‘Tis but a bell-jar

crock 1crock 2 With thanks to Bath Potters: I’d run out of blue glaze and the clock was ticking on the order – my glaze powder arrived the next day. Excellent service as always, and probably the best stoneware glazes on the planet.

In use, the LH jar contains a little cool water, the RH jar is filled with butter. RH jar upside down in LH jar for cool storage, RH jar as shown for serving. Cool eh?

A Butter Carrillon

butter crocks -1I hadn’t heard of butter bell crocks ( I lead a quiet life) until Jean asked me to make one for her. The throwing is slightly technical (they will fit, it’s just the lens that makes them look too big).

Sharp readers will have noticed the change of blog name. The paddling posts will be moved to their own site in due course.

A nose-job for Gnu Gnu

steam bend -1Some old drainpipe and a wallpaper-stripper made a surprisingly effective steam-bender, even if the pipe is now banana shaped. Once dry, the three ash laminates will be glued together then shaped to form the inner stem, to which the ends of the strip planks will be fixed. This has been a lovely job on a very rainy day.

Not Piddling but Paddling

pipiI fortuitously pulled up alongside this sign while checking the map for the way to the river. With apologies to Stevie Smith, it gave a good cue for a title.To see the video on YouTube, click (or double click)  the link below:

A Quick Trip on the Vienne

It should auto-play, but if you get a big red splodge with white dots, click on that.



The Cause of True Love?

002 FormersGnu Gnu, as she is now known, has form if not substance, and she is beautiful in her  transcendence, but her metamorphosis from sleek  long planks of red cedar is in abeyance. Over the phone the timber yard had said they could  cut  the planks into  1/4″  strips and profile the edges into bead and coving, but face-to-face they demurred, so it will be my hands that give shape to Gnu Gnu‘s intimate hidden detail. Which will be a lot of work. And a lot of sawdust and a lot of wood-shavings. Isn’t there something about that in A Midsummer Night’s Dream ?

We Have the Technology

Breakfast stop on the Chichester Canal

When Oscar Goldman murmurred these words prior to reconstructing Steve Austin he certainly wasn’t about to go for a paddle. But I was, and in searching for a title afterwards I first considered ‘As I Went Out One Morning’ (Bob Dylan), ‘Quite Early One Morning’ (Dylan Thomas), or or ‘As I Went Out One Mid-Summer Morning’ (Laurie Lee). Dylan won the Tom Paine Award for the song, which references Tom Paine, and Tom Paine had a strong link with Chichester, so it all goes round and round.

I wanted to post a video here, but it would cost me 60$ a year for the facility, so double click the following link to see the footage on YouTube:

As I Paddled Out One Mid-Summer Morning

The video is crudely edited – I’m still low on the learning curve – but things can only get better, as we once believed before TB cosied up to GWB.

Postscript: The video originally had  Dylan’s song, from the John Wesley Harding album, as a soundtrack. Due to understandable copyright restrictions, it was  blocked by YouTube. I have replaced it with a free-to-play track by Lunasa, but which carries a payload of adverts. Sorry!

Gnu Gnu

001 StrongbackThe new canoe is in the making, and one of my worst (?best) puns may yet become its name. The photo shows the strongback in the making, and on which the canoe proper will be built. The plans were bought from Bear Mountain Boats in Canada, and the Western Red Cedar for the planking will come from Canada too, via a timber yard in Southampton. The design is old-school ‘Prospector’, proven and pleasing.The construction is modern: strip-planking soaked in epoxy and protected with glassfibre mat. It won’t be a quick build.