And it’s over…

Seven days if I includ the set-up day, and it’s over… 4Elements has closed to the public. It was an interesting exhibition, and I think it was well received. I can’t say it was a financial success in any rip-roaring sense, but as people insist on telling you…”you never know what it will lead to”…of course…

What I have learnt is the perfect kind of product to sell at an NT site in the heathlands of Suffolk…binoculars, spotting scopes, hi tech walking sticks and possibly mint cake.

It was good to spend a few days with three other makers with diverse talents and practices, and in a way that makes it worth while because you come away enthused and brimming with new ideas and possibilities. So now it’s back to normaility for a short while and it will be glorious to make some shavings after a week away from the lathe.

I hope I remember how!

4 Elements at Dunwich…

First day done, and the response has been very positive. When you spend your week standing at a lathe working, simply standing around and “chatting” to customers is exhausting. You find yourself repeating the same conversations over and over again, and like a repeated word the sentences lose any sense of reality. But needs must in difficult times.

The venue is a barn that the National Trust use for teaching, and we’ve had to cover some wall exhibits with paper before hanging paintings, and whilst not 100% ideal, it serves our purposes well enough, and they certainly have a good foot traffic.

My display as you enter the barn…

Part of Mandy’s display of her colograph paintings…and here’s a close up of one…

Annie’s work is displayed on the opposite side of the barn…

And Rob’s work is centre stage…

The barn is used by the NT as an educational center for children, and took a little work to get ready for the exhibition, but it’s a very functional building…

And if you turn around from where I took this shot you get this view…

of glorious Dunwich Heath with the heather in full bloom…a nice place to spend a few days…

I had a visit from a couple of blog readers, which was a nice surprise, and Martin from the NT came for a chat about possibly supplying NT gift shops, which was also a nice surprise…even more so when it transired that we have a mutaul friend…Robin Wood…(if you’re reading Rob, Martin said to say “Hello”…Hatfield was a long time ago now!)

Five days left….but I must think of something to do whilst I’m there. Lathe? Spoon carving? Pyrography? 1001 things to keep the kids happy on a long journey?

 

 

A tiring day of rest…

I don’t know why I have a day to rest, they never work out restfull. The girls wanted a day out as I’ve been away, and had decided on Felixstowe, as it’s a long time since we’ve been and thought it would make a change. Fish and chips on the prom and some sand between your toes. (the fact that we can get that ten minutes from home seems to have passed¬†them by!)…but off we went.

I’d worked in a short detour however, and we called in on Mike at Classic Hand Tools in Witnesham, Ipswich to collect one of these…

My Peter Child unit has served me well over the years, but it has limitations which have become a nuisance, and the Burnmaster seems to be the favoured unit.

I hadn’t seen the new (now three years old!) location of CHT, and was staggered at the range of tools and equipment available there. I often see CHT at events, such as Weird & Wonderful Wood, and got my favourite side axe from Mike at one a few years ago, but the range at events is necessarily reduced…no such problem at the new large premises; it’s a woodworker’s dreamscape of tools. If you’re in the area give them a look. If not, then CHT runs the European Woodworking show at Cressing Temple Barns…details here

So…after CHT it was on to Felixstowe for a late lunch and some play time for Ellie. She loved it because she got to have go on a waterborne Zorb…

Just as we were about to set off a client called about a piece, and when I said where we were we were invited round for a drink as they live quite close. So off we went on another diversion, and spent a pleasant hour chatting over coffee and cakes, and then we were given a tour of all the pieces they’ve bought over the years…and god there were a lot of them! In truth I didn’t even remember some of them, but my signature on the bases proved I’d made them. And then off home tired and wondering where the hell relaxation lives and why I always get the wrong address even with a satnav.

Back to work for a rest tomorrow….and a proper play with the new pyro unit…but after ten minutes with a piece of birch ply I already love it…right tool for the right job I suppose.

And it’s over…

Two years in the planning, five days of hard work (and even harder play!) and it’s over. The seminar was a great success and the auctions raised even more development funds than 2009. A great result.

I’ve posted close to 100 images of the Instant Gallery and a few location shots on Flickr for those who would like to look…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobwebcrafts/

Back to work now. I have an exhibition at the end of the month and several big projects to complete, so a day of rest and then back to the action.

 

Relax?…PAH!

Enough, enough, enough. I’ve had enough. Since the last post I’ve not had one single minute spare. Seminar preparations always gear up in the last fortnight as final details are ironed out, but this time it seems to have been in overdrive. The auction has presented a few challenges and problems, but the catalogue is now online and available to view at:

http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/auction-house/catalogue-id-2844327

Feel free to pass the URL around anywhere you think it might be of interest Рremember the whole point of the auction is to raise money for the Development Fund, so every winning bidder helps ensure the development of the craft and the practitioners, especially the young turners.

You’ll no doubt notice that I have a piece in there. Long story and some bullying. Not my idea, and not one I can pretend to be happy about, but there you go. Making something at a (very nearly) moment’s notice was not much fun either. So it was turned from green to finish over two days and is likely to be the only piece not to sell. Never mind, I’ve experienced worse.

On Monday I was in Cambridge and spotted this interesting busker…

Interesting. But rubbish.

The rest of the week has remained busy. Students since Tuesday (through to tomorrow), still not made a sign that’s overdue, and have some pieces to finish before next week. I did manage to complete a platter inbetween teaching and worrying, and taking urgent calls, and making urgent calls, and harrassing auction vendors, and a multitude of other things…It’s a good job I had understanding students this week!

The platter is finished with a (new to me) colouring system, which whilst working well suffered from a miserable delivery system which failed repeatedly. The end result is an amalgam of the system in question and some desperate (i’ve spent so much time on this I have to get something out of it) playing with mixed media. Overall I think I prefer the result to that expected from the new process.

I’ve been deserted until Sunday. SWMBO and Ellie have gone off camping (YOU NEVER TAKE A DAY OFF!) without me, so this evening will be spent alone finishing another piece over a glass (or two) of red.

After tomorrow I have two days to complete everything else, then two days teaching, a day to prep for leaving on Thursday to set up the workshops for the Seminar, and then four days of hard work. I think I might go camping alone after that!