I have had a busy week with lots going on behind the scenes. The video on perspective sketches seemed popular so I am glad we did that and put it out via YouTube. I am never sure whether some things are helpful or not but I did want to encourage people to start drawing. This is clay on the wheel to see where it goes for folks. I think it’s worth spending an hour a week at the drawing board because it brings greater clarity to your thoughts and is not crowded out by the computer. We also let everyone know about the giveaway which is the actual drawing from the video so if you haven’t entered here is the link for that too.
Some things are good and some things are not so good. Some things invasive seem to make sense at first glance but then they can seem like that screaming motorbike in the midst of a quiet road or someone’s radio blaring from their car at the lights with the driver visibly euphoric in an oblivion to the distress they cause all around them.
I walked past big ponds and gravel pits now filled with wild life along paths in pleasing places to recoup. I’m enjoying the ambience; the woodland walks open my senses; a green woodpecker sports full colour; a silent nuthatch punctuates where I am; the equally silent treecreeper spirals up and down the tree trunk before I stumble across these two hideous signs. I know, they are meant to forewarn people not to do something or be aware of something. I get it! But whereas these signs somehow give the impression of temporariness, we all know they will remain muddied and ragged until they eventually disintegrate. But they occupy a scenic place and plastic coverings to paper innards intended not to be permanent remain there until they breakdown and filter their way into bird nesting somewhere along the pipeline of devalued life. After a few days of wind and rain they become evermore ugly and we, well we feel powerless somehow; invaded by thoughtlessness. So here in Oxfordshire there is some amazing work for wildlife and sustainable culture enhancement and we appreciate efforts people make. I ask if we couldn’t please be a little more creative for appropriate and pleasing signage. Consider all elements of environmental pollution. It’s not just the plastic that pollutes. Signage almost always pollutes when not done as it should be.
Two spokeshaves came in this week via eBay and I will be providing more info on this soon. The one spokeshave was very nice, new and unused, never sharpened. The other of the same vintage came with incorrect screws but something that just filled a threaded hole and what looked like low grade Dremel buzz work for removing rust. It was one of those quick flog it things with no heart behind it. Perhaps this owner knew nothing of the wrongs but perhaps he/she did, who knows? For my part I knew something was wrong by the pics. I knew i could fix the wrongs so I bought it, alongside the new one. I wanted to show something and buying the two suits my purpose.
I made a picture frame today using a mitres tenon joint. It came out nicely and this evening `i put some coats of shellac on it to finish it out. Tomorrow I will most likely vacuum press the drawing that’s to go into it and then get it into the frame.
I love fountain pens and I bought two identical ones from the same eBay seller. In fact I made an offer for the two for £9 instead of the £5 each and also got free shipping. When they arrived i loved them. I filled them and tried them, both with very fine nibs and they wrote as smoothly as any of the finest pens. If you like fine fountain pens you should buy one of these because they are just lovely. Where are they from? China. Personally, I think some of the well known pen makers with a name established over two centuries could learn something here when it comes to fineness and scratch free writing. At least Parker got the colour if the ink write (pun intended).
I own a few bevel-up planes. Some, one especially, dates back to the early 1800s. I like them well enough, quite. I think these two are worthy of honourable mention because they are so well made and I have tested them out over a number of years too. The small one is the small bevel-up plane. I keep it close to hand for a certain type of unpredictable work. Small work mostly. That unheavy work I come across from time to time that I might use say a #3 for but not a block plane. These are both made by Veritas under the titles bevel-up jack and bevel-up small plane. Something like that.
Another plane I bought on eBay is a vintage #3 Stanley with a broken handle. It looks like the handle would just glue fine but I though it was time to make a video in making a replacement handle because they often break or arrive broken. The glued up handle is actually very solid so I left well alone and simply reshaped it for a smaller sized handle. All plane components are in good shape with hardly any wear at all. I love #3s though I didn’t need another. This one I bought for just £18.50. Most likely I’ll pass it on after it’s done.
So I ended up here. It feels very nice now. Solid and smooth.