Normal’ish’ service should be resumed now as I’ve just returned from a busman’s holiday at the New Forest Show. It’s full on work really, but as it’s not commercially viable abd with the bonus of a few days camping in the Forest. I count it as a woodsman’s holiday otherwise I can’t easily justify it.
Thank you to all of the Hampshire Coppice Craftsmen’s Group who put up with me for the duration of the show and especially to Alan and Jo Waters for being such good company with their traditional pimps, faggots and benders (he says knowing full well that the hit rate on the site will go through the roof just by mentioning the words pimps, faggots and benders) which in this case are traditional coppice products. The Sussex Pimp is a round bale of 25 bundles of birch firelighters (just to the left of the sign in the picture), a faggot is a larger bale of birch – often used in ovens – and the bender is a traditional woodland pole and canvas shelter.
Sadly I didn’t seem to be such good company as Alan promptly fell asleep despite the crowds and the band playing. I guess a good charcollier can always catch a quick nap and he is probably saving up for the upcoming Earthburn in Ashdown forest in a few days time – all visitors welcome – excuse the blatant plug!
A new development at this year’s show. The emergence of Dave the Trug Dealer ! Pssst, wanna buy a trug? Is nowhere safe these days?
Dick Apps, a long time polelathe turner who demonstrated for close on 30years at the show, turned up on Wednesday and couldn’t resist showing that he hasn’t lost his touch. With immaculate timing he turned up just as I furtively applied a quick sandpaper finish to a rolling pin. Sorry – but I find even with the best finish I can achieve -that they sell quicker and at a higher price with a quick sand and then a burnish. Needless to say there was a quick round of ‘I say, Is that shark skin you’re using!’ . Thank you Dick and I look forward to seeing you looking just as well next year.
A little challenge turned up along the way. A new lure handle for one of the falconry team – not too difficult and it’s always interesting to do something a litle different.
I spent most of the time working on a few bowls. This one is ash and I made life quite hard for myself as the wood is fairly dry and the blank far too big, too deep and nothing like circular enough,
I am pleased that the lathe worked, though disappointed by how slowly I worked – I shall be hunting down some fresher wood to try instead. A challenge with all the wood I stored for bowls rapidly seasoning in the hot weather. The lathe was quite stable with the bowls but very unstable for spindles – so some futher tweaks are needed.
Plenty of greenwood on display in the ‘Old Time Farming’ section of the show and I shall be putting up a gallery of pictures shortly. These tent pegs were part of Terry Heard’s mountain of product. Nice one Terry.
I did get out a bit on my bike to wander around the forest between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst, necessary for me to escape the crowds and noice inside the show. These burrs would delight a turner but then it’s a shame to cut down such a natural totem pole and good that the FC left this one in place. It will take me quite a while to recover but I think I might just be back again next year.