Clouds over Cae Du

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Exhibition of art work :)

Exhibiting again, some more new works, art on car parts and more.

Franks Bar and The Silverton Hotel, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

On throughout January and February 2012

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Exhibition 'The Sky From My Car' at the Bear Steps, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. On till this Sat 5th November :)
An exhibition of contemporary art and sustainable furniture made using recycled car parts and local hard woods and inspired by the sky. Mostly all work I've done this year.
Take a look if you're in the locality.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Have launched my website :)

Glueing up the table top...

After spending most of my summer with my children because they're only young once and will grow up so fast, its now back to work! :) With my eldest back at college, my middle one starting school for the first time, and my youngest going to nursery 2 days a week.

Well, the top is a glue up nightmare! Matching curves, joints assembled with biscuits, using a ratchet strap to hold the whole thing in place and a mallet to 'tap' (well more of a wollop) it home. It's not gone together as well as I'd planned, but I don't intend to sell it, it's just an exercise in repair and re-design.

So am 'throwing' it together now so I can get on with some new work for some new exhibitions I'm planning :)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Redesigning my table...

The copper ball used to sit in the centre of the table and spin :) very effective and a real talking piece at dinner parties, however, not that practical if you want to lay a feast on the table, or place flowers in the middle. So, since the table needed repair I decided to change the design.

Positioning the ball underneath and visualising how to attach it.

The design process....

Designing in air with shapes!
For some new work to exhibit :)

Putting it right...

A new piece had to be fitted to the table top, grain matched as best as I could, using the same selection of wood I originally made the top from.
Planed by machine then by hand to butt up to the join.
Now to re-cut the curve to fit back into the celtic cross of the table top. Plane and finish bevel edge, biscuit joint and assemble!......

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Since my table has been stored in the shed for the last 2 years the top has warped due to damp. The direction of grain in its assembly means this will always be a challenge, however, if kept in stable conditions indoors the movement is neglible.
The bevelled edges in the jointed pieces is to detract from slight movement. Though, unfortunately the damp in the shed got so bad this last winter, its not stood a chance.

The table's indoors now, will leave it several weeks before I do anymore to see if it will shrink back to fit.

Tools have gone rusty, wood and furniture mouldy, the shed, my place to work, needs sorting out!

Changing the structure of my table...

Have made a metal ring as a supporting structure for the table top, out of stainless steel! Because it was an off-cut and steel will react with oak, however as this will go underneath this wasn't a main reason for choosing it. And it's soooo hard! Don't want to use stainless again in a hurry! And still need to drill it, lol!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Table renovation continues...

Hi, had some time out from blogging and from doing much in my furniture making.
Other stuff in my life has taken my attention.

Though I have been doing little bits when I can such as removing the old pva wood glue; this involves scraping back most of it using a cabinet scraper and spoke shave because of the curved shape. I'm not worrying about any glue left in the biscuit joints as I will be cutting new ones when I reassemble. Finally I used a belt sander on edge and a sanding drill attachment to remove the last bits as its important to get it back to bare wood so that new glue will adhere well. This was quite a delicate task! lol! The edges aren't sharp square as they have a slight bevel which helps :)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

But have been a bit busy...renovating an old table of mine.

This is a piece I made in the final year of my degree. It's got badly stained, being originally finished in shellac sealer and natural bees wax; wet tins have left black rings on the oak, plus hot mugs, marker pen and deep scratches, shame.

Best option; scrape back to bare wood for the stains, and steam out the scratches with a damp cloth and iron. Then fine wire wool, cabinet scraper or sand paper and refinish with seal and wax.

A hard slog...

Setting out from scratch with so much to repair to get the workshop right, let alone the house, kids and family sorted, along with the usual shopping and daily chores, is so hard!
I keep doing a little bit at a time, I haven't posted for a while 'cos haven't had anything exciting to write....

perserverence hey :)

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Got in the workshop today, YES!
First job, renovating an old piece of furniture before concentrating on new designs. Thinking of specializing in sculptural clocks and occaisional tables.
Had only a couple of hours sleep last night and been up early doing a car boot sale this morning...zzzzz but a beautiful sunny day makes all the difference :)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

'Furniture with balls'

I started using salvaged copper pipes and balls when I was at college, exploring the natural and man-made verdigris effects and loving the contrast it made with wood. Now, using salvaged copper balls in my designs has become synonymous with my work.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Why 'eco'?

Why do I want to make furniture that is classed as 'eco', 'sustainable', 'environmentally conscientious', 'green'....?

Think of any product, how it is made, what it is used for, and what happens to it at the end of its life? Think of the energy and fuel that went into each stage of its production, from raw material to deconstruction or decompostition. In other words its embodied energy.

I want to make furniture where the raw material has come from the most natural factory; a forest. Making furniture using minimal power, and more emphasis on hand tool work. Preferring to use locally sourced English or Welsh hardwoods to minimize transport and to encourage the re-planting of our woodlands, beneficial to wildlife and to the local economy and lessening the impact on rain forest timbers.

When I was studying Furniture Design at Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology I set up a 'Tree Group' in my second year, where we raised money to plant trees in the college grounds, to try and put back some of what we were using on our course. This was March 1996, they have now grown up into a small woodland, a little wild oasis in the corner of the field.

I use reclaimed wood, metal and other materials in my designs to re-use 'waste' and for design aesthetics, creating a piece of original contemporary design that will be used and appreciated for generations. And at the end of its useful life, it can be disassembled, re-used, or ultimately return to the earth.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

More repairs!

Sorting out the shed/workshop today and discovered the rot in the window!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sitting here, with my cat on my knee purring...

Last year I went on a business course with WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprize). This helped me to write my business plan and to forecast income and expenditure.

I'm still on maternity at the moment, but once my workshop is useable I want to start making new work for future exhibitions and galleries.

I have no money to put into this venture. I applied twice for a set up grant through the local council but was not lucky. I think setting up in business is also about determination and persistence.

Workshop in progress...

My workshop, ivy removed, weatherproofed, and almost ready to go!

Workshop renovation

Small and snug, walls still need sealing and insulating, shelves putting up, putty round the windows, and a good tidy up!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Place To Work.

The Workshop...

We moved to a new house recently, with useful though dilapidated sheds. Ivy had completely swamped the largest shed, concealing windows and up inside too. A day and a half of hard work and I got rid of most of it. The roof was rotten and too low so had it raised and replaced.

It was already equipped with power, but the walls ideally needed insulating and gaps filling where the ivy had pushed through.

Monday, 27 September 2010

The humble beginings...

Will I make it as a furniture designer???

I have a 4 1/2 month old baby, a 3 1/2 year old, and an 18 year old! So I'm a bit busy!
However, after years of putting off seriously thinking about starting out in business on my own in furniture design I am taking the plunge!

In this blog I plan to share the trials and tribulations and what I tackle to get there.

Happy reading.....