Makers Marks

I’m in the process of sourcing some makers marks to be added to my projects.  I haven’t covered the whole gamut as yet – sometimes getting information is incredibly difficult, even from the sales sector when it could result in sales! (Go figure)

However, I have been talking closely with one company who do produce makers marks, and in their case they are (from the images) very nice indeed.

Makers Marks over in the UK produce a very nice, traditional looking engraved brass (or stainless steel) makers mark

makersAnd at the time I was getting a quote, they had a special offer of either free shipping, or a wall plaque that was a large version of your mark. I don’t know about you, but that sounded very cool!  Like the makers plates that used to be affixed to steamship engines etc.

So the design we came up with looks like this: (there are massive number of designs that are possible, including images). Not sure how long it will take to get them – I don’t think it will be in time for the Melbourne Wood Show (but I live in hope!).

Lees,_Stuartx

(Obviously the black is etched away).  Vidi is very accommodating too, sending draft images back and forth until the customer is happy.  He runs this business as a way to support himself while continuing his main concern – working with autistic boys.  So if you are looking for a way of adding a makers mark to your project, these are certainly one option, and a very traditional looking one as well (and seeing as the whole concept of a makers mark is traditional, I was happy to stick with a simple design (and one I thought would look good as the wall plaque as well!)

On http://www.makers-marks.co.uk/ you can choose designs, sizes, numbers etc, then send off for a quote, no minimum order size either fwiw.

Carving Kava

I’ve been working with some images taken in Fiji by one of the Lecturers in the Arts Faculty – Dr Matt Tomlinson. During our discussions, my interest in all things woodworking came out, and he’s sent me some photos of some traditional woodworking related to an area he has been researching – traditions and the culture surrounding Kava  – both its consumption – use in different traditional roles, and its preparation.

Reading the Wikipedia about Kava, and I wonder if it can be bottled and sold – sounds like a very interesting substance.

However, it is the production of the Kava preparation bowl that is the real topic here.  These photos were taken in May 09 on the island of Kabara, which is in the Lau chain of eastern Fiji. It’s the traditional homeland of carvers of kava bowls made from Vesi wood (Intsia Bijuga), but the island has been badly deforested, and is rapidly running out of Vesi.

When Men were Men, and Wood was King

(Stills from Episode 44)

During one outing in the Yarra Valley (driving to Warburton), I came across a field full of old rusting farm and forestry equipment.

A Field Museum

A Field Museum

One of the vehicles in particular gives an idea of how much harder it was to get things done back then – transporting a single log where these days 40 or more at a time is typical.

I took a few quick photos from the road, and decided to give them a bit of a dated feel to match the age of the equipment themselves.

An Aussie Ute

An Aussie Ute

Pimped out dragster

Pimped out dragster

Bigfoot

Bigfoot

B Double

B Double

Aussie Road Train

Aussie Road Train

The fence in that last photo is also very applicable – made by the traditional method of adze and pull-knife carved mortise and tenons.  Nothing like using machine-shaped timber when making a fence – this is definitely hand-made and hand-dressed-all-round.  Logs are typically split with axe and wedge to produce the rails.

Those carriage wheels are also the work of a real wheel wright, and one of the tools that we still use came from that specific application – the spoke shave.

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