Saturday, 29 September 2012

Green Man

Came across a real Green Man by a magical Elderberry bush today at Countryside Live - is that auspicious?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pedal Powered Grinding

An interesting contraption with a lovely true stone that Ness came across at a French market that was only 30 Euros! The pedals moved a steel rod on either side of the Grindstone and worked beautifully. The gentleman selling it got quite excited when two English Ladies seemed keen to purchase and the possibility of dismantling it was discussed. Unfortunately after much humming and haughing in Breton it was decided that the screws, nuts and joints would need some time and gentle persuasion to come apart successfully. The boot of a dainty little Merc and time were not on their side so I have some good pics and will make one for myself sometime...    

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Ancient Lode

We struck a seam of ancient, buried, terracotta plantpots.  Most are broken but there's about 50 whole ones, 4" - anyone interested? All hand thrown - you can even see finger prints on them!   We've been using the broken stuff to put on muddy places like here in front of our Pallet Composting Loo

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Beetles

When I spied the metal rings tied together by a bit of old string in the bottom of a trailerful of rusty old bits of tools and tat I immediately knew what they were.  I think I paid £1 for them - possibly 50p!  Fitted to an Elm log head with an Ash handle it's great for bashing metal wedges and gluts (wooden wedges) to split open large logs and also lessens the risk of a shard of metal flying off when used with a sledgehammer (I've heard some nightmare stories about this).
The one on the right is known as a Paviour's Beetle and was used for levelling flagstones.  It also has an Elm head and Ash handle but in this case the head is turned and the handle has been sawn and not riven which I suppose doesn't matter so much as it was only ever used for relatively gentle tamping.  Kindly gifted to me by Wocko the Woodsman.
Thomas Tusser (London, 1573) writes of a "Dovercourt Beetle".  This is taken to refer to the celebrated Elm trees of Dovercourt in Essex, which were considered extremely durable and suitable for making Beetle heads.