Thursday, 29 November 2012


 Carrying on with my quest to use up all the branch wood I have laying around I thought, as Christmas is almost upon us, I would knock up a log reindeer to go with all those mushrooms I have for sale out the front of the house. My plans of selling it were however immediately scuppered when I showed it to my wife and kids, my three year old son Dylan spotted it, heard us discussing what price to put on it and said in a rather distressed way ................. "NO DADDY! Don't sell Rudolph."  Well what could I say?..............
Log Deer

 He (the deer not Dylan) has Yew legs and tail,a Walnut body, head and neck and his antlers are Hawthorn twigs from our Hedge.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Colour Series Pieces

Carved and Coloured Hollow Forms

  Enough Mushroom madness for a bit!!! lol.  This trio of my  'Colour Series' pieces has been a few weeks in the making. I have been working on them when I have had the chance.  This set is finished with silver highlights, I hope giving them a more 'cooler' 'wintry' look. I know these are much the same as the gold highlighted ones but I just wanted to try the variation. I think its very interesting to see what   such a subtle(ish) difference can make to the 'feel' of a piece. I still want to make a bowl set with this design as well as more variations in the carving.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Behemoth....

 After driving by my own house today I decided that the mushrooms I have for sale outside(see the last post) were not really noticeable enough  to people driving past. So I thought I would make one that would be seen even by those not trying to look......
Large Log On Lathe
 This is by far the heaviest thing I have turned on my lathe to date, the log was both big and heavy (it is very wet having been left outside to spalt). As it spun very much out of balance I felt very aware of how this thing could easily break my legs or worse if it came off, even at the modest speed it was spinning, something that heavy stores a lot of energy!!!                                                                  
Turning Large Mushroom
 Thankfully it stayed on and after getting the basic shape, most of the out of balance stuff was laying on the floor as shavings allowing me to breath a bit easier as I refined the final shape, undercut the cap and made the base slightly concave.
It was then just a case of reducing the size of the areas around the centres as much as I dared and a spot of sanding before removing the last bits with a good old fashioned mallet and wood chisel and a bit more sanding to tidy the chiselled bits  up.

Large Wooden Mushroom
 Just to give an idea of the size of this, I brought it in for inspection by my kids, Daisy was very impressed with Daddy's handy work!!

Large Turned Mushroom
Finally I took it back out to the shed for an oil finish to protect it from the elements and bring the colour out.
 And yes, the shavings are about a foot deep in there! 15 large and one huge garden mushrooms  make a lot of shavings!

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Wooden Mushrooms
 I have a pile of branch wood that has been collecting(it comes attached to the bigger bits of tree that I like!!!)  ranging from about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, too big to throw out but not really in a size range I use. I was looking at it and thought there must be something better to do with it(read as 'try to make a little money from it') than just giving it away for firewood.
Turned Mushrooms For Sale
 The solution was to turn them into some mushroom garden ornaments. I have made 15 so far in a few different styles and heights and put them out the front of the house for sale this morning, complete with a rushed yet colourful sign!
 Two went straight away....................... unfortunately for free(lol) to my sister who had popped round. Several people have stopped and looked at them but so far no takers!!! Maybe they don't like my prices!!!!
 I had to get them back in early though as the rain started (yet again!) and although the mushrooms are water resistant the little labels with the price and care instructions are not! I'll put them out again tomorrow if its not raining and give them another try.......