Finding furniture for under the stairs
Finding furniture for under the stairs can be a problem in small cottages.
Last year a couple came to my workshop to see if I could come up with a solution for their house. They wanted a bespoke piece of furniture, something with cupboards and shelves which would fit a small area under the stairs. Something in the dresser style.
We talked over the design elements they required – natural edges to the wood, locally sourced Wych Elm, how many shelves number of shelves and what spacings were preferred between the shelves, and allowances for electric sockets on the wall behind the cabinet , among others. They told me exactly what they wanted. I just had to make it for them.
Also it had to be ready for Christmas!
It is 5′ 5″ tall ( 1650 mm ) and 5′ ( 1520 mm ) wide. The lower cabinet is 22″ high ( 560 mm ). The handles and the bun feet are all hand turned, from burr elm. The whole cabinet was finished with 3 coats of Danish oil.
Pictish carvings have always interested me…
Crescent and V-rod
Pictish carvings have always interested me, so earlier this year I carved some Pictish symbols in the style of pre-Christian Class 1 stone carvings. The designs of the Pictish carvings were simply hand carved, or incised into the wood, in this case Wych Elm, with an oak base. The stones themselves usually have pairs of symbols together, and Class 1 stones are possibly re-used earlier standing stones.
I carved each symbol onto individual pieces of wood, rather than have them in pairs, which was quite common. I would like to explore the different styles of these carvings further. The later stones included borders, patterns and figures, as well as the symbols.
The mystery of the Picts
Although the meanings of the carvings are unknown, they are one of the earliest symbols of a cultural identity found uniquely in Scotland.
Carved stone at Aberlemno, showing three symbols
Pictavia near Brechin and the Groam Museum in Rosemarkie are two great places to see original Pictish carvings and designs.
Of coarse, stones can still be seen at their original locations, like Aberlemno in Angus, which has symbol stones and a Christian cross with symbols and a battle scene.
I think they are great places to visit and see these unique Pictish carved symbols.
Nature of Scotland Awards 2013
The Nature of Scotland Awards 2013
After all the hard work of the many conservation project teams nominated for the trophies, the ceremony for the Nature of Scotland Awards 2013 finally took place. The winners were announced on 30th October at the Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh. My involvement had been to design and make the actual trophies.
The brief had been to use sustainably sourced local timber. I chose to use Scottish elm and sycamore. The trophy recipients details were all engraved directly onto the wood bases. The titles of the award categories and the sponsors names were also engraved. The wood was then given an oil and lacquer finish, which felt good to the touch and was durable.
We were invited to the presentation ceremony where we had a lovely evening. It was great to finally see and meet some of the nominees whose names were engraved on the trophies, together with the RSPB team and volunteers, who had commissioned my work. A more detailed report on the event and winners can be found here.
Nature of Scotland Awards 2013
RSPB Scotland released news of The Nature of Scotland Awards 2013 yesterday. I am very happy to have been asked to design and make the awards, and will update this post soon. The awards ceremony takes place on 30th October at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh. In the meantime the RSPB Press Release tells the story.