Celebration bench part 2

Following on from my last post, it was now time to start rebuilding the bench.

The first part I made was the back. I chose a lovely piece of oak, which I had in store for about 3 years since buying it at the Ickworth wood fair. It was felled from the estate, so has provenance, and I have the reassurance that it was part of an active RHS woodland management process.

The design is based on the script we made for our wedding party invitations, with added ribbons curling to the ends. Having cut the plank to the basic shape to fit the cast ends, I blew up the design, then stuck it to the wood before carving through it.

As an added touch I also decided to carve the back of this piece. Hardly anyone will ever see it, but that’s not the point.

I chose a sunflower design. It starts with a simple relief in a plate sized piece before carving out the detail:



Celebration bench

For a while now I have been working on a special bench. A 25th wedding anniversary present to ourselves.

It all started with a chance purchase from one of our favourite junk shops in Hexham in November 2018. The owners were sitting outside the shop having a cup of tea. They were seated on a small Victorian cast end bench, which was for sale.

We had to buy it. 10 minutes later we were ‘feeding’ it into the car.

As we had assumed, all the woodwork was rotten, but the cast ends held much promise, and an opportunity for some wood carving.

Having borrowed some tools from the farm we stay at, the rotten wood was removed so that we could more easily load it into the car with all our other bits and pieces. My starting point was thus set, with an awful lot of work to do: