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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Birthday baton, Bailey's Court memorial and a totem pole

Lots going on at the moment!

I'm finishing off a special oak box for a friend of mine. She's coming up to her 30th birthday and has had the idea to get a 'birthday baton' made.This is a container for a scroll, which is to be passed from one person on their 30th birthday to another. Each person will write thoughts or comments as they come up to this landmark birthday on the scroll, which is then passed to the next person whose birthday it is. The previous birthday person has to visit the next to pass the baton over and they will not all know each other. They will also be dotted about all over the place.
Hopefully some interesting stories will come out of the project and Jess wants to make an exhibition about it all when it is completed. She came over to have a look at the box today and brought her Polaroid camera - possibly the coolest camera I have ever had in my studio!


I have also finished making a memorial plaque which will go in a wildlife garden at Bailey's Court school in Bristol. It is in memory of a boy called Ryan who attended the school.
The piece of wood measures 12 inches (30cm) square and is 2 inches (5 cm) thick. The central hole will be used to hide a coach screw used to fix the plaque to an embedded log. It will then be hidden with an oak cap. My friend Simon Nugent, a very talented furniture maker, donated the beautifully figured Sussex oak used in this project.
I hope that Ryan would have approved of the slugs and bugs carved around the message in the centre.



A 'Painted lady' butterfly


a slug


A two-spotted ladybird


...and a moth hiding amongst the wood patterning

Apart from these projects, today also saw carving begin on a totem pole, which I have been commissioned to make for someone in Hampshire (who I will not name, as it is to be a surprise!) 
The totem pole will be 10 feet high and carved from British-grown European larch, which is fairly durable stuff. Today's roughing-out carving involved using an Arbortech, a disc with chainsaw-like teeth that fits onto an angle grinder. It is a fairly terrifying, if useful, bit of kit that has to be very well respected!


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