Wednesday 20 September 2017

Slab on the slab

A break from bowls today. Carved and painted sign on oak slab. Part of one of the boards from the Huxham's cross tree, destined for somewhere along the Dartmouth road.

Friday 15 September 2017

On the slab

So, we have an open workshop this two weeks, just outside Totnes, everyday 10-5 until the 25th. There's a display area and woodworking demonstrations almost constantly. Come and have a chat about what's going on. On the slab today.

Sunday 10 September 2017

South Brent Woodfair

A great day at South Brent Woodfair yesterday. Despite the weather, lots of interested friendly folk. A tiny outdoor space, but packed with talent. I was so busy demonstrating and talking to people, I didn't get the chance to look inside.


Hewing, adzing and see-saw sawing demonstrations. Lots of axes etc.

Trimmed the drawer front to size.

Might finish this chest one day soon.

Open Studios for the next two weeks. Come on down to the Cowshed Gallery.

Saturday 2 September 2017

Stock Gaylard Oak Fair

Last weekend was Stock Gaylard Oak Fair in Dorset. We bought a new gazebo in case it rained, but we were glad of the shade, because it was hot! Sorry for not keeping up the usual constant woodworking demonstrations everybody. I am sure there was enjoyment to be had in the sitting down (and breaking) camping chairs demos instead.

Helen from the Grain Gallery liked the oak bowls. They will be exhibited at the Grain Gallery for 3 months, starting straight after Devon Open Studios 9-25th September. Off to Dorset once more oak bowls! From Huxhams Cross to Sherborne and who knows where else.

Friday 5 May 2017

Name the tools

Bethany, my 7 year old, came down to the workshop the other day. She has the addiction of making stuff with her hands. I go into the kitchen to make breakfast and there she is, weaving a braid with her lucet or her knitting nancy, moulding plasticine whatevers, fashioning doll's apparel from cardboard.
I have been holding off teaching her the finer points of wood bothering, even though she has had her own child's carpenter's tool kit for  a couple of years.

It's interesting, because I realised I had to start completely from scratch. I also realized that detailed instruction is not something that happens on this blog (maybe that is done adequately elsewhere), but for gad's sake if you want to know something, just ask (genuine enquiries only please). Although she kind of already lives and breathes joinery (cos it's all I ever talk about, not) things need to be clarified and understood (she is a Virgo like me). Amazing really that she is so keen. "This is a planing stop", "We rive the wood because it gives more stable stock", "Watch carefully which way the grain runs so as not to plane against it"...

We have a new game, when dad is uploading photos, can Bethany name all the tools and their parts, what is each's purpose, etc.

So far 10/10.

Sunday 30 April 2017

Merry Xmas from Exeter Cathedral

So here are my two entries to the Exeter Cathedral Xmas exhibition, to be held actually in the cathedral 20th November to 15th December this year.

I visited the cathedral a short while ago, where I found plenty of inspiration.

Sunday 12 March 2017

It's got to be big

I honestly keep trying to make smaller things, but they just keep growing. Trees eh!

In the pan for boiling, and after boiling.

I'll leave this for several months now, before coming back to finish the surface.

Time to rive down the oak tree that I brought back from the woods the other week.

This will become the drawer front to go in that hole there.

This is the bowl I started hollowing in the woods with the chainsaw and flat adze, otherwise I couldn't move it. It contains the heart of the main trunk running through both ends, so it might not work i.e. it may rip itself apart as it dries out. I am hoping giving it a long slow boil this will be prevented.

 As you can see, I am also keeping it filled with water overnight, in between carving. It's a big one.

In fact, any bigger and I will need a bigger pan.

With about 80 litres of water and a small fire it took about 6 hours to come to the boil. I kept stoking it for an hour or two and then left it overnight. I imagine it kept bubbling for another hour or so.

With only minimal cracking on the end I am hopeful.

So onwards with the other half of this section of trunk.

I think this one might be called the dragonfly bowl.