Thursday, 28 May 2009

Craft Illustrators

I bought this book in the Auction at the Bodgers Ball a couple of weeks ago . . .

I have another book by James Arnold - "The Shell book of Country Crafts" and he is a great illustrator.

1. Here's a drawing of Sam Rockall I think . . .

2. The Chairmakers Workshop

3. Chairmakers Tools

4. Bowl Turner

5. Coppice Products

Note - the Yoke isn't labelled !

The lathe tools illustrated in 1,3 & 4 are interesting to study. Any real Bodgers out there know the difference between a buzz and a bruzz ? I'd be interested to hear any other ideas.

These illustrations reminded me of Eric Sloane - really lovely little black and white vignettes. Eric never seems to get much of a mention these days. Why is that I wonder ? I'll do a blog about him sometime soon.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Bodger Beat


I love the way the kids queue up patiently for ages for only a quick go on the treadle.
I guide the gouge (a spindle gouge) and they hold the end of the handle. Over two days (10am-2.30pm) we all managed to finish 2 rounders bats and rough out two more. Not a great work rate but I think they learn a lot by doing rather than just watching.

The kids are very excited, interested and curious and full of energy which I wish I could bottle to use when my leg's giving out !

Our marquee got crammed on Thursday morning as it rained really hard and what with the sound of a hundred excited children plus the backing riddims of the percussion orchestra I could hardly hear myself think. Quite a buzz though . . .

The instruments are castanets, guiros, claves, maracas, coconut shells, whistles and rattles ... the sound was really good.

The Queen of the Harvest

A rather sweet little witchy corndolly. The lady who made this was also making simple corndollies with the kids - no mean feat when there's 1800+ per day!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Shaving Jewellery Chic

Could this become a new trend ?

An image from Countryside Live at the Ledston Estate in Yorkshire where we've been for the last couple of days.

More to follow when we've recovered a bit. Vanessa has taken some great pictures . . .

Monday, 18 May 2009


Had a great weekend in Colchester teaching the Volunteers at Highwoods Country Park about the pole lathe and spoon carving.

Dibbers are always a good bet for learning the basics of spindle turning plus it's good fun burning in the lines with a bit of wire.


Jackie with an almost identical twin to the one I made last year - good to see it's been well used !

And of course the blog doesn't seem complete without a mention of the Young Monsieur and the Old Monsieur . . .

My Dad finally made it home on Friday after his 40-odd day sojourn in the Wilderness of Ashford Hospital . . .

& Jed got a lot of attention and really enjoyed himself (still sick on journeys though).

Jed's new best friend, Louise.


Friday, 15 May 2009

Good News

Went to see my Dad yesterday. He thought he was escaping from the hospital on Wednesday (been there 40-odd days now), they had the car packed and everything, only to be told he couldn't go yet for numerous complicated reasons. Anyway TODAY is hopefully the day so I'm keeping everything crossed.

We are off to Colchester to do another weekend workshop with the Rangers & Volunteers at Highwoods Country Park. Staying in a B&B with the dog for the first time - that should be interesting . . .

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bodgers Ball

Am just spending the day recovering from the weekend. It was the Bodger's Ball at Cusworth Hall, South Yorkshire. So the usual - too much beer, sleep deprivation, poor diet and too much talking!
I hitched a ride up with a couple of Johns from London and travelled really light so no lathe, shavehorse, tools etc - just a few essentials. It was really nice to shmooze around and meet some really nice folks I've only had contact with in cyberspace.
No photos I'm afraid as I wasn't really in the mood and the pictures I did take are a bit meaningless and poor.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Young shaver

A real woodsman's dog Jed. He loves playing in the chip and chewing logs and shavings.