Regional Furniture Society 2014, gouge work

The Regional Furniture Society’s 2014 journal arrived a few days ago, and I must say it’s an excellent read!

SAMSUNG CSCSorry, not breaking copyright, you’ll have to join – worth it just for this journal alone.  There is an American secretary too.

I’ve just read a really well researched and presented article about a press cupboard made in the Lake District.  It includes a detailed analysis of the carving by chisel type.  Brilliant.  I think it would be a good discipline to analise carving in this fashion as background to my 17th century-style carving (And lots more practice. – Ed.).

New logo for the Landy:


“I can feel the deer closing in…”


I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper

With apologies to Wm. Burroughs.  They are rather crowding around my workshop though.

Get yours: large; regular; or handbag-sized, all 20 notes a throw.

And another log store

SAMSUNG CSCThese log stores are becoming rather popular – this is my third this year.  A snip at £160!

Here is the one I made earlier for my brother-in-law fully loaded – two off 1 ton builder’s bags.

store1JPGI’m beginning to feel a little Christmassy (not a real word but it’s nearly Advent)  – orders for deer and makers’ courses coming in, large, sawn off Christmas trees with golden stars atop appearing down by the Cavendish Pavilion strapped to stakes, a sprig of holly has appeared in my bodgery, and the annual thank you to Skelton Grange TCV volunteers coming up next month with deer making workshops.

I have an idea for a few posts over the 12 days of Christmas, entitled “Anatomy of a Forester”, to do this and keep you entertained I will be drafting the posts before Christmas and releasing them daily leading up to Twelfth Day when the Lord of Misrule takes over – watch this space!

Hole in the wall project


Medium camera shake picture of the hole in our living-room wall.

There is a hole in our wall which is currently occupied by “Cassell’s Cyclopedia of Mechanics” a wedge and a wood cutter.  It is ripe for conversion.

On Friday we visited Cliffe Castle in Keighley, effectively my home town where I was born and went to grammar school and comprehensive school (and learnt physics in imperial and SI units at the same time, no wonder I’m mixed up.)  In Keighley the streets are paved with gold:


As you can see on Friday I was specialising in badly focused photography, however, this is probably about as close as you want to come to Keighley street-life.

But that is nothing compared to the interior of the Victorian decorations in Cliffe Castle which has been recently refurbished and the gilding is now really impressive (as are the four massive chandeliers etc, etc, this was someone’s house when lots of people in Keighley were living in abject squalor).

So here is some of the gilding, on a rather jolly panel (I’m not sure whether the base work is done in wood, plaster or something else:


In focus eh, maybe by accident? – Ed

I particularly like the fool at far left with his bladder on a stick.  The treatment of the relief is rather intriguing too with objects further into the scene being flattened, even the far leg.  But the child’s legs at far right face the viewer and are therefore both fully modelled, the fool however, in his three quarter stance get sless modelling but more than flat for his slightly turned away left leg.  I must find out a little more about this panel’s construction and history, looks to be more recent than its subject matter.

I wasn’t aware that we had a small Morris & Co collection at the museum.  Now very well displayed and very fresh looking.

SAMSUNG CSCI seem to recall some whole school event at Temple Street, but our carol services were usually held in the parish church on Church Green, conveniently close to the Admiral Rodney public house.  I don’t recall these windows though, impressive though they are.

Then this little gem turned up!


Is it just my eyes or is this one blurry too? -Ed)

It’s labeled late 17th to early 18th century spice cupboard door from Garth House, Clayton (fairly local to here).  Here’s Garth House:

SAMSUNG CSCGet those mullion windows.  Unhappily it was demolished for a road widening project in the 1930s, when the door and two carved panels came into the museum service’s possession.

So my project is to reproduce a door like this to go on the front of our hole in the wall.  Watch this space.  I think I will need to revisit with a camera on a tripod and ask for permission to see the door back to confirm the construction method details – is the panel in a rebate or a groove?  There are certainly planted moldings around it.  Looks like the frame’s outside moldings cross at the corners too.  May have a bash at making the hinges and 20 nails … Cliffe Castle also has an interesting exhibit on the nail and clog iron making industries in Silsden, the next village to ours.

Stools, hazel and a building site

My wimping on about not getting a prize for my 3 legger caused a couple of comments about voting (notably from  Eric Bloodax Rick McKee, master hewer).  I’ve never tried this before so I thought I’d set up a poll, just for fun, and you should be able to see this in the right sidebar (may need to scroll down a bit or go to the “Home” page until I find out why if you go to an individual post no right sidebar info shows grrr!)).

Just to remind you, here are the stools in question:


The three legger (Must get that focus sorted man! -Ed).


The 4 legger with pretty flowers (Are these shots taken in a stone quarry? -Ed).


Also ran.

Enjoy your voting – you can see the results with a simple click, unlike the retro polling of the political variety.

At the moment I feel a bit like a square peg in a round hole, bursting to fit in, where is that fitting hole?  Where is the support for 17th century joinery?  Should I try the Worshipful Company of Joiners? Am I just too square?

SAMSUNG CSCThe rubbly background to the photos is the rebuild of my workshop, don’t worry, once the masons have finished there will be some timber included, watch this space.

SAMSUNG CSCThe season of woodland deer is ‘pon us once again and my stocks of animal limbs, and antlers was woefully low, so I had a half day cutting the hazel coppice at Wood Nook.  At lunchtime I had a walk round previous years’ cut stools and some regrowth is pretty good


Some is rather poor, but still has a chance – if the deer will only leave it alone:

SAMSUNG CSCBut around 25% have died 😦


Been to London


Show bench at The Apothecaries Hall, Blackfriars Lane, the oldest Livery Hall in the city of London.

The stools at left were 1st 2nd and 3rd.  Personally, I thought my stool would stand being thrown across a bar room in a drunken fight better than any of the others and therefore should have won.

SAMSUNG CSCBut then the judge wasn’t taken by the hewn finish and peg ends when he turned it upside down (presumably in readiness to throw at someone).  Really – it was a “turning” competition, I thought the best thrown stool would be the winner. Doh!

Here’s a photo immediately after that nerve-racking pegging of the seat onto the legs.

SAMSUNG CSC(Hand done that moulding tha knaws.)

But then it’s a funny place is London (not much like Manchester):

SAMSUNG CSCMore like a streetful of books one might be forgiven for thinking:

SAMSUNG CSCVisited the Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincolns Inn Fields and saw again Hogarth‘s paintings for A Rake’s Progress.  I’m reading an excellent biography of Wm. Hogarth by Jenny Uglow.  I seem to be getting deeper and deeper into history.  In many ways there was a lot wrong with the olden days, and the behaviour of some members of the ‘upper’ classes was a case in point.  Mr William found it so and did not hesitate to pillory them, as did Balzac a little later and in a different country – I’m listening to Le Père Goriot (in English) downloaded from Librivox, which seems to be on the same problem, but if anything more bitter about it.  Never mind, next up should be some Henry Fielding – more fun.

We also visited the Dulwich Picture Gallery, some fabulous paintings in there, and some extraordinary furniture too.  The curtilage has some great trees, here’s a mulberry pollard.

SAMSUNG CSCOn the way back home we called in at Canons Ashby and saw this magnificent cedar of Lebanon, planted 1780:

SAMSUNG CSCIt is a fine garden and the Elizabethan manor house is pretty respectable too.  We came across a sad memorial to a shepherd lad.  The story goes a group of Roundheads were sheltering in the house when Cavaliers approached, the shepherd blew his flute in warning and was killed during the resulting skirmish.

SAMSUNG CSCIn the driveway we met these two box green men chatting to each other.

SAMSUNG CSCMeanwhile … back at the bodgery … I’ve been making a ladder, amongst other things, here’s the first split of the stiles.