I am an Essex based WI approved speaker and give talks and demonstrations on an eclectic mix of subjects.
I know it has been a while since I last posted, but circumstances have conspired against me.
Apart from WordPress introducing a baffling new layout which I find infuriating and leaving me not wanting to fight my way through it to post here, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy, especially in relation to the bees.
Below is an amazing picture, where the queen and bees have decided to lay some brood in precisely the shape of a hexagon, within a frame of stored food. This is the shape they use for each cell in their comb, as it is the most efficient use of space. To then use it on a larger scale for the brood pattern is one of those amazing things bees do.
At last it’s time to finish off my weather vane posts. I last left the story with the base of the weather vane in zinc undercoat. I finished off the pig for the ‘wind’ part from plasma cut aluminium and balanced it on a rod with a curly tail end for decoration and balance. This fitted over the vertical part of the main vane stem with a greased ball bearing to allow it to swing easily in the wind.
With the whole assembly screwed in place of the original tatty weather vane, I was quite pleased with the result.
Here is a close up of the pig:
I know I have been remiss in not posting the picture of the finished weather vane, but in the meantime, Happy Xmas to everyone. Be kind.
I am overdue part 2 of my weather vane project, so here goes.
This is of course the main body after zinc undercoating.
it weighs about 3 times as much as the ‘shop bought’ one it replaces and should last a lot more than 3 times as long. I have added some twists and scrolls to the design, partly for strength but mainly for decoration.
I have also added my trademark, and favourite, use of organic scrolls along with industrial rivets in the strapping design to support the vertical post. A quick bit of compass work also confirmed the need for a twist in the post to get it perfectly aligned.
Now to the N, E, S and W indicators and the all important vane itself.
I have been thinking for a while that I need to replace the shop bought weather vane, currently sitting over the garage, with a proper blacksmith made weather vane.
The current weather vane, as seen here, was bought about 20 years ago from a garden centre somewhere long forgotten.
It was chosen more for its subject matter than its overall design, pigs being a favourite of my wife.
However, over recent years the weather has taken its toll and I have had to make a few running repairs to the arms. From a distance it still looks OK, but for a while I have wanted to make a slightly more ornate weather vane before the old one falls apart.
So now I have set the scene, the work began. The one stipulation was that it must have the same basic pig design. I therefore started by taking a photograph of the pig and blowing it up onto aluminium sheet, but more of that to come.