Friday, 18 February 2011

It's been a while!

Well I've currently been slacking pretty bad in this whole blogging department, don't know why.. Well I know why and that's down to revising, procrastinating and not having much to say but now I'm back, for today at least!

I've been thinking quite hard today, well at least for the past 8 hours or so about what I'd like to do with my time to actually develop a certain skill and I've come to the conclusion that building things, things out of wood and carving is something that I'd like to do. I've always enjoyed carving wood, ever since I was about 10 or 11 and we put up an amazing archway in my old school to commemorate the year 2000. I had the best job, I drew a horse and cart to resemble the old village where I grew up.

The village is called Penally which is located just outside of Tenby in Pembrokeshire. I wish I knew more about the history of the village so I could give more depth to the story. All I know is that the church there was built in the 13th Century or was it the 12th Century? I don't know, next time I'm down that way I'll have a look and correct myself in a later post. It's a very picturesque place. If you go just to the Green near the church you will be able to have fantastic sea views which overlook Caldey Island. The village has farms scattered, delightful pubs which host fantastic meals. One pub in fact used to be a Paddock, hence the name "The Paddock Inn". Most of the people there are friendly enough to say "morning" to you as you walk passed them on your way to the shop and be greeted with a friendly hello and welcoming feel as you walk through the village. I like that place a lot, I hope that one day I could retire there. What else? Oh yeah, the main road which goes through Penally was originally built for the transportation of a horse and cart and I had luckily been chosen to draw it.

So I drew the horse and cart on to a piece of paper which I then traced on to the big slab of wood. All the tools in front of me, the chisels and hammers were just amazing, razor sharp and so precise. I had the help from some guy, I wish I knew his name because I would like so much advice right now on how to do so many things which I want to do! The horse and cart looked fantastic, with deep ridges around the outside scaling inwards with the raised image of the picture within the middle which then got carved even more to give it a 3D effect, was totally beautiful.

So why arts and crafts you say? I don't know, there's something, somewhere subconsciously telling me that being able to make things with my hands would be so much fun. I'm inspired by how people such as Ray Mears can sit down for hours upon end and caress a piece of wood and turn it in to something which will be there for a life time, or until it gets weathered down anyway. Maybe I'm a descendent from some tribes men? Or is there just something buried down deep within us somewhere where we like to make things, from things? I'd like to find out nonetheless.

I'd like to start making small things, nothing too drastic. Boxes for starters, perhaps along the lines of Jewellery Boxes or picking up some drift wood off the beach and just sit there for a few hours, or a couple of days and just create some gorgeous looking stick to gather dust in the corner of my room, but also showing it off to anyone who dare enter the lair.

I talked to a friend today about it, and he said it's best to just start at something basic. He's fantastic at what he does and it's so much so now that he's got his wife involved too! There's no going back now, she's finally left the kitchen! - Yes that is a joke. Anyway, their website is though it is not up and running as such yet, he has promised me once everything has been sorted he will put pictures up there and prices of the items which he produces all by hand, or a lathe. If any of you are interested in finding more about his wood craft, why not take a look at the facebook profile This will definitely be a good place to start looking at what he can do.

For me it's not just about wood craft, it's about finding anything which has no use for it any more these days. I think sitting in lectures about being eco friendly and conservation has finally been drilled in to me. I've seen so many things I can make from different materials, from plastic drum barrels to a packet of crisps. From old glossy magazines to discarded old shoes. And this is what I want, why can't we do something productive and creative out of the things in which we throw away? We waste so much, we don't recycle enough.

Yes some of you must be thinking that this is a waste of time now, he's started talking about the village he grew up in and now he's wanting us to be eco nuts! Well, that's not the case, I think rubbish could in fact be art and I'm going to try my damned best to start creating something from nothing, just to see how it goes! What's the worst thing that could happen? Probably a bunch of rubbish in the corner of my room, which I will then go on to recycle! See, every body wins.

Well that's about it for now, hopefully I'll be here again soon to talk about something else!


  1. Thanks dan for sharing our links and if you do need advice you know just to ask.

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  3. We were having a conversation tonight with a Business Gateway advisor about recycling along similar lines to what you have said here. It's so true that as a society we waste so much. Keep an eye out for things like old furniture Dan; there's a lot out there that with a bit of love and attention can look fantastic! People pay fortunes for new 'shabby chic' stuff when you can recycle old stuff, have it looking more authentic and save a fortune lol. Just stay away from the 90's 'black ash' stuff - not much you can do with chipboard teehehehe.

    Drew will be so jealous of you being able to pick up driftwood when you're back home!