Monday 27 October 2014


I acquired the usual old bit of iron from the boot sale yesterday.

Ok, its a bit rusty, but its ten prize medals, 1" with a 3 sweep I think, and only 50p. Worth trying to save.

Bethany wanted to go to an "olden days place", so we went to Powderham Castle. It was the last chance this year as it closes on the 30th October. I have not been before, I thought it was not a 'real' castle, but although the crenellations etc. are relatively modern, it turns out that the original structure is over 600 years old.

We went into the chapel before having a guided tour of the main residence (it is still a family home today). Lovely pew ends.

I love the simplicity of this corner cupboard.

However, the different styles, methods of carving, patinas and subjects made me begin to suspect something amiss.  Back in the chapel foyer.

"The peaceful and appealing little chapel was originally built around 1450 as a 'grange' or accomodation for visitors to the medieval castle. The 16thC carved pew ends come from St. Andrews Church in South Huish near Kingsbridge which is now a ruin cared for by(this sounds so sad) the Friends of Friendless Churches. In 1866, when parts of it were already 500 years old, the parishioners of St.Andrews decided that the repairs it needed were far beyond their means and it was abandoned. The pew ends were given to the 11th Earl of Devon, who converted the Powderham grange into the chapel in1874."

That makes sense. The original church's carvings were probably added to, re-framed, moved about, copied and then finally the whole lot was moved here ...then added to, re-framed, moved about, copied.....

But this bit of panelling may have arrived in the present day, original and complete.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Many different hats.

We wear many different hats in this job.

Sometimes, its the hat of tranquility, fitting a stained glass window into a herb garden cabin. The only sounds; bees buzzing and birds singing.

Sometimes, its the hat of the kitchen fitter, making carcasses, cupboard doors and drawers. Transforming a grubby small space...

into a sleek, small space (with better storage).

Sometimes, we wear the hat of the bookcase maker. (That man has no hat!)

Sometimes, its the hat of ye olde fashioned joyner, passing on his planing skills to the younger generation. (That man's not wearing a hat either!)

And other days we have a need to swap the peace and quiet of our hand tool workshop, don our chainsaw hats, pick up the  most powerful chainsaw in the world and make some serious noise.

You must not winch humans towards this saw!

Sunday 19 October 2014


What, no joiner?

A bit of carving.

A bit of splashing paint about.

Some friendly chats with the permanent Cockington craftspeople, potential customers and people there for the apple pressing.

And a panel made for the occasion. Vive la pomme!

Apples here, apples there, apples every which and where!

I have just realised after writing this blog for a year that I had comments set to registered users only. I thought nobody loved me! Now anyone can comment.

Friday 17 October 2014

The geese are coming......or going

Are they coming, or going? Are they going north or south? Or round and round? What have they got to do with apples? Or tulips even?

Thursday 16 October 2014

Twelve Chevrons and Apple Day

The previous occupants of my workshop had kindly installed a woodburner. Unfortunately, it was a little worse for wear, so I replaced it in time for last winter. However, the chimney went out the side of the building and didn't make the roof line, meaning it didn't draw properly. So, with the leaves dropping plentifully around me I climbed up on the roof today armed with twin wall, strapping and lots of fire cement.

Just as I placed the witches hat on the top, it started to rain, and suddenly the sound of geese filled the air. I counted twelve chevrons, wheeling seemingly around my new chimney stack. Then they were off, heading south.

Meanwhile, down below in the light afforded by new skylights, I was able to see to do a little hewing.

Tomorrow, I will prepare for a demonstration at Cockington's Apple Day on Sunday. I have promised a carving for an exhibition afterwards. Mmmm, it might have to contain geese and apples.