The workshop is pretty busy at the moment, in between dodging all the spiders I'm just about managing to get some carving done! And I've also been guilty of doing a spot of shopping. Yeah...I may have bought a few gouges....
But they were purchased on the advice of Charles Oldham, and to ignore the advice of a master carver would be foolish indeed.
I was also very fortunate to have the opportunity to be shown around the beautiful Farnham Castle last week by Louise who works there and who I met after she commissioned me to carve into a puzzle bench for her children's school. I would recommend a visit if you're in the area, some lovely carvings and such a rich history spanning 900 years. A wedding was being set up when I was there so I couldn't get any wonderful photos of the fireplace but you should get the idea.
Also of interest if you're into such things was the recent BBC 4 programme on an oak tree...sounds geeky?...well it was a bit. But it was very interesting and although I knew I owe a lot to oak trees, it turns out the whole nation does. Skip to 38:40 for some lovely views of Salisbury Cathedral's roof and a rather cute squirrel also features!
I've started work on a couple of oak grotesques and, although far from finished, the photos left hopefully show you how the first one is progressing. It's great to have an opportunity to design something from scratch and slowly see that idea come to fruition.
Last year I carved 14 bookends in oak and elm which were given out as awards, this year it's the same again but 17! Below shows the various sections cut out and ready for sanding, carving the design has now begun and with it the perfect reason to try out some of those new gouges!