I am an Essex based WI approved speaker and give talks and demonstrations on an eclectic mix of subjects.
Right, with the design sorted out it was time to start the fun, the making bit.
I started by setting out the frame.
As with most of my work, I began with organic curves, rather than lots of straight lines.
It is important to balance design with structural integrity. Stating the obvious, whilst it must look good, it must also support its own weight, hang on the hinges without stress breaks, and of course keep out those we want to keep out.
The curved piece at the base does exactly that, it braces the bottom, curles up to support the bottom hinge point and then finishes off in a purely decorative leaf design.
This is the next stage in the design. I have added a top hinge, vertical pieces to add bracing and design, and a top curved piece to replicate the one at the bottom.
I am liking how it is coming along, the balance feels right.
It’s time to make another gate.
We need a new gate to get to the other side of our hedge to make cutting it easier. I drew up a rough idea and have been slowly making it over the last few months in a snatched hour here and there as time has allowed.
So, here we go with part 1, this is my ‘highly detailed’ sketch. The only really important details are the overall dimensions so that it fits a standard width gate, the rest can evolve to ensure that it looks balanced.
Over the last few months I have been making an oak carved tray with glass insert. It was made from a solid piece of oak, carved with rope edging and straps. To say I am now ‘roped out’ is an understatement. The textures elements to the twisted strands took a long time but they do add a lot of movement to the piece and help make it look more realistic.
You can see my template piece of rope in the earlier pictures below, which helped me work out how the twists moved as they went around the corners. They don’t move how you might think, as the twists tighten on the inside and open up on the outside, so you just need to go with the measurements, and know that it will look right. This is how it finished up:
I have written about the tray in the past, but here is a series of pictures showing how it developed from a plank, through a simple solid cylinder around the tray, on to the carving of the rope shape. I had 3 attempts at getting the curve right around the corners, using my piece of rope and a plastic template with the curls marked out on it. Remembering to leave enough wood to make the straps:
The glass insert was made a few months ago. I used real ferns, with glass powder, to produce the fern design on white background. It takes 3 firings to make the glass insert. I wrote about it at the time.
Unfortunately Mildred has been a little off colour. She ventured out on New Year’s Day with her friends for our traditional New Year opener.
All began well.
We arrived at the local Church to join the queue of 30 Austin Sevens, and a few assorted others, to enjoy mince pies and (non-alcoholic) mulled wine.
We then happily set off on our 25 mile run.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to the end. About half way through we spluttered to a halt. It looked as if the head gasket had failed, nothing that could be solved at the roadside.
With thanks to our insurers and SOS road rescue, we had a truck with us within the hour and were on our way home.
For anyone technically minded, this is what I found when I removed the head, a missing piece of gasket, which appears to have broken away.
The result is loss of compression in cylinders 2 and 3.
Mildred is now well on the way to recovery. The new gasket is bedding in and she should be back on the road in a day or 2.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and enjoyable 2018.