Tuesday 18 October 2011

Cranbourne Chase Woodfair

What a joy to go to a well organised woodfair in the south of England. After the Tree Fest at Westonbirt
I realised that shows have not been good for me this year, and sales have been down by a very significant amount. I have had growth year on year for the last 18 years of trading, this year has been a wake up call. I am in the non essential and luxury goods market and people are cutting back, big time.
Dan and I had a great time at the show, always good to met up with people again, and make new friends. We met a few people who we know from the Bodgers forum, and it is always good to put a face to the name. It was good on Saturday night, talking to Kim and Tim of Former Glory and then being joined by Owen Jones and Jeremy Atkinson, and then Neil Taylor who bought me that last fatal drink.

This Woodfair runs competitions. Four prizes for 4 categories. This year I won the Peoples Choice. This is by public vote and the people chose me and my hummingbird supping nectar from a wooden flower. The prize was a beautiful box by Mathew Burt who judged the three other categories.

It is fantastic to be voted best in show, but during these hard economic times I do need to find new ways of selling my work, especially finding out more about advertising and marketing. If anyone has any ideas please contact me.
 Rod Poynting`s oak gate topped with copper caps.
Will Witham`s whale and fish puzzle. I have known Will for many years and he only lives a few miles away. He works mainly on the fretsaw.
Neil Taylors table/bench, pickled with vinegar and iron to blacken it. Neil has worked with Gudren Luitz and Mike Abbot. The tooled finish is stunning.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Dan`s drawknife

Dan has been telling me all about the drawknife he has been making in his spare evenings. But when I saw it I was gobsmacked! It was indeed impressive. To pile on the admiration for Dan, I was even more surprised when he said he made it in the 2-brick kiln he made in my forge and tool making workshop that I ran last year.
 It just happened by chance that I wrote about how to handle a draw-knife just after Dan showed me his un-tempered knife.

I gave the drawknife a go and it works like a dream. Dan learnt a lot from the process and will change a few things next time. The tangs are a bit big at the curve and the handles are to big for my liking. Small things really, that will get changed next time, but this is how we learn. I am so impressed, what an amazing first drawknife.
This is the 2-brick forge that Dan made in my workshop.

Some of the tools made on the workshop. I think this years workshop in Oct is full, but you can always come and do a 1 or 2 day one-to-one workshop with me.