Tag Archives: shrink pot

Old shrink pot

This is the shrink pot which was discovered by peat cutters in 2009 in a peat bog.  It was, and still is, filled with butter. The National Museum of Ireland is conserving the find which is 3 foot high and a foot in diameter – bigger than any I’ve ever made.

I like the closer. Watch this space for imitations.

Read more about it here.  But feel free to ignore some of the journo rubbish like “An oak barrel dating back to about 3,000 years ago”  alongside: “‘It is hoped that through further tests the species of the wood will be identified and the vessel dated through radiocarbon dating,’ the museum said in a statement.”  They may have well as saved their breath!

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In praise of variety

SAMSUNG CSC   This is the continuation of our Three Days in the Midlands.  The quote above is from the owner of Snowshill Manor, who bought a house to fill with his collection of artefacts that embodied his ideas of craftsmanship, design and colour.  The house is quite big and contains 20,000 objects.  He lived in a two roomed gaff in the grounds.

English: Snowshill Manor

English: Snowshill Manor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The objects feast the eyes and mind.

  • The largest collection of samurai armour outside Japan;
  • Three serpents – a musical instrument withdrawn due to …

  • A collection of very early bicycles, including The Hobby Horse and penny farthings;
  • Shipwright’s models;
  • Shepherds’ chairs – four off;
  • A model village he made, or several versions of it I think;
  • Early spinning machinery;
  • A fine pair of hewing axes.

Doh, I’d used up my camera batteries in the morning visit to Hidcote Gardens.  And there we sat in a little open gazebo building tiled with hand made tiles.  SAMSUNG CSC
The 4″ x 4″ tiles were rather charming, including these variations on a pattern:
SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCThis is what I like!  All hand done, quickly, simple, but very recognizably vernacular.  Look how the craftsman has introduced  such variety to his tiles, swapping boats for churches, mirroring the houses, moving the smoak from one chimney to another.  Blimey it’s like a film.  The corner decorations differ – even on the same tile.  Could a machine do this?  Well yes, but it would be a clever programmer that would write the code, and what would be the point? It’s not just decoration either that can be interesting to the eye.  Look at this Victorian brewery: SAMSUNG CSCI don’t think we build factories like that any more – why not?
And then there’s the serendipitous stuff, here are some of the vents up in the old chiller at the brewery’s top floor (well it’s actually two breweries stuck together this one is at the top of the near side in the photo above). SAMSUNG CSC

And here are some glass panes, obviously repaired over the years (no wonder when the grist mill shakes the whole building). SAMSUNG CSC Pleasing variety.

Why I don’t like tarmac:

SAMSUNG CSC And why I do like hand worked stone.

SAMSUNG CSC I think this stuff is catching on with some people, there is a desire for the irregular rather than the machine-made, and just to come back to the woods, here are a couple of irregular pieces I just made:

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