Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bead and spoon carving Iden Green with the Kent group Saturday 28th January

Once again we were using the village hall – guaranteed warmth and shelter – armchair bodging really.  It was good to see everyone again since last season. I think most people were making beads; something I have never done. There was a selection of woods to try courtesy of Burbage and Aslet – Hazel, Elder, Spindle and Blackcurrant. I don’t think however anyone is going to get rich making beads, but it is a gentle and satisfying thing to do – excellent for beginners.


Frejya with her bead stick - I think she missed the bit about stringing them for bracelets etc.

The warmest spot of the day and a great height to work at – must make something to replace my heavy shave horse.


Bardster and Alpacca man (and others) were braving the outdoors (only when the sun was out however).


Harry was finishing a bowl – not an adze or travisher in sight, that’s not right.

Unfortunately John's donkey is not well and has serious feet problems. He has been very well looked after by John but he may  not get over his present condition. I have always had a soft spot for them.

Thanks to John Burbage who organised things and supplied tea and coffee. I look forward to the restart on the Monday sessions at White Chimney Wood. Especially as I am now able to go along (retired).

Monday, 23 January 2017

Visit to Carol and Keith Leonard at Upchurch Kent Sunday 22nd January

I was on the last leg of a mission to return entries from the Wizardry in Wood competition held last October. 

Their bungalow is full of beautiful woodwork made by Keith. He showed me one of his Ball entries for this year (no picture obviously).


Carol as usual has also been busy needle felting these beautiful mobiles.

The Bell and Jorrocks Frittenden Kent - an 18th century pub famous for treacle mines.

This was a very pleasant experience, very good local beer and outstanding food. Some interesting history - there used to be two pubs int the village so when one had to go, they combined the names,

As seems to be the way these days – the toilets were very modern and interesting artwork appears everywhere!

It was cold overnight (possibly -8c according to the landlord) – must get the insulation finished soon - did have a gas heater on however.

Motts Mill Groombridge Kent Saturday 21st January

The occasion was a get together to reminisce on the all the good times we shared with Nick Bertenshaw who passed away recently. A big bodgers meet really.

I have happy memories of fun weekends at their old laundry building drinking Nick’s home made beer, I would sometimes bring a curry or two.

There was a feeling amongst the Kent group to do something at the next Ball to remember him, so we can look forward to entering into the spirit of that when it happens.

One of the many budding bodgers, a  young Harvey Pumphrey a really happy, well behaved baby.

Lincoln Cathedral – Heritage Skills Festival (23/4th June) meeting at Glaziers Hall

Although I live in East London and the city is not far away, you could never forget just how busy the Thames is and just how much the skyline changes.I can see Canary Wharf Tower (in the middle at the the back) from my house.

This 1746 map of London was one of the many interesting bits of our heritage on their walls – the river was filled with square riggers.

Could not resist this chair.   

It was only after I saw all the stained glass work did I realise the true significance of the glaziers craft.


The meeting – For the first time ever the Livery Companies of London and Lincoln are coming together to celebrate and showcase the best in traditional crafts. Hopefully the APTGW will be represented at this event by Mike Ashton, me and perhaps a few others

Monday, 9 January 2017

Bradfield Woods Suffolk January

Simon Lamb and Sue Holden making treen, Simon with Lilac and Sue with a lucky dip from the trailer?

The Spencer family overseeing dinner (Charlie at the washing machine).


As per usual an array of home cooked everything.

Another great setup at this National trust site. I think they meet every month, contact Sue for details.

January 2017

Visit to Slough House Woods with Katie Abbott, Will Wall and Sue Holden, Olvin and Nic Smith. 


We were coppicing as you do at this time of year, this is a fine example of what to avoid – a Sycamore hung up. The winch even could not free it.


The setup at the woods is very comfortable and been built up over twenty or more years. The retort kiln was burning away making charcoal. This is home-made pre James Hookway version.

Olvin was no slouch on the chainsaw. Never seen vertical logging before.

This was the first time I had actually done anything for Katie at her wood, normally I am playing with all her resources. Hopefully next year I will go for longer. Thanks Katie – see you at the Ball.