It’s  silent thing nature, often. Odd, even, the way it sort of creeps up on you in its silence to silently inspire you. We walk amongst it in wherever we live and it silently feeds tidbits to us in city and countryside alike. Shape and colour, music, you name it and its there, a rhythmic pulse if living generating its energies everywhere for us to glean from. Poppies are just about finished in my area. Red, mauve, deep and lovely purples or plain, pure white in flower. I love them.

Last week they suddenly showed up as seed heads still every shade of green and then too dry as a bone from two months of summer heat. I tapped one and listened for the gentle rattling of seeds rolling against one another inside their segmented chambers. The dry heat caused the skin to roll back their corners and small holes allowed the release of the seeds from the bottoms of the chambers. Looking at the seed head dried and coloured in subtle hues I thought of creative idealists like Mackintosh  who used extracts from nature in his designs: others too.

I sketched the seed head in my journal, tried a door pull in my mind’s eye and drew one out to see. I liked it, turned it on the lathe as an experiment and liked it the more. I shall make a set one day, when the right piece comes to mind.

Influence is a power-filled dynamic. Someone says three words and immediately your mind flies off to loneness and isolation in a crowded city, a cafe or a store. You pick up the subject and shape it in your mind. This is the stuff of science, sciences and engineering. Without scientists we would not have plastics polluting our world and then without scientists solutions might not come. Of course I am talking about the scientist in all of us, before the name scientist existed. So I think of a scrap of wood being shaped at the end of my gouge and I turn a wooden drawer pull and a door knob. The shape comes without science from something the inspired me. Was it the nature or the Mackintosh? As we all begin using all the less plastic into our future world we can look at our workings and reconsider the materials we make from to see if we can return to the longevity of real wood for our designing. Even as far back as 1985 I decided not to buy food and goods with more than one wrapper in plastic on it. I can do more now.

I am glad I cannot draw with my computer and a stylus. I have always enjoyed feeling the texture of graphite in union with the paper i sketch and draw on when I place them together in my drawings. I am glad not to own a copy lathe or a CNC router to make for me that which I can do well in a minute or two by my freewill and freehand. I like to invent by my own investment of energy and power. These things are important to me you see.



  1. John2v on 30 July 2018 at 11:40 am

    Excellent Paul ….superb photography.

    I have passed on to my grandchildren, they will love seeing inside a poppy.

    Thank you john2v

  2. David Wood on 30 July 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Why didn’t you make a bread roll with poppie seeds on top

  3. Thom on 30 July 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I want to say it’s a pleasure reading your blog. It’s the first email I open in the morning. It’s a nice way to start my day.

  4. Joseph Janutka on 30 July 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Knob design looks like it would also make a nice top decoration for a staircase post, one on each side of the stairs at the bottom of the staircase.

  5. Michael Murphy on 30 July 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks Paul, you bring out the philosopher in us. As you have undoubtedly noticed, nature is governed by design and complexities too organized and mathematically precise to be random, i.e. Fibonacci’s numbers for the ever present spirals we see in nature as just one example. Your turning is awaiting a small round file to add some flutes at the top to add to the flow. By the way, I recently converted a Stanley #4 plane to a scrub plane by following your video; a most rewarding and gratifying endeavor. Picked it up on an eBay estate sale expressly for that purpose. Thanks again for sharing and teaching.

  6. Anthony on 30 July 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Very cool.

  7. nemo on 31 July 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Natura artis magistra.

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