Wednesday 23 October 2013

Pews, pews, pews!

Trying to get to Axminster today, a road closure caused me to follow a diversion which lead me to Ottery St. Mary, birthplace of William Searle. I took the opportunity to have a look round the church. Beautiful pew ends which have recently been restored.

Searle must have seen these and been influenced by them. Not sure, but I think he may have been married in this church.

Very pleased to have been diverted.

The other day I was walking from the workshop down Totnes high street and thought I would get a few photos of the pews, because I had my camera with me.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Building bridges

I have been completing a few projects in the past week.

A bridge across a nature reserve river.

And a larch-framed and clad sun room.

So, back in the workshop last Thursday, and very happy to be so. Temperatures dropped about the same time and it very much felt like October. First lighting of the woodburner! Leaves falling onto the roof.

I had planned to make a 4 foot wide chest this time. Meanwhile, I had come across this Dennis/Searle chest in a private collection not far from where I live. The owners were more than happy for me to study it. A lot of  the dimensions are the same as the timber I have already prepared; it seems fated. The chest is constructed from sawn timber but I will be using riven oak. With the sound of geese heading south overhead I can get stuck into the stock I prepared six weeks ago.

Here's the first two panels.

Sunday 6 October 2013

St. Nicholas Priory

Yesterday's first task was to make a much needed clothes shopping expedition to Exeter for the family. It was never going to be easy, but we survived and even managed to buy some British made clothes! It was a great relief to escape the hustle and bustle of the High Street and enter the tranquility of the courtyard of St. Nicholas Priory. The peace itself was enough reward, little did we expect the extra reward of seeing the treasures within.

St. Nicholas was a medieval priory up until the sixteenth century when it  was dissolved and became a private dwelling for the Hurst family. Subsequent centuries saw it fall into disrepair. About a hundred years ago, faced with demolition, it was acquired by Exeter council and turned into a museum. It has now been restored to its former glory as an Elizabethan family home.

The original panelling was lost but this panelling in the dining room was brought from a property on the High Street and has been surmounted with a mythical beast freize. This frieze is a reconstruction based on the remains of paint on the huge panelling of the Great Hall upstairs.

Various pieces of joined furniture have been made new to compliment the originals. Such as this wainscot chair with William Hurst's initials.


And this livery cupboard with strapwork.

 So busy checking out the furniture I missed my daughter miraculously transform into an Elizabethan lady.

Some great original joined chests, not sure they are quite Elizabethan though but not far wrong.

Love the birds on this one.

And a tester bed.

The wooden stuff was great but so was this plate.

Knowledgeable staff and the tranquility of the place make it a joy to visit. Bethany and Mum enjoyed the dressing up too.