I am an Essex based WI approved speaker and give talks and demonstrations on an eclectic mix of subjects.
If you are looking for the ideal Christmas present, blacksmithing or beekeeping experience days might be just what you are looking for. I can supply you with a pdf gift card to print and give to the lucky person, with the date for the ‘day’ to be set later.
Full details of my experience days this year can be found on this link.
Whether you are interested in finding out more about beekeeping or blacksmithing, I can tailor make a day for you.
In a day designed around what you want to achieve and learn, a beekeeping experience day will involve opening up hives and gaining an understanding of how the hive lives and thrives.
Meanwhile, on a blacksmithing experience day, I first work with you before the day to understand what you would like to make on my outdoor forge.
I then work on your idea to make it something you can make, with a little help from me when needed. Alternatively, you can make a hanging basket bracket incorporating a number of blacksmithing techniques, to learn more about the art.
On the day itself you will learn key forge techniques and make something to take away and treasure.
“Thank you for such an amazing day!”
“We both had a great day and my wife is very impressed that we managed to produce such beautiful work – all of which was thanks to your excellent coaching. You made great use of our time and I’m still amazed that we managed to do quite so much in a few short hours.” – Patrick
“Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and patience with us.” – Karen and Graham
“Wow what an amazing candle holder Dan made..I was gobsmacked….I absolutely loved it…thank you, Dan had an amazing time and hasn’t stopped talking about it….” – Leonie
“Thanks so much for making Henry’s day so enjoyable yesterday. He had a truly fabulous time and loved every minute of it. I am amazed and delighted at the sculpture he made in the time he had – his DT teacher was equally impressed. I think we have started something here! If you ever hear of any trainee opportunities, please let us know. He was still smiling at 3.30am when I woke him to go on his school trip to France.” – Rachel
Visit my students page to see some of the items they made.
This week saw my mum’s 80th birthday, and with it a gathering of friends and family.
At the recent Malvern Autumn show we met a wonderful poet, Erin Bolens.
She was there as a part of a Poetry Takeaway event, where you give the poet some interesting facts about a person and then return later in the day to collect the poem.
It was a wonderful poem, which I read out at the party as a part of the toast, as in the main picture above.
It was also the official unveiling day for the poppy sculpture.
I will do another post showing the process of making the sculpture over the last few months, but here it is in its finished form. We delivered and assembled it a day early to make sure it was all OK.
Following the earlier success, it was time to make another fused glass table top.
The above picture shows the final top, as fitted to a table I made on the forge a while back.
It uses a very large industrial gear as the top, with organic forged legs held in place with a leaf wrap.
The process to produce the table top is the same as that on the table top on my last post. It took 4 stages of firing to turn the basic cut glass into the final design, as shown in the pictures below.
This one was based on our favourite flower, the fuchsia. It never fails to amaze me how the colours come out, just as they do when firing the glaze on ceramics. The picture on the left shows the first stage with the cut glass on the white background. The picture on the right is the end product, 4 firings and about 5 days later.
I’ve been working on a fused glass table top. It was designed to replace a mosaic top on a table I made from an old tractor wheel. The mosaic had suffered from last winter’s cold snap, flaking off.
The design was inspired by the agapanthus flowers we see along the roadside and in gardens all over South Africa.
The pictures below show the 3 stages of fusing. Ultimately the glass is fused ‘upside down’ to give it a flat and slip free surface. This is the same process I used with my carved oak tray.