I began writing this blog to record the impact my laundry project was having on my family. However, since then things have taken a wider turn and I am observing a knock on effect in the local community. It's just fantastic and reinforces our decision to live in a small town.
Having done my intensive weekend through CAE with the lovely Catherine Da Costa I revisited that old feeling of satisfaction with smithing. Mind you, I only played with copper for an hour or so yet it was enough to inspire my hunt for the perfect stump. The CAE improvised with these wooden blocks but it just wasn't the same.
Now in my garden, the problem I face is how to get symmetrical shapes/curves in the wood so I can sink metal? I have spent many wasted hours pouring over Google Images of metalsmith stumps but I have just come across a blog of someone who did workshops at my London University and posted pictures of the process, including stump he used, the same stump I used for my three years as a student there. Here it is: My holy grail of stumps!
The Neighbourhood House where I teach, Queenscliff, runs a Men's Shed group and they are keen to take up the cause of shaping my stumps. Their member's have consulted with members of a Bellarine Woodworking group and I am receiving reports that my stumps are the subject of a few meetings! Isn't it fantastic how a small town works. The last I heard was an angle grinder is a "nasty piece of work" and the alternative is lots of chisels.
So there you have it, the story of my stumps. As a footnote Deborah Brearley is planning a Moonah exhibition next year and hoping to use anything produced with the saved wood. I already have a project on the boil involving seed pods from one of the doomed Moonahs, but that's another story.