Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Riverhill Himilayan Gardens Nr Sevenoaks 12/13th June

Harry Rogers (Secretary) arranged this new Kent meeting venue. The estate is privately owned by Sarah and Edward Rogers. 

No meeting would be complete without a large carved bowl, sitting on this rather handsome if not heavy shave horse.

This was my first outing for selling bowls and other treen. Learnt a lot! 

The most important thing – have a sales person. You cannot maximise your sales whilst demonstrating. 

The first bodger (and the most financially successful) I have ever met – Robin Fawcett is a model to follow – huge range of stuff and a huge range of prices. Something for everyone, but most importantly THE SALESPERSON!

Harry was giving a few lessons in the basics.

He was selling leather tankards and belts.

John Burbage (Ex -treasurer) giving one to one lessons.

He was selling garden stakes and some rather nice gardeners lines.

Phil Piddell tirelessly entertaining the crowd. I wish I had his energy.

He was selling bird boxes.

Nick Bertenshaw bowl turning on some very fresh Oak – he was enjoying the challenge and was very successful – James (Pumfrey) would have been proud.

He was selling bowls.

Graham Aslett selling and demonstrating rake making – caught dabbling in the dark art of glass papering or to use more technically correct terms – aluminium oxide papering!

His demo of tine making was crowd pleasing!

Needless to say Graham and Harry were next to the naked lady Statue.

Description of the statue taken from their website -
Open Cry by Rick Kirby is a perfect example of his feminine figure archetypes. The granular sections of welded steel are seen as pixels on a screen, angular and cold metal becomes sinuous curves and organic form when joined en masse.

This was a lovely venue I think we all sold something but more importantly we enjoyed demonstrating and interacting with the public. The hosts were great – not only supplying refreshments but buying some goods as well. We were not mobbed but the people we did meet were interested and willing to buy something. 

I think we need to get more organised on the selling front. We should coordinate what we are making - to avoid confrontations of interest. Get a sales team and improve the way we display goods for sale.
Trug making with Richard Bingham  June 2014 Herstmonceux 

We started by making the willow slats that Richard had cut.

Looks easy, Richard made it look very easy. Never knew what a sharp draw-knife looked like before. Most of us did some sharpening as I did but then I borrow one from Mike Church who was sitting opposite mass producing you know what!

We then dipped the slats and wrapped them in plastic bags – (recycled from last year’s group.

The hoops were next (I bet their not called that), a lot easier only three of them.  Then off into the home made steamer.

Bending them proved to be more difficult than you would think (do you begin to see a pattern here?).

Mike kindly came to my rescue.

Now I used to think that steam bending would be easier with fresh wet wood – absolutely not. Without seasoning the bark falls off!  It is remarkable though that it stays on.

After a second soaking the slats are rolled round a former and then fixed into the chestnut hoops with copper nails.

A final trimming, a pair of willow feet and we were done.

The happy band of trug makers

Colin Wells (Amberly Museum)
Lynne Harley (London group)
Richard Bingham (Ball venue owner)
Mike Gordon (Ball coordinator)
Some old guy

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Kent group weekend meeting at Syndgate Wood Nr Canterbury 31st May 2014

Bardster brought along a new low angle spokeshave from James Mursell – thewindsorworkshop.co.uk and suggested I tried it on my bowls. 

Recently I have tried a large Veritas spoke-shave on loan from Harry Rogers, I thought that was good. Size for size this was better – fine adjustment on blade, and what a blade! Razor sharp on delivery and kept that edge all day. I started on some Arizona Cyprus from last week’s visit to Wimpole – the shavings were very fragrant and were in great demand from the crowd. Next time I think I might bag it all up and sell it as pot pourri.


Bardster using a smaller spoke-shave on a spoon on a rather handsome, robust shave-horse.

Jill Mayo was hosting the group at her wood, south of Canterbury.I think the APTGW  Bodgers have been visiting for three years. This season we were using her new composting loo.

The main work area has all the mod cons – fire, kitchen and parachute!

I have noticed that some of the Bushcrafters we bump into have some interesting and different shelter constructions including parachutes.

It was good to see so many youngster members  concentrating  on their spoons and enjoying the woods.

Some very well executed handle carving – Sean Helmann beware!

Damian Goodburn and partner joined us on Sunday.

He had brought along a carved dish made with bronze age tools. I was expecting nothing quite as sharp. Apparently the cutting edges were hammered to work harden them. This was a replica made by the same method but not exactly the same alloy. Note the loop cast into the tip and the binding around the handle.