Asymmetry thoughts

imageMachines seem to be good at making symmetrical  artifacts, nature is not. However, if you measure very accurately machines do have their limits in accurate symmetry.  We think we see symmetry everywhere, but this is a trick played on us by the way our brains create patterns. We perceive  people’s faces as symmetrical , they are not.

Me:

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Me split and flipped.

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Sorry, the software won’t let me actually shove them quite together

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2 plus 2 make a very weird number!

Lots of early artifacts, I think pre-industrial revolution, do not slavishly use symmetry.

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The Manor House Museum, Ilkley.

Consider the guilloche panel carved on the top rail of this chair. While there is a flower in the middle and three more at each side, our modern eyes might expect the flowers on each side to reflect each other.  Instead the figures are repeated in the same order at both sides, a repeat rather than a reflection.

Sometimes the issue is asymmetry because a pattern doesn’t fit:

portraict - 1Didn’t seem to be a problem then – this chair survived, the pattern on the lower panel also has a lively dance around the edges ignoring slavish symmetry.

I suppose the tiger looks symmetrical on first glance but to a tiger’s eye no doubt full of the charm of asymmetry.

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While natural scenes hold not a jot of mirrored sameness, we do occasionally mimic that beauty.

image … but then necessarily spoil it by repeats, often out of pure necessity as with this Wm Morris wallpaper block.

Then in the Arts and Crafts movement therer was a move against symmetry in architecture:

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The Red House

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Blackwell, Lake District

I find it hard to describe why I prefer the windows dotted around rather than in a slavish pattern. I wouldn’t try to say patterns are unnatural but I do enjoy natural chaos.

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Hang on, they’re not English oak leaves – Ed,  Nah, Bald Eagle State Park, PA – FS

portraict - 1 (1) portraict - 1 (3)Sorry the posts have been so thin on the ground.  A collection of various minor issues have been getting in the way: work; file sizes on my host server; holidays in the US, posting to Instagram – I would like to find a way to  post here direct from Instagram, anyone know if it’s possible?

Then there’s beekeeping and queen rearing, much easier in nature:

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Longwood Gardens, PA

Been busy

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Coming in to land

Busy bee

Honey bee busy on a butter burr next to River Wharfe, Strid Wood

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Mending benches at East Riddlesden Hall

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Extensive oak baord replacement with a couple of them.

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Need a rest from this woodworking now and then.

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Snack sandwich at:

Holden Clough Nursery

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And a break sitting on the ramparts of Clitheroe Castle, Lancashire watching Jam Factory doing their stuff.

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Made seven of these beggars – all sold I’m afraid, but more 2″ thick milled sycamore available for to plane up for more

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Spring busting out in Strid Wood.

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I’m so small …

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… have to eat my lunch with yellow blusher ‘srooms foraged on the way to work and cooked with improvised spatula in cold-pressed linseed oil.

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This should be the other way up …

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It was a leaning alder next to the river we felled this Winter.  Felled using the dog tooth cut, dog tooth at left, letterbox centre, gob at right.

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… milled the main stem into boards.

Photo0348Using them on my stall – here at Otley Show last Saturday.  The shrink pots & spoons are John Mullaney’s – sweet.

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New line – garden tool scrapers.

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Monks hood by The Wharfe – garden escapes?

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Tooled oak for an hotel breakfast servery.

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Been to London too – row of cottages – Halifax Road conservation area, Forest Hill.

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She’s busy too, solitary mining bee – onwards, onwards.

Bee skep making

 

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(It was a lot darker than this – it’s a barn.  More like this:

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I’m just back from a bee skep making session.  As you can see this is very concentrated work.  These are all members of the association I belong to Airedale Bee Keepers Association.  This was taken at about half time, the floor got much messier than that.

Here’s my workstation.

SAMSUNG CSCFor the tricky start at the top the straw had to have been soaked for 24 hours, and the binding cane is just soaked for half an hour.  The needle is included in the very reasonable £20 for the whole course, including the session still to come in February.  By the end on the session I was just starting to turn down the corners and start building the walls.  But at half-time it looked like this:

SAMSUNG CSCThis will be jolly useful for taking swarms, should any appear this Summer.

 

Here’s what we’re aiming for:

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Speed drawknifing

Hello!

August used to be the month we went on holiday.  Nowadays it seems to be my busiest month what with courses, shows, and caving …

SAMSUNG CSCWell, actually this is my garage/store-room and it leaks far too much, so much so that it will be destroyed and out of the ashes will be built a new glorious stone and green oak workshop with brewery area and a pitched roof. NOT a flat concrete slab that sweats and leaks, cold in Winter boiling hot in Summer.  But first I have to get this lot:

SAMSUNG CSC(You should have seen it before I started throwing things out.)

.. into this:

SAMSUNG CSCThis is a tin shed, 10 foot by 13 that my brother and I just spent 2 days putting up (including making a floating floor for it).  I think I must have screwed about 200 screws in and dropped probably 400 into the flowers.  Anyway it’s up now, and the poor flowers are down.

SAMSUNG CSCAmongst other things to go in The Shed like bee keeping equipment (photo op. for my first honey extraction:

SAMSUNG CSC) are a cast iron band saw, a second-hand multi-fuel boiler I bought in readiness for the new workshop (well for the brewery really), all my tools, two bikes, about half the last charcoal burn output (our warm Summer has suddenly stopped), various jerry cans of fuel etc, etc.  And then I need to find somewhere else secure to put the two chainsaws.  Man!

Anyways, I’ve started running spoon carving courses finally and made this totally silly spoon during the course of it.

SAMSUNG CSCYep, bark and moss on (C’mon – who’s going to buy that? – Ed):

SAMSUNG CSCThe interesting thing is the spoon is photographed casually relaxing on the roughed out top of the clover leaf top three-legged stool I’m about to make for a competition.  I’ve worked out that the legs will be truncated equilateral triangles where the draw-bored M&T joints will be in the apron and rung areas.  Then turned between on the pole lathe (important consideration for the comp).  Ah well, perhaps ye olde 17th century joinery will catch on over here one day (maybe after Peter Folansbee has taken his class here!)

I’ve been busy with oak again – another garden bench commission.  Here’s some speed drawknifing work (Not too long I hope – Ed)

So lots more shavings, and a growing pile of parts,

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must make sure I don’t mix members for the stool with those for the bench.

No wonder I’m so tired of an evening …

Here’s a video of some green oak adzing I’ve been doing to make a pair of outdoor seats for either side of a green oak picnic table.

There’s about 10 seconds at normal speed, then about 4 minutes 20 seconds in slo-mo, which may get rather boring, if so fast forward to about 4m 30s where it’s back to normal speed and some work with the inshave.

Notice how the work rocks, that’s the pressure of being on film.  The screw clamp came loose and I didn’t want to stop and tighten it up again.

Anyway, the pair looks like this at the moment.

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I did some more of this:

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Unfortunately it burnt rather faster than usual and I had the lowest return yet, the charcoal had been merrily burning away to itself overnight before I shut it down and I got about half the weight I should have done. Can’t win ’em all!

Never mind, on the plus side we have lots of these:

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Bee eggs in a new colony we’ve just taken on to reinforce our small colony with the drone-laying queen.

And the bluebells are out in Strid Wood too.

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