it's fairly obvious the background is painted red. So I have painted the ground of my first attempt red, to see how it looks. I like it.

Saturday 2 December 2023

First one to one course

First one-to-one student today. Julian came on a long way, learning to carve a flower and much else. The sun rises late here, in the valley, and it was a chilly night, but I soon had the workshop toasty with the woodburner.

Mr. Crow sits waiting for the first rays to come over the hill.

Burner on. Focusing on carving today, so we'll need it.

Julian's pleased with his work.

And so am I.

Happy carving Julian!