Hello again!

I’ve been out and about, Cornwall, Devon(shire), Somerset (pronounced Zummerzet).  Even The Bodger gets a trip out now and again.  I’ve never visited Cornwall previously, and I found it very beautiful and interesting.


Italian Garden, Lost Gardens of Heligan


Heligan earth giant.

Inevitably there was much woodwork to see, some very beautiful carving of the Early Modern era.


Small photos are due to software updates beyond the control of The Blog Management.

We were going to take the ferry to Fowey, but it was too rough so we went by car.


Classic S-scroll work, pulpit, Fowey Parish Church

Also sculpture, insect-like Hepworth work in her St. Ives garden, of course she was a Yorkshire lass from Wakefield now home of the excellent Hepworth gallery..


Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden, St Ives.


Lots of joinery work on these cold frames!

IMG_0118_4This was a most excellently restored old Land Rover, right down to the nuts and bolts, surprised the headlights are so far apart though.

The second week, after a brief foray into Devonshire for Portland Bill and crab sandwiches, was spent by me at Bridgwater College, learning about box making with Peter Folansbee.  Jane was lucky enough to spend the week visiting interesting gardens and houses in the area.  In fact the day she was at Montacute House, Peter was telling us about an excellent article on the frieze carved on the great bed, and Jane took a photo (then lost it).

© National Trust

You can find the article on Jstor.  There are measured drawings on the frieze design.

JstoreWe did a lot of stuff about not measuring, as you would expect from Mr F.  He’s an ace at it.

No ruler or pencil used for this:


Size does matter


IMG_0159I really like the Maltese cross punch Peter uses, I’ve bought a set of needle files to try and replicate it. I have a simple, rather wobbly plain cross, but this one is better.

One evening Jane and I visited (or revisited in Jane’s case) a couple of Quantock churches, The Church of Saint Margaret, Spaxton and Saint Marys, Kingston with its tower-climbing hunky-punks.

Found a couple of figures we were working on at Bridgwater College, lunettes:

07225030_2and S-scrolls:

07225029_2Both on tiny, ancient stools tucked away in a corner of Saint Margarets.

There were also splendid pew end carvings:


OK, where’s the original sized photo gone?

07225045_2Get that – I hear the style is poppy head, several other plants in evidence on this one.  The raking evening sunlight gives great depth to the carving.  This may be somewhat later, but shows an interesting way to fill the spandrells with squared flowers in variety ignoring symmetry, one of our modern obsessions (machines are good at it).

I like the heads carved into this one, although I took it for the S-scroll:


Look! I can fly with no hands.

So a splendid holiday all in all, I thoroughly recommend Peter’s classes.

Back on Earth, I returned to rush out and do shows, it’s part of my job.


What’s he doing?

We went to Ripley Show for the first time this year, we were stationed next to The Sheep:


Lots of them

I’m chained in my shelter, making small hurdles, but Jane took a few photos of the judging action:


The stick guides the pig and the board stops it biting the opposition.


Line ’em up


These sheepy types, always asleep during spelling lessons – ‘c’ when it’s a noun, “s” reserved for the verb.


Well you would need to wear a bocky to judge pigs wouldn’t you?

Meanwhile, back at Rose Cottage, I’m wondering just how close the architectural and carved versions or acanthus leaves are to nature …


Rather short of sunshine this one.

6 feet in 1/16ths of an inch

I’ve been making informal seating from ash cheeses for a client.  I started with a sample one in the bodgery.


Bodgery cheese

I’m using a 1 1/2 inch auger to get some beef into the joints.  I don’t usually work with cheeses as they have a good chance of splitting and ash splits in spades (they don’t call it most excellent splitter for nothing).  However, the client wants it this way, the cheeses were there and I’ve explained about the splitting, and they are partly dry.

I’ve been having to use heavy smoke methods to deter midges, which have been a real nuisance recently.  It does give a moody tone to photos though.


Veritas, Veritas semper Veritas.

I use a tenon cutter for the tenons from those excellent folk in Canada, you know the one I mean.

Well the sample went down well, so yesterday and today I’ve been making the other 5 seats and a table.  Made the legs in Strid Wood, then moved to the client’s house today for mortising.


Hobbit stools

I had to rig up a temporary vice as there is a lot of torque involved in turning that auger 3″ deep.


Ratchet vice

I strapped each seat in turn to the underside of what would become the table top which is the biggest heaviest cheese.  Worked pretty well.



Notice the tiny one sitting atop a full-sized stool?  It for the toddler in the family.

I managed to avoid a few potential problems – nails


Hidden steel.

The tree was a couple of years older than I am.


67, born from an ash key in 1948.

So … today 5 seats and a table, four 3 inch holes each, 5 foot of hole, each shaving from the auger is 1/16th of an inch, guess what’s coming … 60 times 16 is 960 turns – very good for the pecs, but also rather tiring, especially as the seats and table had to be leveled and the edges chamfered.


Freehand draw-knife work.

No wonder then that I managed to cut a hole in my new work trousers (and my knee) with the drawknife. Well I was about finished and found a handy bandage in the ambulance  Land Rover, could have used a couple of Steristrips though.

Meanwhile, back in the woods.


That’s no dog’s bark

Someone had been eating the beech bark, well stripping it actually and not eating any at all.


Send them back home

Grey squirrels, they are no match for a 410 shotgun.