Well, I got to spend the day on the bed again yesterday but couldn’t get to the inlay work for several different reasons not the least of which was the castle alarm fire went off (which means mandatory vacating of the building), I did some clean up, took time off to go to the car boot sale, had my friend Allen Winter visit me from Argentina (this is John’s father who is a paediatrician) and I had to pick up some icing sugar for my wife who was baking for the Christmas program at Hope Church, Bangor. That said and done we also had a wonderful Christmas Dinner celebration at Bluesky Cafe in Bangor with everyone that works together to make everything happen from teaching classes, filming and editing, managing websites, taking care of IT, encouraging one another and everything else that makes for a real team. By the way, the meal was sumptuous, the Bluesky staff amazing and it was wonderful to be able to spend time with my friends and family in so fine and convivial an atmosphere. Thank you everyone!
OK, the bed is coming along nicely. To deliver on time I have about 9 working days left to get it there in time for Christmas. The head board is about the same work as the footboard plus a little bit. It will take a full day to French polish. Then it has to be blanketed and shrink wrapped for transporting. In other words it’s going to be close, but my son Aber just came in for the holidays and he will help me so that gives me some extra days. He work at Rolls Royce and is a detail person. Did you know that this Great British company monitors every RR engine it makes after delivery and installation in every plane around the world – that’s most engines in planes – and that when you are sitting in your passenger seat the hub that monitors the plane here at Rolls Royce in Derby is keeping an eye on the engines of your plane to make sure its fully synchronised and functioning perfectly. Did you know that they can advise the pilots if anything goes wrong and can talk them through the issues to make certain you are safe. I think that that’s amazing!
Now as of today my hands are doing great and I am monitoring them to make sure they are fully functioning and in control and they are not burning up on making these oak sticks into a thing of beauty and substance. I seated every tenon into its mortise and made certain every shoulder line on both ends of the pieces closed without the possibility of gaps. A machine would have done that in much less time probably, but then the machine would have done the work and not me. My customers pay me to do the work skilfully. They enjoy contributing to fine work and keeping my craft alive and well. They are not too interested in my using machines that always substitute for skill and dexterity. They like the fact that risk in my work sets my work apart from machinists who program inlay work that looks like a router did the work. Moreover, they like the fact that my work brings fulfilment to me and that they are supporting what is so infinitely enjoyable. I know these realms and am familiar with them.
I have some highly figured oak that looks like an oak version of curly maple or burl. It was a board rejected by others because it was so highly figured. It’s a board I bought for peanuts that I would have gladly paid two hundred pounds for because it is so rare. You will see it soon as I progress the artistry in panels.
I hope you had a nice Christmassy day too!