Harlow Carr and a new stool and … trees, mainly.

Just returned from two days at RHS Harlow Carr‘s Taste of Autumn show in Harrowgate (as we insist on calling it in Bolton Abbey).  It was a fine weekend with lots going on, from a celebration of a wide range of apple varieties, through Fungus for the Masses, to boxing hares:


Phil Bradley’s willow hares.











Phil Bradley was there chatting, and regrettably I didn’t get a chance to discuss things woody with him (he was busy chatting already and time away from my duties is limited):

Some of his wigwams were sitting pretty next to our workshop, they were very popular with young and old.

We were in The Glade.  The woodland area of Harlow Carr and the trees just blew me away, especially at this time of year.  It was foggy most of the day but the sun just about got through, enough to light up this sliver birch.

Look at the size of the beech tree we set up the workshop underneath (workshop is the tiny white bit bottom left.)

The fog came down again as we went home, and as we descended down into Barden Chase down towards Beamsley the fog rolled around:

OK so I’ve not just been driving around the countryside and turning spurtles from Chestnut (which at first seemed to be sycamore (Eh? – ed.))

I finished a little stool in richly coloured elm and yew, oh yes and an oak hand-carved bowl which includes the lighter sapwood.

The bull-nosing is free hand with the plane and the tenon wedges are bog oak.  The stool is sold but the bowl is looking for a home.

Harlow Carr

I’ve spent the last four days at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate (or Harrowgate as we spell it in Bolton Abbey!), busy on the pole lathe

It was a very good four days where I met lots of interesting and interested people.  But I was struggling a bit with the lathe for the first couple of days.  Then I realised that it wasn’t just the unfamiliarity of the knock-down travelling show lathe, but the fact that it was out of level on the sloping ground.

Sorted it out with a couple of chocks.  This being the first outdoor event of the year (apart from work, which is always outdoors at Strid Wood!) I had a couple of teething problems, like forgetting the burning wire to scorch rings on the demo dibbers.  I had to improvise with some copper wire I had.

DON”T TRY THIS AT HOME!  The wire conducts the heat very well, right up to your fingers, it also gets hot enough to lose its strength and snap.  However, I got by until I could cobble up a new steel wire (brake cable from the bike) one.

I managed to get over and see Phil Bradley, basket maker.

He makes some fine stuff and I got this basket from him:

It’s based on a half bushel fruit basket.  Phil’s email address is philbradley248@btinternet.com, he’s based in Cumbria but works around the North of England.

Jane got to have a look around the garden and spotted a wall being made home for alpine plants – I think we’ll have another project in our garden soon.

New York trip

Upstate New York

Jane and I are off to New York at the back end of October for 10 days when things inside and outside the woods will have quietened down and felling will not yet have started.We will be spending most of the time in NY City but we will have a trip up to The Adirondacks for a couple of days. I’m having trouble finding where the old growth is in the ‘Dacks can anyone help?

Any suggestions for NY (state or city) woody “not to be missed” s would be much appreciated. Forget about Statue of Liberty and all that tourist stuff we know about that already.

This place in Brooklyn (where my son lives) looks good: http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=NEXT&StoreCode=toolstore&nextpage=/extra/bowsawdesign.html Whizzo stuff on frame saws too as well as a museum.

Lots of places seem to close mid October but we will not be there until 22nd 😦  I am interested in visiting a Shaker museum, but the main one seems to be in the throws of a relocation.
Naturally we will be hoping to see some spectacular fall colours.
On another day-off note we went to Halow Carr RHS garden in Harrogate on Friday (combined with delivering yet another deer)  And I took this photo of an oak.
Not a brilliant picture, but it shows an oak tree growing with no trees surrounding.  In Strid Wood trees are crammed in with each other and do not grow that shape, but tall with all the branches in the canopy at the top.  I keep wondering which is more ‘natural’ and I incline to the woodland setting.
Amongst lots of other interesting things at Harlow Carr we visited the :
This is a library and education centre which has been built to a very high spec.  Triple glazing, facing South, ground sourced heat exchanger-based underfloor heating, low energy electrics, automatic window openers, and a copper roof.  My wife’s idea of heaven.  It opened in July and looks very smart inside; here is a classroom:
Good colour-scheme.
I’m not going to mention the outside seating, except that among the dodgy construction method was this trap for small legs under the picnic tables: