“Well, it’s not real, though, is it!”

Don’t you love it when people say (about virtual worlds) “Well, it’s not real, though, is it!”

Some of my virtual friends bought some of my virtual trees with their virtual money which I then converted to buy a cast iron drill.

How’s that for reality?


Some of you may have heard, I’m upgrading my workshop. I’ve spent the last month or so doing it and I’m more or less finished.

I thought you might like to see some photos…

The reason for this is to get a bit more space (especially for drying wood) and I’m hoping it will augur a new phase in my work. I want to get a bit more professional and try and make stuff for sale.

That’s the big idea anyway, we’ll see where it goes.


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Theology and carving

Well, it should have been quite simple… (story of my life)… I thought I’d do a bit of carving on the oak stool, particularly on the bottom rung or stretcher…

What could be easier. After a lot of messing about I thought a nice bit of latin would look good and I chose the phrase which Jung used above his front door.

Vocatus aque non vocatus deus aderit…. called or not called the god is present.. he chose it to mean that the archetype is aways there whether you believe in it or not. I thought I’d change the singular, god, to plural gods, just to underline that this isn’t some Orthodox Christian stool I’m building.

So … vocatus atque non vocatus deorum aderit?? not sure of latin so I tried Google, then Tweeted a distress signal … but no response. No help.

I wanted to get started so I attacked the carving with gusto only to find that I would need a smaller chisel than my 1/4 inch one. The spaces between letters were getting too big. Hmmm … maybe I could use ‘dei’ as plural gods?

This was getting complicated but dei took less space than deorum, so I carried on without a new chisel. After having pondered the problem in bed that night I was horrified to realise that ‘aderit’ is singular too, so it would have to be ‘aderant’ (maybe… this is all guess work) and that is a longer word.

I had horrors of running out of space like they do on dodgy posters and having to cram a few letters on the end.

So… philosophy be damned, I went back to the singular ‘deus’ and decided that a theological compromise was better than buying a new chisel.

I know Jung would have sent a man (or one of his women) out for a new chisel but then he was better paid than me and was probably really boring at parties just hanging around in the kitchen etc.

So … my Orthodox Christian sounding slogan reads “ called or not called the god is present”

…. I just wanted a bit of decoration.

This is it before corrections (that’s what the gods made filler for…)

It’s going to be painted gold with a turquoise background …

more pictures later.


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Oak Stool Project

I’m back in the workshop after having taken it a bit slowly due to my arm/elbow complaining for a while.

The butterfly joints that I showed last time were to tie together the two pieces I needed for the top, the seat, of my oak stool and they are coming along nicely. There is a bit of a curve that I’ve carved into the top even if it doesn’t show so well on this photo. I have yet to start on carving the edges; and the back (underside) is still pretty scruffy.

For the legs I’ve gone for two A-frame pieces using the heart wood colouring to give a bit of interest. The backside of these two have some blue colouring from a natural iron and tannin interaction which is sometimes seen on oak.

I’ve used this ‘blue’ oak for the pegs which will disappear into the wood to strengthen some of the joints.

The bottom stretcher/rail is gently curved with, I hope, a sort of wave carved into it eventually. This is the fancy joint I used to tie two pieces with similar grain pattern together.

I’m mostly finished on the design stage although I am still drawing details. The way the legs join the seat is still a slight problem for me as I don’t want to put the legs through the seat and I don’t really want any sort of wooden or metal brackets.

The ‘problem’ is that, if I want a simple design, I will be relying on the glue and the single mortice (15mm deep) to stop the wobble that can come with age (of the stool, not my wobble … that can’t be solved with glue) … so I’m still trying different ideas on paper.

Anyway it’s now down to months of sandpapering before I can’t think about assembling…

In the meantime I’m still busy on PMGrid with my build …. I’ll keep you informed


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There are few things as exciting as a blank canvas, and a new sim is just that, of course.

Bob Wellman of PMGrid has been kind enough to give me a sim with, hopefully, the possibility of upgrading to a Var region sometime in the future.

PMGrid is on the Hypergrid so you can hop there from anywhere on OSGrid …. even though I haven’t yet managed at the time of writing … I have my own PMGrid avatar and hop to OS and Craft for some shopping.

The reason I have decided to build there is that I need more space than I can afford. To really give the impression of being in a forest or other landscape, one sim is just too small. I don’t have the money to be able to hire 4 sims but I feel that this new landscape should be built, the metaverse could use some extensive wilderness areas.

A Var region would give me that opportunity and, on the hypergrid, it would be available to a different selection of people as opposed to, for example, one of the closed commercial grids.

The new possibilities of saving linksets makes moving trees from one grid to the other a lot easier than it was before, even though it doesn’t always work out perfectly. That gives me access to 7 years of my builds, and a varied selection of flora for a new venture.

So… time to build a new landscape, I’ll keep you updated as I go…

It wasn’t quite a blank canvas, but I love that little “return” button…

and then I got the bulldozer out….

…terraforming is some peoples’ idea of heaven. The secret is … slowly, slowly…


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The chairs, finished

OK, so, finally… [I started in November] … I have finished my chairs, with a little upholstery help from my eldest daughter at Krumnaalen Upholstery in Silkeborg, Denmark.

So … a few photos

Now, the trickiest joint I used was this interlocking tenon … I was way outside my comfort zone, but it worked out…

I hate traditional wood filler, so where needed I made my own from resin and glitter … I think it works well.

..and this is the pair in place with the footstools, [the carpet is not my choice, it came with the rental]…

…and very comfy they are too, especially compared to the last pair of crappy rubbish I had…


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Workshop news.

Well, it’s been ages since I last wrote anything. My workshop has been full of plantlets and seedlings but I’ve been doing stuff that hasn’t really been interesting enough to blog about.

