Government sell off of national forests…

If you are concerned about the Government plans to sell off the national forests please sign the petition here:

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests

I know that we woodturners need, want, desire, and lust after wood, but would we really wish to see what little forest we have left denuded for commercial gain?

Exhibition so far…

The exhibition is proving a huge success so far. I’m exhibiting with three other makers: Rob Rutterford a potter, Chris Calver a landscape photographer, and Annie Rice (see “Rice Bowl” post) and the mix seems to be “just right” by common consent of visitors and customers. It’s been a very good weekend so far and there are still two days to go.

What has been most interesting had been the comments from visitors. Aldeburgh is an “arty” town…galleries are thick on the ground, the town is home to a number of annual art, literary and culinary  events, and if truth were told, it fancies itself as a cultural capital of sorts. The comments we have had have been most encouraging so far. “Different” is a word which has been bandied a lot over the lost two days…and not in a bad way! Chris’ photographs, mostly seascapes of Suffolk and Norfolk, have come in for plenty of compliments and comparative statements, some even from a local photographers…which must be great for Chris. Rob has also done well…nothing new there though, and is probably busy making raku fish as we speak…don’t ask. Annie sold one of my favourite paintings, a collage, watercolour and ink, and a number of smaller works, and I haven’t done badly at all. So, so far all’s well.

The odd thing, for me, is the difference in the interaction between myself and customers as opposed to my own every day venue of the workshop/gallery…it’s markedly different…in a good way…but conceivably, a bad way. But then, as my Mother used to say, “a change is as good as a rest”…so why am I not rested?

Hollow Ball Wall Plaque…

I am almost done with the hollow ball “thing” now. Just a few final touches and it should be complete. Thinking about this has given me a headache, and frankly I’ll be glad when it’s done. I decided that I wanted them mounted on dowel rather than suspended on wires as I had originally intended, and the backboard should form part of the piece rather than simply be a holder for the balls. Then I thought it needed framing, but a standard frame didn’t appeal once built, so I built this one from ash which I shaped and ebonised with shaded detailing to continue the theme of the backboard. Does it work? It does for me, but I suspect not for some.

Weekend woodturning…

I think I’m just about getting over the weekend now, although I’m still dog tired. Saturday was the Woodwose launch at Westleton Green in Suffolk…

woodwose

Woodwose Festival Suffolk

 It was a great day, and a very well organised event launch. The festival continues until 30th October, so check out woodwose.org for other activities and events.

My role on Saturday was to run a woodturning workshop for anybody interested. And there were plenty of people interested. At least, there were plenty of youngsters interested. The event didn’t allow for a formal introduction to woodturning, just a taster, but even so it was great fun watching the youngsters get a feel for making shavings and seeing them grow in confidence. My father-in-law was there for a while and was very surprised at how quickly they got the hang of it.

It was also nice to meet (for the first time) a blogger, Jonty, who makes greenwood chairs. I got to see a chair posted on his blog at: http://greenwoodchairs.blogspot.com, and I have to say the blog photo doesn’t do it justice at all. It’s a lovely chair, and has so much character. It got me thinking about revisiting the chair theme again.

Sadly I couldn’t stay for the eveing activities, which promised to be fantastic, as I had a demonstration to give in Bedfordshire on the sunday and a very early start to get there for 8.30a.m.

The demonstration at Herts & Beds WTC was an all-day one, which after the saturday was a daunting prospect (more care needed when taking bookings in future!). I needn’t have worried though, as the roads were clear so early in the morning, and the drive through the countryside was gorgeous. It was a crisp, clear morning, and the journey was a joy. The best thing about long journeys is the way it reminds you what a beautiful country we live in. Woburn town early in the morning, with the sun risen and the farmers’ market setting up was picture-postcard pretty.

The demonstration went well if the emails I’ve received from attendees are anything to go by. Doing what I do it’s a daunting prosepct as you never know what the response will be, but H&B seemed open to almost anything! I had a good day there and they put on a superb cold buffet lunch which was worth the journey alone.

Monday was pretty much spent unpacking after the weekend, clearing stuff away, and feeling tired. But today I got to play with an idea I’ve been messing with over the last week or so. I’d demonstrated the basis on Thursday evening at my own club, and the weekend hadn’t dulled my interest in it, so today I began in earnest and started with these…

poor picture as it’s a phone camera again…

Hollowed balls from 90mm diameter to 30mm. Wall thickness is 2mm. Various woods…as wood choice is only about grain strength and not grain or colour. Pierced, pyrographed, and will be coloured in the fashion of the one example…

but what next?

No time to post…

It really has been, and will continue to be a very busy week, but I couldn’t resist posting this picture…

taken on the fly with the mobile phone, it shows the depths that some makers have dropped to in these dire days of recession…

a noted maker of stained glass was spotted wrestling a duck for a slice of bread tossed at the side of the river by a little old lady…

off the maker dashed to prepare a meagre lunch…

Or…who could resist making toast on an open fire in the workshop?

We’ve been compiling a list of recipes for the upcoming book, Workshop Cookery…suggestions in the comments section please!