I am an Essex based WI approved speaker and give talks and demonstrations on an eclectic mix of subjects.
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.
The final stage of making our 25th wedding anniversary celebration bench was to make the slats for the seating. These were made from oak, from another plank bought from the National Trust, Ickworth wood fair.
It took quite a bit of cutting and planing to produce the slats, but the results are very pleasing.
Below is a picture of the completed bench in the garden.
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:
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: