Monthly Archives: October 2012

Deer, owl, elves, and a new saw(ing)horse, oh yes, and a very useful book.


It gets very busy for me from now until Christmas, then I have a great time at home, having Christmas (roll it out!)

However, back to the present and All Hallows Even. There is a pumpkin (or punking as they seem to insist on saying round here (Are you sure? -Ed.)) trail through Strid Wood. Witches and giant rats (some on my bodgery even) litter the woods and the children have a great time. The woods seem to do something to/for them and I’m pleased to see it (but the volume of it gets a bit wild sometimes)

Anyway, I ran a deer making course as it’s half term, and I had three great 13-year-old students making animals. They broke all time records as they were really good at concentrating on the job in hand, getting on with it, taking advice, and they were also very polite – there’s hope for the future! As they were so quick we had to have improvised time fillers – pole lathe, elf carving and … a new line, owl head making in about 10 minutes:

The spalted sycamore was kicking about from my conversion of the horrid old sawing horse that didn’t really cut the mustard, into a super new, Cumbrian style Owen Jones job:

I had to saw the tops of the support logs level and ended up with a wedge-shaped slice with two off one inch and a half holes in it, I was going to make something with it, but Paddy beat me to it.

Remember the big old axe I acquired, well the excellent book that provided the answer to the riddle arrived last week, it’s a belter:

I can’t believe this came all the way from Jarrod (check out J’s blog if you’re fed up with your workshop and noisy tools) country for £11 all in!  just look at the trades covered with hundreds of vintage illustrations from tool catalogues etc (click image for more detail):

It’s still in print but costs a great deal more than £11!

Ah, day away tomorrow, off to another wood I’ve never visited to help a family enjoy it.

This post could not be complete without an acknowledgement that our 80M ash trees seem to be under threat of devastation (but not extinction) from Chalara Fraxinea.  Terrible.

Nearly forgot, considering the drop in ambient temperature, I’m now drying the paint on elves in the elf kiln.  Works a treat and avoids having to paint them at home by the fire so the paint dries.  I guess these are now stove enamelled elves, of a sort.

Three elms, beeches and a sycamore with its pals.

The autumns in the UK are not very consistent from the quality of leaf colour perspective.  We get autumns sometimes that are just damp and dull and dreary.  But not this year, oh no!  On our lunchtime walk today, Theo and I noticed that all the little elms (God bless their short lives) have turned yellow – have a look at these three:

autumn elm



This autumn is a real pleasure, I’d love to just drive around the Dales delivering logs and gawp at the stands of beech, sycamore, and even ash this year all shining out through the dull afternoons like fire.

Good by t’Wharfe too:

So many leaves – where do they all go to?  Still some greenery about though in the alders and ferns:

Sometimes it feel;s a bit like a cool rainforest round Strid Wood, so damp.

And I’ve spotted some cheeky little fungi (as yet unidentified) growing from sycamore bark like tiny fairy gardens or summat:


What the hell here’s another gratuitous autumnal picture:


It’s not New England, but sure beats a lousy, wet, grey Autumn (or Summer for that matter!)