Thursday, 13 September 2012


 The creation of my latest woodcut 'Avocet'

One of my the most beautiful British birds is the Avocet. It was also an ideal subject for a woodcut due to it's black and white plumage
 I have spent the last week making this work and took the first test print yesterday.
The first step was to sketch out an idea for the composition

Once I was happy I transferred the drawing to tracing paper

I then transferred the outline to the wood block. The wood is a block of lime cut from some 200yr old trees felled on the Burghley estate. Lime is a traditional wood used in craving and woodcuts due to it's straight close grain.
Once the outline was on the block I drew in the rest of the image.
I could then start carving the details. You will notice that there is a lot more detail than in the outline sketch. I find that as I start cutting into the wood I get a feel for how the work should develop, you also have to visualise the final piece remembering that the areas in relief will pick up the ink.

Once the carving is finished it is time to ink up the block. At this point you can spot any errors
The first proof print hanging up to dry, drying takes 2-3 days.

If you would like to own a copy of this or any other of my works please visit the work for sale section of this blog.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Table Lamp

A few weeks ago we went for a meal in London and were rather taken not only with the food which was excellent but also with the decor, especially the lights. These were small pendant lights hanging on old style twisted braid flex. I decided to have a go at making something similar, but as we didn't need any new ceiling lights I thought a reading light for the living room would be nice.

I first had to make a suitable lamp shade

I took a large thick walled wine glass which I had painted with whit paint. to allow me to draw a cutting line on the surface.

Using a diamond saw I then cut the base off the glass. The saw I used was one I had for cutting floor tiles.  Diamond saws are very safe to use but as I was cutting glass i wore gloved and wore a safety visor in case of shattering.

I smoothed the rough edges with some wet and dry paper. It was important to make the hole the right size for the fitting in this case 2 inches.
I then attached the antique fitting. The fitting and the braided flex are both new not recycled for safety reasons.
The final stage was to attach the lamp to the stand using a piece of chain. The base was made from an oak base with spruce uprights. I made all the fittings from brass sheet
I made the uprights adjustable, there is a spring attached between the arm and the uprights to counter the weight of the lamp

It works !!