Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Norwegian Independence Day!

For all the Norwegians (or half-Norwegians like me) out there, Happy 17th of May! Do you have your aquavit ready? How appropriate that we are making a galleon, when athentic aquavit should have travelled in casks on ships across the equator twice, in order to age (Linie Aquavit has the details of each bottles journey on it's label!)

If you were guessing about the strange brass implement in our last blog, it is actually the brass infrastructure to the galleon. It was constructed to lock the three masts of the ship to the mainshaft of the weathervane. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was an apprentice.

Our last galleon was done as a sculpture back when we first opened a studio at Cockington Court Craft Centre in 1999!

For anyone who has been following the blog, the final heron photo selection has been made, and a new page added to the website.

The day now feels weird and still...like a storm is brewing or a full moon is about to rise!
The cow farmer next door has put two mother & calves on our upper field. We want them to maybe knock a few nettles down, but they seem more interested in staring at the soay sheep and hanging out in the little wooden shed.

The boys have been having a time of it, retrieving stray footballs from the field with the bull. It think they may be kicking them over on purpose!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Triton's Trident?

What is this strange brass implement, you may ask.

I'll give you a hint. It is the infrastructure for our next project...and no I don't mean the running wild boar.
Any guesses? 
All will be revealed tomorrow.

So we delivered both the heron and the gilt weathercock to their new homes & it was Friday the 13th! We took over 80 photos of the heron, in between rain showers, trying to capture it's glory. Driving to the client's house, Gordon had to pull over on the side of the road a few times, and set up a photo shoot! Anything for a good picture on a blustery day.

The weathercock delivery was also memorable. Hard hats and up five stories of scaffolding , atop a gorgeous restored building, looking out across the most beautiful English countryside. Heights are so exhilirating!

And finally, at around 11pm, we got round to making our scarecrow for the Tyberton village fete. We installed it this morning on the scarecrow trail around the lakes, and Spider (the labrador) got his first ride in the back of the pick up truck and a swim to boot. It's a dogs life.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Finishing Touches

We put the finishing touches to the heron today. Bronzing the legs is always a bit treacherous, as the molten metal moves in it's own contentious way (almost like lava, it seems to shift, collapse & slump along under the thinnest of "skins").
Fixed the long wispy feathers behind the heron's head (what are these called?), and closed the tummy to the shaft. "She" goes into the bath now, to soak off all the sediment and flux. The brass gets cleaned with acid, and then the whole piece gets waxed with bowling alley wax to make it shine.

I think I have a wasps nests at the door of the studio. Not the best place considering the flag stone steps. It will challenge our "no spray" policy.  It's amazing how many types of bees hover & disappear into the old "Tyberton" brick.
Finished reading The House at Pooh Corner to my youngest tonight. It's always quite strange to re-read something from your childhood...although I was admittedly more of a Pippi Longstocking fan. Can anyone else recite Good Night Moon (Good night Moon, good night room, good night light and the red balloon). Amazing what you find has been lodged in your brain. For some strange reason I can also recite Patrick Henry's speech (It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may call Peace Peace, but there is not peace. The war has actually begun...).

Browsing through our first The World of Interiors. Such a relief to be looking at interior spaces like the Calder Foundation's galleries in New York. Wouldn't you rather live there! With the Miro paintings on the wall and all that lovely white space.

Watch the movie "Once". Lovely Irish film.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Happy Labrador

Our 12 year old Black Labrador loves the water...too bad we're landlocked in Herefordshire. Thank God for the River Wye!

One of the gilt weathercocks we made for Brown's Hotel in Tavistock, has found a new home. The original pair of vanes were commissioned as purely decorative (to sit in the grand front windows of the five star hotel). Based on the weathercock on Riga cathedral, these weathervanes were in fact designed NOT  to function, with the mainshaft  positioned too far back for adequate downwind surface area. One of the pair has come back to the studio to be altered to function and should be installed next week.

Started work on a wild Boar weathervane and a large Galleon. Signed up for h.Art (Herefordshire's Open Studio event in September) and organizing our first course to run alongside the event.

"Metalsmithing Course: a beginner’s guide to copper"

Create three-dimensional ornaments from sheet copper. This one day course will introduce students to repousse metalsmithing. Topics covered will include raising, chasing, pattern making and shaping, with a focus on completing a finished design. No experience necessary. Materials and tools provided. Bring your own lunch. Discounts for attending multiple classes.
Dates: September 10th (Sat.), 13th (Tues.), 15th (Thurs.), 17th (Sat.)

Time: (1 hr. lunch)

Cost: £100 including materials (lunch not included, coffee & tea provided)

Additional info.:  Maximum 6 students, discounts for groups and multiple class bookings.