Bertie too

My latest woodworking project has been the creation of Bertie 2.

I need to explain. Bertie is ‘my’ first pet. Not many people of 50 something can say that their childhood pet is still alive, but mine is. Bertie was/is the family tortoise. He is at least 60 years old. He now lives with my sister.

As we don’t have the real Bertie, I decided that I would make my own wooden version.

As usual I will go through some of the stages in order to get to the finished piece.

Above is the real Bertie. He is about 20cm long, so a small tortoise.

My Bertie began with the choice of wood.

I decided to use London Plane, otherwise known as Lace wood.

It has a lovely grain. I cut it across the heart wood so that the lace look would come out across the shell.

Part 1 was the taking of a number pf pictures by my nephew, with Bertie placed on graph paper so that I could take key measurements.

Stage 1 of the carving process is below. Having selected the orientation to bring out the grain,  I gradually formed the outline shape using my new home made carving stand based on a towing ball.








Blacksmith poppies, the seed heads

The final stage of the poppy is of course the instantly recognisable seed head.

I made 2 for the sculpture.

I don’t have any pictures part way through, but they are made from 2 inch tube.

This is pinched top and bottom to create the stem and neck. The top is then flared out and shaped to create the feathered edge and the base pinched in to blend in with the stem.

There was then a rather long process of setting up the sculpture ready for my mum’s 80th birthday party.

There were many elements to arrange, with viewing points from the garden and the house windows. They then all needed setting into the stone.

An hour or so later and all was finished.