Whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire last summer we went on one of our children’s favorite walks down to Aber Bach beach. One of the reasons they love it is the various sculptures and animals made from wood and flotsam that line the first part of the walk. They are created by a couple whose garden boarders the footpath and they always make us smile, they also have ones to take away and share.
Here are the contents of one of my tool chests – it looks a tad chaotic but it makes sense to me. Knowing where everything is really helps to speed things up in the workshop but that does depend on putting things away in the right place. As my tool kit is always being added to as new making problems arise, I sort my tools by category rather than having a specific place for each tool.
Next weekend we are exhibiting at Made London. We have a few 2 for 1 tickets to give away on a first come basis. If you would like one let me have your address before Wednesday 24th October and I will post one out.
‘The show will take place at One Marylebone, using all 3 floors of this beautiful converted Sir John Soane Church in central London. Directly opposite Great Portland Street tube station and next door to Regents Park. There will be a cafe serving drinks and light meals in the double height crypt.‘
The show is looking really exciting and we look forward to seeing you there.
I spent today with David Westcott at Welcombe Pottery glazing some of the tiles for a new piece of furniture.
This weekend we are a t Art in Action in Oxfordshire. For the first time I will be sharing a stand with Lara Aldridge Glass. As well as showing both of our work we will be exhibiting a couple of collaborative pieces. The show is open from Thursday to Sunday.
I will be exhibiting my designs at a new show in Herefordshire in a weeks time. I will be in the Marque, so if you are around in the area do come and visit.
Towards the end of last year I was involved in two large projects. Last week they both won awards.
I designed and made the new benches for The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, which was awarded ‘Best Museum’ by the Art Fund. Then St Aubyns Church, for which I made the new Alter, Lectern and Bishops chair ,was awarded ‘Heritage Project of the year’ by The Michelmores and Western Morning News Commercial Property Award.
Congratulations to everyone at RAMM and to Le page Architects. I am really proud to have been part of both of these fantastic projects.
I got the Alice chairs back from the upholsterer today. Both have been covered in fabric from Margo Selby, the ash chair in ‘Vintage’ and the oak in ‘Woodbridge’.
A few weeks ago we were in Bude doing a spot of shopping and decided to pop into a small shop called ‘Shabby ‘n’ Chic’ on the Parade. It sells all sorts of vintage household items as well as things like home made cushions and bunting. On the floor there was an old wooden box, containing the mixed remnants of a tool kit. I rummaged through and found a few old wooden moulding planes.
These traditional tools were used for creating decorative mouldings and have now been largely replaced by the router and spindle moulder. They still have their uses in cleaning up shaped work but are no longer part of the standard tool box for many woodworkers. This means you can often find them second hand at reasonable prices. After inspecting the ones in the box I found one in really decent condition. £5.
I really like old tools for their detailing and general appearance. They often have the name of the original owner stamped into them and have a sense of history. A lot of old tools are bought for the decorative value and end up sitting on shelves in themed pubs or interiors so buying one to actually use in a workshop as a tool felt a bit like rescuing it.
It set me thinking on how I might I might use it in my practice and I have started to design and make a piece where I am using it to create a textured surface.
Here are a couple of shots of the two Alice chairs having the final detailing and finishing done ready to go to N K Upholstery.
I went over to see Neil Kitteridge this morning. Neil is an exceptional upholsterer, a master craftsman. When I design a new upholstered piece, I always talk through the project with Neil. That way I make sure the final piece turns out exactly as planned.
Neil works in an old barn just outside Wolfardisworthy (Wollsery) and the only problem is booking the job into his schedule. He is always busy.
We will be exhibiting at the contemporary craft festival next month.It is a great exhibition with lots to see and do.
I fitted all the leg joints for the two Alice chairs today. One is been made in olive ash and the other in oak. Now to dismantle them again and finish the shaping of the back hoop before fitting it to the legs.
We had a lovley time at Cotehele house on Sunday. Loads to do with the kids as part of their 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 campaign.
Whilst walking round the house I took a photo of three pretty bottles in a wire carrier on the wall. Turns out they’re hand grenades.
Yesterday we had a visitor in our garden. A female fox who seemed to have no fear whatsoever. Where we live in Cornwall there is plenty of wildlife around but we seldom catch a glimpse of a fox. Normally they are very shy and would disappear at the smell let alone sight of a human. This female was very bold, she clearly has a litter and must be very hungry to be scavenging in broad daylight. She spent about 10 minutes with me and the boys looking for scraps to eat and as you can see, having a very close look at us.