Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Fenland Country Fair Stow–cum-Quy 27/8th August

Harriot Sprig making a bakers paddle for a local mill.

Tillie turning Chair legs


The stick man was next to me – some interesting carving going on.

No shortage of traction engines this year but no beer festival at the local The White Swan – may have to reconsider next year.

The world has gone mad on gin and the White Swan has an extensive selection. The landlord has a keen interest in the unusual.

This one has a warning on the label. It also has a flash arrester on the bottle top. Being over 70% he was unable sell it (limit is 43%I am informed) but he can give small samples away.

Learning about bodging was just too much for this pair.

Beekeeper Matt from the Wimpole lathers was the winner of the Tebbutt trophy (top points scorer in competition).


A potential new member – this man only started last October

Such an explosion of competent chair makers!

Mick was torturing Hazel into place

Great to see Magnus again it must have been at a Wimpole event last year.

Malcolm Ruffle was basketeering as usual. I did notice him supping home made cider later on. Think I may have to investigate apple crushers.


It was very very hot but the blacksmith opposite stood in the sun all day working on his forge!


The chainsaw carver was doing his stuff and what stuff. He was (still is really) a taxidermist which probably accounts for his amazing skill.

Sad to report that Harriot has sold out to mobile phone use.

Great Bank holiday weekend and thanks to Dave the stick man for the invitation. The number of demonstrators is declining – if you fancy it next year get in touch.

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Wilderness Gathering  - Bison Farm West Knole Devon 16/27th August
This was my third year at this event organised by Roger Harrington (Bison bushcraft) and Dominic Harvey. The APTGW were represented by Mike Church - trug and basket maker, Stephen Munn – longbows and myself.

This boat builder was pretty good at steaming just about anything – his trailer looked like many hours of precision work, note the wheel arches.

Roundhouse Richard was doing his usual thing – being very resourceful.

Bumped into Richard Allen again – this time he was sharing some space with his excellent pole lathe turning; missed a good picture of that but here he is with Axe and paddle

These guys were demonstrating everything to do with processing venison but were enjoying it far too much – think they need to make some winter moccasins.

As well as Bison there were many strange species including these Guinea fowl nesting up a tree along the main thoroughfare.

Jon Mac maker of some very pretty Kuksa’s This was his personal cognac cup.

I do enjoy meeting people who bring me things they have made since the last time we met. This burr is a fine example.

Mike Church –  making smoke and coffee making resources (hot water). He is now experimenting with hazel basketry. There is a lot of preparation involved, heating and splitting the over-stood hazel. He made a quiver pretty quickly however.

The evening entertainment is varied but this Musician on Saturday night was amazing – he was playing and recording loops as he went, including a very large didgeridoo. Seek him out on Youtube - Vogta

Spoon from Adi, another man from last year, who wanted to start green woodworking. So far a green woodworking spare bedroom and two out buildings later!

He made me this spoon on Saturday.

A very well organised event and thanks to Roger and all his crew. We were a little short of demonstrators this year, if you fancy it next year get in touch.
 My Holiday in Albufiera Portugal end of July.

We were in a very posh hotel on the sea front. Great food and even better service.

The joys of a hire car! being able to explore something other than the touristy bits.

On the outskirts of Monichique

Have never recognized cork oak. They harvest sections on a rotation.

Since the decline in wine bottle corks they are now making everything from cork (who could blame them).


The only Tapas bar I found in a relatively touristy area. Firewater E0.80. Bread and black pudding E3.00. Amazing!

There were quite  a few examples of street bronzes of well-known local characters.

The local church had some features I had not seen before - wall decorations made of ceramic tiles

Most of the carving was of wood

I presume the parquet flooring was local. Have no idea what species. The lighter elements were unlikely to be sapwood since it appeared to wear as well as the darker (heartwood)?

Another trip to Loule

A Coppersmith
This shop took some finding! – But got there eventually.

Just what I wanted to find – a local craftsman using some old technology! I bought a large copper cataplana dish from him.

Well this guy was the medieval market.  He said that Portugal used to be well known for at least 40 different gins.


Including this seaweed flavoured variety.

And some Freddie Mercury beer?

All in all a great holiday, a little too much sun for me and not enough exploring.