Sunday, 29 September 2013

Chair making Video

I watched this video this morning after finding it on the Lost Arts Press blog. It's very basic, but an enjoyable watch none the less. I look forward to his book which is being published by Lost Arts Press next year.

Peter Galbert Video


Saturday, 28 September 2013

The National Forest Wood Fair - Beacon Hill Country Park, Leicester

I know the title to this post is a bit of a mouthful, but let's cut to the chase. This fair has been running for a number of years now and I have missed it each year as it clashes with the Isle of Wight vintage scooter rally, which my brothers and I had been attending to feed our love for old Vespas and Lamberettas. My friend Dave at work, once he heard of my dirty spoon carving secret, told me how he and his family had been a few times and that I really should go as it was right up my street. So, this August bank holiday, I bought a family ticket (only £20 for two adults and three children) and we headed off.

Don't have much time to do this post justice, suffice it to say, we loved it, I will definately go agin and next year would like to do some spoon carving demos. There was a huge variety of furniture makers, basket weavers, bodgers, pole lathe turners - then there were lathes, shave horses, chopping blocks and tools galore.

Here are a few photos - put it in your diary for next year - easy access for those in the midlands.
Me with Mike Abbott - got to get on one of his chair courses.

Ruth hand raising a pork pie in the display tent.

My kids on the climbing wall - no extra charge.

I've got to have a go at one of these - plenty of hazel around Leicester.

Lots of tools, but no bargains - way out of my price range.

Midlands round of the bodgers 'log to leg' race

These were the nicest spoons there - Martin Damen's - beautiful. I really love the tiny ladles on a string.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Carved Bowl

I've been wanting to try and carve a bowl for a long time. For some time Robin Wood has been plugging carved bowls as a natural progression from spoon carving and he also runs courses. A while back I bought myself a Hans Karlsson adze so that I could have a go. That first attempt never really got off the ground as the set up I arranged for holding the bowl whilst I used the adze didn't really work and for some reason I've not tried since. When my lovely wife bought me a Hans Karlsson dog leg gouge for my birthday, I decided to give it another go. I didn't want to be too ambitious so I decided to make a small bowl. Having looked into lots of different methods for securing the blank I opted for the simple option of holding the blank with my left hand and supporting it on the block. I know that there are better ways of doing this, but I didn't want to spend time making something to hold the blank rather than just making the bowl. I was really surprised at how well this worked. The HK adze is amazing. You can be quite precise with it, It cuts really well and I found that the shape of the adze really helped to define the shape of the bowl.

Feeling rather pleased with myself for my adze work it dawned on me that I still needed some way of securing the blank whilst I used the gouges. So again I opted for the simplest solution and just screwed it down to a pallet that was lying around in my garden. Not very sophisticated, but it worked.

In fact it worked quite well because I could kneel over the work and use my body weight with the gouges.

So how did the dog leg gouge perform? It didn't. It was too big or to be fair my bowl was too small. It's really designed for bigger bowls and so didn't match the contours. Serves me for chickening out.

Anyway, this is where I finished off this evening. It was starting to get dark and to be honest I was getting tired. With my injured finger I'd not been able to do much so I need to get used to using an axe again.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Turned pots

My finger is pretty much fine now and so I'm looking forward to doing some more work soon. I've just finished the turned boxes I mentioned in the last post. It was great making four at a time as it really gets you thinking about the processes involved. I can see me doing lots more of these in the future.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

It's getting better all the time

Sorry that I haven't posted for ages. Gouging out part of my finger (as mentioned in a previous post) has made it very difficult to make anything. Thankfully it is much better now and is healing quite well. I'm starting to be use it again now without any problems. It still looks pretty bad (my three year old Jesse calls it my 'dirty finger' and won't let me touch him with it) and I think it's going to leave a pretty major scar.

Anyway, I have been able to do something. I painted a couple of bowls last week. The larger one was given a coat of red ochre milk paint and then another coat of a deep blue. I haven't been able to get any blue pigment yet so I just added some blue acrylic paint to the milk paint base. It's worked really well, though it is difficult to capture the effect in a photograph.

 I think it will get even better when it wears and more of the red comes through. Laura likes it and it now resides in our newly decorated hallway.

The second bowl is a very small porringer that will be an eating bowl for Saxon, my eight month old. I love the painted effect on the carved sections and again, it will only get better with wear.

I also managed to do some small turning. I've finished one little pot (except for a coat of paint) and I have three more waiting for lids. I look forward to finishing these off and doing much more woodwork now my finger is mended. It's just a shame that the holiday is over.