Firstly I decided to make footstools to go with my chairs…

I had to make a sort of cradle to hold the legs at 45 degrees…

…and some of the pieces warped a bit so I ironed them. I know, it sounds a bit mad, but heating the wood makes the lignin melts a bit and can then reform in the right position if you clamp the wood ‘flat’ while it cools. I heard about this on YouTube and so I tried it and it worked…. [they used a paint stripper for the heat]..

Anyway the result…

..and then there was choosing the fabric… I went for this colour…

… it’s manufactured on the Isle of Bute, up in Scotland. So now the cushions are being made in Denmark and I’ll post more detail on that when it’s done.

So, that’s about it really…time for a new project…

This is my new project, 2 hours old… it’s a solid piece of oak which is huge and too heavy to lift, so the first job is to cut it up…

I’ll post more as it progresses, I think I’m going to make a small bench, but I’m not totally decided yet.


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It’s always with a bit of trepidation that you start to assemble pieces or components into a finished piece. You don’t know if you got the measurements right, if you’ve mixed up left and right of, just plainly miscalculated how the whole lot will look.

Anyway, that’s the current stage in my marathon chair making project. The hours of sawing are over, the plane is sort of set aside, the mallet and chisel are resting and it’s all down to glue and clamps and sandpaper. Lots of sandpaper.

Some of the parts are already glued as you can see and it’s starting to look like a chair…

The spindles at the back of the chair are going to take a long time as each one is a slightly different length and at a slightly different angle … no mass- production possible, but then there’s no hurry.

I’m using wooden pins made from some peach wood to reinforce some of the joints that are likely to get most strain and they take a little while to make too, but it’s the sort of handwork that isn’t too strenuous and I prefer the idea of pins to metal screws.

Well, still a long way to go before I’m finished but I’ll keep posting as it changes…


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Comfortably out of my comfort zone.

Most of the stuff I do now, as a hobby, is something that takes me well outside my comfort zone. This has been the case now for at least the last 7 or 8 years.

When my heart starts pumping that little bit faster and I know it’s crucial that I get it right, that’s when I know I’m expanding my skills and treading new ground…. for me at least. If there’s not a video on YouTube to tell me how, then I’m really treading new ground.

I’m currently turning my cut-up bits of log into components, so this is no major feat for mankind, we have been doing this sort of thing for centuries. I just visualise each component as an individual sculpture and spend a lot of time making it as perfect as possible, given my limited experience.

The components are all stacked up against my radiator to dry off. Some of them twisted quite badly, but I knew this might happen so I cut them too large and, when I thought they had settled down a bit, I cut them to shape and planed them to size.

I’ve been reading Quiet which is about introverts in an extrovert world, and I’m finding it fascinating [and you know I don’t usually recommend books] as it touches a number of issues like patience, dedicated concentration and solitude, all primary requirements for me and others of a similar disposition during a creative/productive process.

The reason I feel comfortable outside my comfort zone [who doesn’t love an oxymoron] is because I give myself loads of Time to draw on my thinking, visualisation and concentration, all of which I am very comfortable with.

Breaking things down into component steps, setting small tasks and giving myself ample time makes it all quite possible.

Not much in the way of photos as yet, but I will post stuff as it starts to take shape.

Meantime…back to my solitude

Hugs to all and a happy new year


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Sawing over

….not completely, but all the heavy stuff is done.

All the wood I hope I’ll need is now drying off before I get to work planing and squaring up individual elements and starting to think about assembling them all into some sort of harmonious whole.

The unknown element is how much the pieces will twist and turn while drying, but I have over-dimensioned them all to allow for some movement. The wood was lying around for over a year, so hopefully it’s not ‘green’ although the moisture content is still quite high. They’ve all been sitting on my radiator next to the computer for a while. I’ve just gathered them all in one place now for a group photo.

I’ve cut enough for two chairs … the basic design looks something like this….

…an excellent use of Inworldz, I think, I have measured the prims and got the angles ….so a full-size drawing (which would be nice) is not going to happen …I don’t have a drawing table anymore, or any large bits of paper…

Anyway, I’ll be having a Planing Christmas break this year and filling the workshop with shavings…. but, unless I get a visit from Mr. Cockup, I shouldn’t have to saw up any more logs… *phew*!

Have a great break..


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Busy in the workshop

Sometimes you look and wonder if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, but then, that’s what we do, mostly. Time and patience usually proves that we should have had a bit more self-belief.

That’s what happened with my latest bit of wood. Too heavy to carry I loaded it on the back of my client’s sit-on mower and drove it round to the car where I tipped it in and drove it home, then tipped it out into the workshop.

The first cut took 3 hours to get half-way … omg … so I went out and bought a new saw. The second half took an hour, but the wood was not quite so dense.

This is what it looked like after the first cut..

Nice lumps of spalted beech, just a few more days of sawing to see if there are two excellent pieces for my next project.

Apart from being a human saw-mill, I’ve also been planing wood for all I’m worth and have a few pieces drying next to the radiator next to the computer.

So… what am I up to? Well, I have in mind to make a couple of chairs. I saw a pair of ‘Danish” style armchairs on eBay and they were £900, so I figured I could try and make some. Even if it took 6 months (which it most probably will) it will be a real test of my skills … I’ll have to do things that I haven’t done before…. and they’ll be unique.

Spalted wood has been invaded by bacteria and fungi that create the black and brown ‘lines’ as well as bleaching parts of the wood. The trick is finding wood that still is structurally sound, and that sort-of matches the other parts. No wonder it’s usually only used for bowls and small items.

Well, I don’t have much else to do this winter and, unlike my sculptures, I have a client (me) who will use them.

Anyway … as they begin to take shape I’ll post some images….

…if my arms haven’t fallen off completely.

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