Thursday, 22 September 2011

Autumn projects

One of the new elms at the entrance to the village
Autumn, and there’s lots to do. In the village, the ‘new’ elms are just beginning to change colour and the field set aside for new allotments is almost ready. A team of men rotavated it and then stone-picked right across the site.

The new allotment field

At home, I’ve been laying a new oak floor in the bathroom. It’s very awkward because of the narrowness of the room and the need to cut around the pedestal and washbasin.

The planks fix to each other with blind metal clips on the backs but, if there’s anything to restrict the angle of tilt when a new plank is inserted, it’s almost impossible. Pipes around the edge of the floor are a real nuisance. I seem to have spent most of the week on my knees, rather like when I was a window-dresser in the ‘60s. Still, it will look good when it’s finished.

Earlier in the Summer, we visited the Salvo Fair at Knebworth and was rather taken with some flashed blue glass starbursts on the Cox’s Reclamation Yard stall.

Unfortunately, they wants about £17.50 each for them. Not a bad price but more that I wanted to afford. In discussion with the staff, I found out that they were having an auction at their yard in Moreton in Marsh early this month so I went down with Marea and had a look around. The stained glass had been divided into 3 lots and I decided to bid for at least one of them. Also, there was some new limestone, cut into slabs, 1” thick that I thought would do nicely for me to practice letter carving.

Lots of lovely limestone

It turned out that there was rather more stone than I thought (about 10 m2) but I bid and got it for about £120 (plus commission – 10%). The glass wasn’t due to come up until the late afternoon (there were over 1000 lots) so we decided to take the stone home and bid online for the glass. We loaded the stone into Marea’s car and limped home, though without incident. I sat through quite a lot of the auction live online and eventually won the third lot of glass for £45 (+10%). When I picked up the glass and saw how much there was, I valued it (using Cox’s retail prices) at £488, so quite a bargain.

Bristol pattern glazed doors

The glass is designed to fit a Bristol pattern door but I won’t be using it for that – just happy to have it in my studio at the moment.

Because there was so much limestone, I’m going to use it to replace the dilapidated steps up to the back of the garden. I’ll probably carve some letters on the steps as well. Maybe more about that in future blogs.

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