Sunday 26 February 2023


I have been diving deep on the influences on carved furniture and architecture during the Tudor and Jacobean periods in England recently. Renaissance architecture in Italy (a revival of Greek building styles), it's spread to Northern Europe and development into Mannerism. A massive industry of architectural and design prints in Holland, Germany and France, which were brought to England and used by artisans here to create buildings and furniture, tombs and tapestries. Those designs, bastardised from Greek architecture, and then further bastardised by rural woodcarvers, probably quite ignorant of the original source. So from high end copies and adaptations, to the most basic country furniture, we have today items whose designs started life far, far away at the other side of Europe.

In St. Mary's, Totnes we have carvings at the higher end of the scale. Angels and lions on Ionic capitals on pilasters.

I have further adapted the designs, using panel designs round a pillar. Capital.

Friday 24 February 2023

When a family blacksmiths together.......they blacksmith together.

Drawing them in. I had my son and daughter at the forge with me last night. Learning new skills and creating together. What's not to like?


Arthur has only just joined us, so he was on the first project; a coat hook. Bethany was finishing her fire poker.

Oooh, what's coming in to being here?

It's a new handy ram scribe. Just what I need and maybe you also. Order yours today and beat the rush.


Driving home. Dartmoor skies. Moon, Venus, Jupiter.



Wednesday 8 February 2023

Plank and Muntin

Restoration of plank and muntin screen in 16th century cottage. One muntin and the top rail were the only original parts that remained of this screen. Someone had made a poor attempt at recreating the rest in the 1980s. This was all sharp machined edges and looked really out of place, so it had to go. The task was to create a screen more in keeping with the original and preserving the remaining historic fabric.

Devon oak, axe and handplaned. Drawbored. Ledge door fixed with clinched blacksmith rosehead nails. The nails themselves were found in an old nailmakers shop in the Black Country. Probably a hundred years old at least. A little iron polish to protect them. The whole thing limewashed as it would have been in the 16th century.


The original muntin is the first wide one on the left; one narrow muntin, a plank and then our extant muntin.

The cottage had had several inappropriate things done to it in the 1980s renovations. That situation is now being improved with the removal of inappropriate materials and replacement with materials more appropriate for ancient buildings.