Sunday, 30 November 2014

Forty Hall Christmas craft market Saturday 29th  November EN2 9HA


This was our first demonstration and visit to this venue.

We were in the beautiful Pillar room at the rear of the main house.

James Pumphrey was demonstrating on his bowl lathe and Joseph Bloor was spoon making.


There were a few potential bodgers amongst the other stallholders..


I have been experimenting again with displays. I have not got there yet and it is difficult to work out if the goods do not match the buyer’s expectations or the displays are not inviting enough to promote a sale.

I suppose every event is different and it is difficult to come to any hard and fast judgements.

Certainly engaging with the public and demonstrating attracts interest


This venue was a bit posh for bodgers but we had a good sweep up as there was a wedding letting in the room two hours later.

The organisation on the day was really good; they had a great team on the ground. We are hoping to hold a bodgers ball at this venue and it is the reserve for 2016.

We all enjoyed the day and made some good contacts for future sales and spread the word. These sort of  events are always good for promoting interest and new members for the local groups.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Wimpole Hall Craft Fair and APTGW group meeting 15/16th November

Saturday morning as we were all setting up there was a local Park-run,  a really good scheme to get local runners together over relatively short distances but they really looked like they enjoyed it.

Well let’s face it, what a great setting.

Mr & Mrs Magnus doing the blacksmithing demo. It was really good to see Magnus again and this was the first time I have ever seen him with a hammer in his hand.

Whenever I have had a lesson he never does it for you – that’s the way to improve your skills, a little unsettling perhaps at first!

Wood gas stove ignition sequence – chicken feed + accelerant + a flue to get it going.


Whilst that was warming up Simon was finishing a wooden rocket stove flue. 

Never seen one before, same principle of a rocket stove except when its lit it  need no fuel! The stove (log) burns.

The crowd were queuing to get in and they had to pay for the privilege.

The marquees that housed the fair had been skilfully sighted around the existing trees – a very nice effect.

I was glad that we were paying their fees.  Having said that they have no shortage of sellers.

I think Simon had made the reindeer who were pretty well camouflaged amongst the leaves.


In the absence of Magnus on Sunday, Simon was making a rather good job of the blacksmithing demonstration.

Wimpole still has a  lovely  old forge building in regular use.

This was the Wimpole group’s monthly competition entries. 

Simon was holding the judging later on.


The proof of the pudding! – well this was my lunch. Really just a reheat of a take-away on Saturday night. The fierce heat was perfect for getting the tandoori up to temperature. 

Tandoori King Mike Kimpton would of have enjoyed this.

Before I forget – thanks for the invitation Jim, It’s amazing how much talent has manifest itself in such a new group in such a short time. Oh dear sounds like something WC once said!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Suffolk group meeting at Bradfield woods Sunday 02-11-14

Great to see Hugh Spencer out and about with his family, just like old times.

Will Wall was busy with some very spalted apple, I only realised today that he turns left handed.  He was very unlucky to suffer a little accident with it later on.

The Woodland Trust visitor centre building was looking spectacular.

Not many visitors on the day, the poor weather forecast managed to everyone off! - have they not heard of outdoor clothing? 

You would think that a nation of sailors would enjoy the wet.

Abney Park Cemetery Thursday 30th October

There are regular Thursday workshops every week and it was encouraging to bump into these two as I was in the area buying leather.

Saturday 1st November Abney Park Cemetery 

This was the usual monthly meeting at Abney Park which has been overwhelmed recently with too many members of the public turning up unannounced. 

They have a booking system and nine people signed up to that but only one turned up. They can’t win, perhaps a payment system in advance may give people more of an incentive to turn up.

 Mike Kimpton brought another fine example of Indian cuisine – a chilli and garlic sauce. 

Resourceful as ever with a shortage of plates he ate off a plastic bag.

Mike had brought along some very nice braces.
He also had a variety of auger bits. 

He was making the point during our shared lunch about buying up as much as you can of these old tools before they become collectors items.

Worshipful Company of Turners Competition 28th October at Apothecaries Hall.

This was my first trip to this competition held every two years; it alternates with Wizardry in wood.

The venue is impressive as were the entries. It was very nice to know so many of the exhibitors not only just in the APT category.

Note the stool entries – well done to John Burbage 1st and 3rd place and Katie Abbott in 2nd place.

I was struggling to get any good pictures of the awards ceremony and I thank Stuart King for this one of David Batchelor (chairman of the Howe committee) receiving his ward for the novice category from Fionna Woolf the Lord Mayor.

Stuart King always brings a table of very interesting turned item from around the globe – note the animal profile turned in a ring from traditional German toy makers.

It was great to see John Fells again since his move south east. He entered the goblet competition - his were too small to photograph! about 5mm tall from segmented wood. He also had a piece in the AWGB mobile exhibition.

My half term Luxemburg trip

Trier – the oldest city in Germany

This city gate was built by the Romans in AD200 and is the oldest of its type still standing. The city was an important trading centre.


A very large and interesting press – the screws were cantilevered and the gutter for juice ran along the length of this double ended, ornately carved piece.

A beautiful basket twist door handle in ¾” square bar from Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxemburg City.

One of the many things I love about so many of the old stone building are all the tool marks left by the makers.