I am an Essex based WI approved speaker and give talks and demonstrations on an eclectic mix of subjects.
First is the hanging basket bracket.
These two were made by Patrick and his daughter Charlotte.
I use this design to help people who want to learn a number of techniques, but don’t have a specific item they want to make.
The important thing to remember is that the day is yours. If you have something specific you would like to make then, before the day, I will help to develop your idea into something you can make in a day on the forge.
Some of the other things made include:
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.
I have held a few experience days over the year and wanted to share a few pictures.
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
It has been a busy weekend. Over the last few months I have been working, on and off, on an oak tray. It will eventually take the glass fern sheet I previously blogged about.
This is where I was up to before the weekend began.
The rope edging was prepared as a cylindrical shape and I had a piece of nylon rope to copy.
The oak is hard and difficult to carve, but it should give a wonderful deep colour and grain.
The picture below shows the tray after about 22 hours of carving. The most difficult bit is getting the strands in the right place as they move around a bend. The piece of rope was invaluable in seeing what actually happens to the strands as the rope bends and moves.
The section at the top of the tray is closest to being finished and that to the right little more than the initial outline marked.
There is still much to do.
Life has been a little busy over the last few weeks. The vegetables and fruit have been growing faster than we can eat, freeze, store or make jam from.
We are particularly pleased with the tomatoes. Having lost all of our 30 plus plants to tomato blight last year, this year we spent some time researching blight resistant varieties.
We picked 10 of the best and haven’t had a problem with any. We have grown them in a variety of places from a polytunnel to a greenhouse and out in the open.
Remembering just how much rain we have suffered this summer, it is amazing that they have shown not a single sign of blight. The results speak for themselves…N0w must go, I have a couple of buckets of runner beans in need of picking.
Having tried out a few different techniques for glass fusing with ferns, and finalising the best, I have now moved on to the main reason for all this, the insert for the oak tray I am currently carving.
I started with 3 ferns coated with green glass powder.
These were fused to a sheet of clear glass.
With the carbon residue from the ferns themselves removed, this left the glass powder behind, reflecting the fern shape and form.
Next the sheet was turned upside down and a sheet of opaque white glass put on top, as the background.
This meant that what was to become the top surface was against the kiln plate. The reason I did it this was around was to give the top surface a textured finish to match the fern feel. The glossy, shiny top surface of the glass in then on the bottom and hidden.
The result is below:
I have tried to show the silk surface texture in this picture.
All I need to do now is complete the oak tray which this will be inserted into.