Monday, 18 June 2012

Fordhall Summer Fair

I shall be demonstrating next Sunday 24th June at Fordhall Farm summer fair. This is a special place and my association with it goes back 25 years. For people who do not know about it you can find out why on their website.
Yesterday I made a small tarp/shelter which will have enough space to work but not too large a footprint. The design seemed OK on paper but I'm glad no one was around to watch me trying to put it up on my own! Wobbly didn't come into it! Finally worked out after a strong coffee that the first upright needs to be secured with three guys so that it stands firm and everything else can be attached to it. The third guy can be removed when the whole structure is together. Of course, someone holding it would work, but I can't rely on that most times so had to be able to do it on my own. If it doesn't fall down this week I'll post a picture of it at the show.
This is a charity event which I want to support so I'm not charging anything. Hopefully there will be some publicity and the chance to sell a few items. The Pixie spoon will be a good one to make on the day as it is quick to carve.
I'll have some 'Blue Peter' ones in a basket for anyone who can't wait for one to be finished. I hadn't carved any spoons for three weeks and the first one made today was rubbish. Years ago my dad told me not to employ a plasterer who had just got back from holiday as it takes a few days for them to get their hand in. I suppose it's like any skill and needs regular practice to keep it up to scratch.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pixie Spoons

Most people would know these as Gypsy spoons. When my 4 year old grandson was helping me get the shelter ready for the last spoon carving course he found a pointed stick and asked what it was for. It was left over from making some Gypsy flowers so I made him one. He gave it to his mum and said it was a pixie flower. I don't know if he miss-heard me or liked the name better but the name stuck and the spoons have bowls shaped like a pixie ear!
They are made quickly using Aspen which is a fairly soft wood and left as cut without any fine finishing. This gives a different aesthetic to the finer hard wood style used in Scandinavian carving yet still makes a practical spoon.
The right hand one was made without using an axe. I'm trying to reduce weight when traveling by bike so used a survival knife and lump of wood to cut across the grain for the shoulder, then split from the end of the handle. Worked well but needs working on the technique as you need three hands!