Still learning

Yesterday we finished another chair-making course and yet again, eight people ended up with some lovely chairs. We had to take the group photo before the seats were all finished, so that the early-birds could return home in time – Roger will weave the seat for his armchair rocker at leisure. We pushed forward Patrick’s advances in fitting the arms by fixing the chair to a bench, so we could use a sliding bevel for aligning the drilling angle into the rear legs. Regina’s spindle-back was completed with a ‘mixed media’ seat, using the new Danish cord for the warp and bark for the weft forming a diamond pattern, which completed the ‘wabi sabi’ look very sweetly. Next time, we’ll not use a tension stick, when forming the warp, so that the cord is tighter. We’ll also try 11 blocks of warp instead of 9. The tight weaves with Danish cord were hard work and I think it is better suited to simpler patterns with wider blocks, like the paper rush seat on Phil’s splendid tall lath-back on the end of the row.

End of first day blogging

Hey – this is alright – not perfect but shows potential. I still haven’t worked out how to approve Clive’s comment – sorry, so may not be able to post any other comments – unless you tell me how.

The photo of Sigrid & Nick has to be clicked on to so you can see the full picture but I expect you know that.

If I can exercise the self-discipline, this blog might take the place of my course scrapbook.

I’ll try the camcorder next – oohh can’t wait!

Past bed-time. Goodnight.

Mike

Mike’s first solo post

Treading very gingerly, here is the first thing I have put on this blog all by myself. Firstly thanks to Rob for getting the newsletter onto the blog – including the first paragraph which somehow got missed out. Secondly, thanks to Clive for the comments on here – it was great to have you around again after all that time.

We started back in with courses this Saturday after the 6 week horsefly break – still quite a few around but they should disappear again soon. We have a new deputy assistant called Sherene, who is steadily finding her feet out there and working very hard at keeping the place functioning as smoothly as it was with Jack and Leo. Of course Tom is still on fine form but realised today that he is now 2/3rds of the way through his time with me. Blackberries are now ripening, apples are ripening at home, so our first blackberry and apple crumble should happen any day now.

My next project is to work out how to add photos and then film to this blog.

For the 300+ of you who are wanting to keep abreast of developments in 21st Century green-wood chair-making having bought a copy of the new book!! ……

The first change is in bending back legs. We have now gone back to using the lever as described in Living Wood pages 162 & 182, rather than the rocker system described on p127 of GWG (Going with the Grain). Unless you have really big jaws on the sash-clamp, the jig tends to force its way out of the clamp, requiring extra clamps to prevent this – just a bit of a pain compared to the lever. I do like the new leg forming jig with the stronger bend and this works well with the lever – we grip the jig very tightly in the vice, so that we can remove the legs still gripped to the bending former and put the whole lot into the warm box to set – a bit of inspiration from Guy Mallinson on that one.

I have to say that I really like pages iv & v of GWG which locates every double page of the ‘how to’ section, so it’s dead quick to find whatever subject you want.
I’m going to see if I can upload this before we all fall asleep.

More to follow over the next few days,
Mike