Forged Obelisk

blacksmith obeliskI have been finishing off the forged obelisk I started last week. As a recap, below I am including the pictures of the forging process for the top. The obelisk is 2m high and 0.5m diameter. The outline design is based on obelisks I have made for our garden. Our friend designed the flowing shape of the top herself, the finial is based on the design of a sculpture I made to represent a flower form.

It is finished in zinc undercoat, for rust protection, and silk black paint.




blacksmith obelisk forgeblacksmith obelisk on forgeblacksmith obelisk top

Ideal Christmas gift: beekeeping experience day

The ideal gift for that impossible-to-buy-for person, or for someone who thinks they might like to keep bees (but isn’t quite sure):  a beekeeping experience day.

beekeeping frameFor anyone who has ever wondered what is in a hive, or what it might be like to hold a frame of bees, watching them make honey and bring in pollen, whilst witnessing the wondrous moment of a fluffy new bee emerging from a cell, then this is for them, or you.

An ‘experience’ session will last about 3 to 3 1/2 hours in total, sometimes longer; I don’t watch the clock when we are playing with the bees. It is usually an afternoon to early-evening activity.

We will spend as long as necessary getting you comfortable with being around the bees in my garden apiary, before opening up the hives to take a look.

You can then do as much as you are comfortable doing, whilst I show you what is in the hives and how the bees live.  I have kept bees for 20 years, and have a lot of experience working with people who are nervous around bees. I have yet to have any visitor, from 8 years old and up, who hasn’t finished up comfortable holding a frame of bees and gone home inspired and uplifted by the experience.

If you want a stress-busting experience away from that life behind a desk, then this is for you. You simply can’t rush beekeeping, you have to slow down.

So what does it cost?

The price for 1 person is £70, for two £100 and for 3 £125.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult.

I don’t mix groups, so you will have a personal day. if you pay for one person then it will be exactly that, just you with my full attention.

I am fully insured and have all the protective equipment you will need, including full length suits and gloves. All I ask is that you bring wellington boots to wear, as it may be a little muddy.

What will you receive?

I will send you a bee-themed gift card explaining the day, which you can give as a gift, or keep as a treat for yourself. The exact date can be booked later. Courses are available 7 days a week.  It is of course weather-dependent and will likely be from late March onwards, as we cannot open a hive when the temperature is below 13 degC. The voucher will be valid for bookings at any time during 2016.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for pictures, so that you have a souvenir of your day.

To book, or if you have any questions, please do send me a message.

Forge day

forge day 3Given that yesterday was forecast as wet and windy, I thought it perfect to get the forge out and have a day hitting hot metal.

My forge is obviously outside, which has its good and bad sides.  The open air can be a double edged sword of course and today I hardly needed the  blower.





forge day 1forge day 4
I started off with the finial for an obelisk I am making for a friend and moved on to a stand for a gallon (literally) kettle, bought from a local reclaim centre.





forge day 2forge day 5I also hardened off the surface of the portable anvil I made a few weeks ago, so that it now has a nice ring to it. To say it needed a big fire is an understatement, but at least it gave me the opportunity to try out the new heat baffle I made to protect the forge base. It obviously worked.

Flame working glass course

We have just returned from the National Glass Centre where, as a surprise birthday present, we did a course on flame working glass rod with Zoe Garner.

The venue is impressive and our tutor, for just four of us, was organised, patient and worked to our comfort rather than her schedule. She was great.

glass flame working

flameworking glass course

flame working glass course







The course was to make glass chains, but we all digressed into our own designs. For me, once I had made some basic chain designs, I decided to make a new version of my logo. If  Google can have a new logo style each day then I am sure I can manage a couple a month.