Friday, 3 April 2009

Seaside treasures (doors closed!)

Seaside treasures (doors open!)

This cupboard started life as a totally different piece and was destined to have a large carved oak door. When I'd finished it, it felt a bit heavy and cumbersome so I took the door off (saved in my workshop for another piece one day) and made it into an open display cabinet. Inspired by the Scilly Isles I made a little boat to go inside a small inner cupboard. You wouldn't believe how long the boat took. I carved and shape the hull by hand, steamed wooden strips for the gunwhales and even made miniature doweling pegs out of cocktail sticks etc., etc. Mad! I'm hoping I can put it up in my office, when I get round to decorating, where I can display my favourite seaside treasures.

Catch of the day

Ship ahoy!

Sail away!

These yachts (not strictly seaworthy!) I make with my wife, Jane. She makes the sails and I make the hull and mast. We make them in all sizes and I even made a big ocean steamer once. Someone bought that before I had a chance to photograph it unfortunately.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Green sea glass wall cupboard

Whenever I look at this picture it reminds me that I really want to make more furniture with glass in it. I have a whole range of ideas in my sketch book that I want to try, a lot of it with fused glass. (Soon I hope). Yet again it will have that sea sidey feel and will probably lend itself best to bathroom cabinets or display cupboards for those who want somewhere to rightly show off their beach 'treasure'!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Tall green 4-door cupboard

This is one of my favourite pieces and I got the idea for it whilst doodling in my sketch book at the Harrogate Gift Fair a few years back when things went rather quiet. Each door has a different infill material. Glass at the top, then aged copper, perforated zinc and wooden slats at the bottom, plus a secret compartment! It's quite tall and stands at around 7 feet high. The 'optional' fish, which hang either side, were to give it that little sea side flavour.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Mackerel on plaster

The inspiration for this piece came from seeing a painting at a friends house. Our friends Barbara and Barry, who own and run the Countryworks Gallery in Montgomery, Powys, have a 'painting' at home (I can't remember what the subject was) which was almost like a mini fresco that had been broken. It was mounted and put in a frame and I thought it was really interesting. This mackerel was an early experiment and before that I played around with different plaster and cement mixes and made notes as I went along. I just used watercolour paint and it went on really easily, I remember. My intention had then been to make a more authentic looking piece (as if it was an ancient section of a fresco) but made up of pieces as if it had got broken at some point and then roughly assembled with the pieces not quite touching. Unfortunately I got my notes muddled and I never did manage to replicate the plaster concrete mix. Whenever I applied the paint it just didn't go on very well. I may have a go again one day as I liked the effect. I'm sure with trial and error I'll get it right eventually!

Avalon cupboard

I call this the Avalon cupboard only because I had it in the Avalon Gallery in Marazion near Penzance for a while before bringing it home. Its now in our guest bathroom. There's that mackerel plaster painting hanging above it.

Egg Emporium

Here's the Christmas present I made Jane a some years back. It's all made from a door very kindly donated by my friend and aerobics teacher, Jan Phillips, when we lived in Shropshire. The great thing about the door was that it had many layers of gloss paint, built up over many years, so it was great sanding this back to give it its very aged and distressed look. It took a while to make and although I designed it on paper first it kind of evolved as it went along. The letters are hand carved, the recess into which they sit was routed out partly freehand and partly using a wooden template I had to make first. The door never seemed to quite fit and took hours of careful sanding and the painting took a while too, with several false starts as it really wasn't working. I hate to say it but I didn't finally finish it until Easter time (fitting I suppose!) and gave it to Jane at 11pm on Good Friday. Well, to be fair to me, I was only able to work on it some weekends. 

Egg Emporium door open

Notice the tiny hinged door in the sky. This was difficult to make but when you open it there's a little wooden 'cradle' attached to the inside of the door just big enough to hold one egg. The idea was that if you were cooking and just needed one more egg in a hurry and only had one hand free it would be simple to open and egg that 'emergency' egg!