Saturday, 30 March 2013

Quick update...

So it's now officially the Easter holidays and as of today I will be away from the forge for two weeks!! I'm happy to have a holiday, but also can't wait to get back to the forge and continue the projects I've been working on. It does give me time to work on some other things I've been meaning to do for a while now, like sort out my workshop and finish some work on my violin which has been waiting for a year to be finished!

The curtain rail brackets I mentioned in the last post have been coming along nicely and all I really need to do is figure out which designs work best together and then have a final check with the clients. I made up a few different versions of the ends of the brackets which will be fixed to the roof.
As you can see I've just been experimenting with splitting the flat bar, forging out tendrils and then working them into scrolls. I'm not sure how many tendrils work best or how thick they need to be...I think the biggest one in this picture needs to have thicker tendrils, but I might leave it for now and carry on with some design sketches for the rest of the brackets and see where that leads.
I have six brackets to make but may have to make another two for extra support at the walls where the curtain will gather. The two on the right are made out of smaller section, but I decided that they didn't quite look right. I think I might make them into hooks or hinges at some point so the material doesn't go to waste.

So that's what I've been working on this week!

I hope that you all remember that the clocks spring forward tonight...

Have a great Easter Sunday, take care and I hope you have a lovely day wherever you are :)

P.S.The music of the morning for me was a cover of 'Walk through the World' which is a great acoustic track to get this sunny day started, so give it a listen here if you have time!

Monday, 25 March 2013


Apparently it's Spring, but as far as I'm concerned the snow outside suggests Winter hasn't realised it's nearly April...

I've been really busy for about a month now with little time to think about writing anything. I said goodbye to the last group of students which was quite sad, but hopefully they all go on to do well. I ended up covering the class for several days and got to know them quite well by the end of the course. I also went to Ireland for the first time in my life, and it was absolutely lovely. I did a bit of teaching with the engineering/agricultural students who I've never met before and they were all great. They needed to make a pry bar and a chisel and learn how to temper the metal.

I admit I was a little nervous at the thought of teaching ten students I had never seen on my own for the day, but I got in a little earlier than usual, set up all the fires, got materials and tools ready and then had a wee practice of making the tools myself.

I actually find it quite fun doing demonstrations because once I get into the swing of things (excuse the pun...) I like being able to talk about what I'm doing.
It teaches the students what they need to know and gives me a bit of confidence in what I'm doing because I realise that, yes, I do know what I'm doing after all.

I had three different groups over two weeks and had no problems at all apart from the odd fire exploding over me. Luckily I'm pretty quick on my feet so no burns to report!

I've been working on some designs in the evenings after work so I'll be able to make a few samples then get started on the final design after the go ahead from the clients.

Today I was working on my own projects and has been the best day in a long time thanks to my wonderful colleague. After spending the day doing some samples for a set of curtain rail brackets, we headed out to the site to check some dimensions and figure out where the best fixings were. The visit went well as the clients have a better idea of what's possible and I have a clear idea of what the final design is going to be. (I will post some pictures of the work in progress when I have a spare moment which should be soon because I am off for two weeks on Friday! I will also finally post some pictures of one of my favourite commissions to date.)
After heading back towards Linlithgow, I was invited in for a meal en route, and how could I refuse after a hard days work? The food was excellent, the company delightful and the home was charming, cosy and every bit as lovely and quirky as its inhabitants.

Tomorrow I'll start work on one of the brackets and try and make some more small pieces of work to sell over the Easter break. The next lot of students are now in their second week so the workshop is a lot warmer during the day which is just as well because I think this cold spell is going to last for a while.

Take care and thanks for reading!