19 December, 2010

turning the sod

Years worth of secretions grip the shearing board.   Lanolin, motor oil, sheep shit covered moccasins and sweat, now for some grease.....
elbow grease.
  The Al Swearengen scrub.

for Chris.  working is fatiguing, working well is succeeding.

Putting up 3m high corrugated galvanised iron sheets often require an extra set of helpful hands - I owe those to Brianna and John.

12 December, 2010

hungry hungry honda

Lately I have been spending time on the family farm.  Here is my mothers mower in need of some repair.
Mind you the wheel was on, but I had to remove it to fix the height adjustment lever.  The handle did have one locking nut, with sellotape holding the other side.  Hay twine held the catcher hood open and 3 of the 4 bolts holding the motor to the chassis were missing!

Safe mowing mum.

06 December, 2010

Decemperature rising


SX-70 polaroid

29 November, 2010

Treadwear no. 3

Thank you to everyone who visited Stories Through the Barrows.
Many thanks also to Bridie Lunney, Meredith Turnbull and Alex Selenitsch - humbled to have shared the floor boards of 31 Flinders lane with you.

To all at Craft Victoria. Without your support and enthusiasm, I would have a lot less momentum to roll down this road.

26 November, 2010

Treadwear no.2

This is a detail shot of Ruination wheel after the second 1 ¾ mile walk.

07 November, 2010

1 ¾ miles to Craft Victoria.


Colin Martin is a London-based Australian writer, who I had the absolute pleasure in sharing Stories Through the Barrows, coffee and conversation with.  Review by Colin Martin for Craft Australia.

Photography:  Ben McGill

Stories Through the Barrows

The Age
Wednesday, October 20, 2010  
Page 18. 'The Arts'
Writer :  Liza Power
Photography: Richard Brockett

Transporting the exhibition in my Ute - the mechanically propelled wheelbarrow.
Photography: tim mcleod

04 November, 2010

Quilt by Joyce McLeod

Machine appliqu├ęd and quilted.  61 x 65
Joyce McLeod used a Julie Haddrick quilting pattern.  The work was on show at Hamilton Art Gallery as part of the Hamilton Quilters 14th Biennial Exhibition.

Thank you Nan.

30 October, 2010


Photography  Jeremy Dillon

29 October, 2010

return the wood envelope

So someone has decided to take a souvenir (the wooden envelope) which was part of the scraper plane and shoulder plane collection.  The new owner of the items, Craft Victoria, the audience whom are still to visit and myself have been robbed.  Can’t stop the opportunistic.
Which is ironic because I was in the process of getting paper envelopes made up for visitors to Stories through the barrows - your own wheel barrow envelope to take with you - Free. 

The envelopes are ENVIROMAIL 100% recycled post consumer waste paper.

06 October, 2010


'Dry-stone'   salvaged red iron bark / spotted gum.
'Ruination'    salvaged spotted gum.
'Post'           salvaged red iron bark.

Photography:  Jeremy Dillon

27 September, 2010

Craft Victoria

Here is the scale model for upcoming show 'Stories through the Barrows' made from Balsa wood.
30cm high x 20cm Dia.

click here for details.

22 September, 2010

Polaroid SX-70

Original film SX-70
61cm x 75cm
Enlarged high gloss flex paper on diabond

Original film SX-70
61cm x 75cm
Enlarged high gloss flex paper on diabond

 & sinker
Original film SX-70
61cm x 75cm
Enlarged high gloss flex paper on diabond
(notice the hook in his head)

How it feels to be a fish? ...... Climbing back up the breakwater and heading for home the lure was dredging in the rocks.  

Engaged & unnoticed the line grew in tension until it could hold no longer, letting go at sailfish speed, lodging in his head.  2 of the 3 prong hook embedded in his skull.  Seeing I was standing watching, he waved for help.  He passed me a pair of pliers, but this was beyond my abilities - not being a fisherman I have no experience with catch and release.
At the boot of his car he steely assumed the man&fish folklore stance.  Two Polaroids were taken  – one for his car dashboard & one for me.

Original film SX-70
61cm x 75cm
Enlarged high gloss flex on diabond

21 September, 2010

krenov type plane

Krenov style wooden plane with 1 ½ inch wide A2 steel Hock blade, Red Gum body with Spotted Gum wedge and insert.  
L  21cm W 5cm  H  6cm  untreated (apart from a little wax on the sole) 
This is my first attempt at making a wood hand plane and with the enthusiasm of James Krenov's book A Cabinetmaker's Notebook and guidance of Making and Mastering Wood Hand Planes by David Finck will not be the last.  I built the plane body from a log destined for the fireplace on my parents farm. Now it is generating a different kind of warmth.

This plane has been used to shape the tray edges of Ruination & Post

Angled dovetail

Dry fit of dovetails.  Notice the tension in the layout, with smaller gaps near the edges and larger openings in the mid section. This is to add strength to the 7mm thin panel.  The tension pattern and the dovetails cut slightly proud keeps things interesting for hand & eye.  I like to call this Dovetail Braille

Using a guide block to help cut dovetails. 

Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum eucalyptus maculata tree at base.
photography:  Mette Spange

DAR (dressed all round) untreated Spotted Gum board.  Shown is a section of the length of wood which was used to create the tray for Ruination.

I opened the board on the band saw and book matched.  The graphics of the wood worked into this elongated diamond shape distinguishing the heartwood & sapwood.
This particular board had a lanolin texture to it, enhanced also by the ray which adds a sense of motion even when the barrow is idle.

Glue-up.  Notice staggered boards, this occurrs because I am searching for a whole board look - Harmonious.

Red Ironbark 

First cut can be fatal!
Working with one length only to get all the parts for the barrow 'Post' and half for "Dry-stone" required some patience and luck.
I have retrofitted a 6" riser block kit to my 14" bandsaw and use 1/2" Wood Slicer Bandsaw Blades

 55mm x 1.5mm x 1200mm strips for bent laminated rim
Titebond III glue used.

Dry fit getting ready for drilling holes for pins.

kurling detail

Also known as Checkering, this detail is on one of the handles on barrow Ruination.
Mr Geoff Slee down in Bacchus Marsh was kind enough to show me the tools and techniques involved.
I purchased from Brownells in the U.S the VE60 Cutter and the SD20 Cutter Gunline Tools.  Unfortunately the handle was on back-order.  I persisted however and eventually could not feel my thumb, index or middle finger. Surprisingly I found I had great control.
The cutters work on a scraping cut which require 5 to 6 passes for each run.

Rathad Chaluim

Gaelic for Calum's road.

Carved out of the tenons in Red Iron Bark on wheelbarrow titled Post

Calum's road

Post van on Calum's road. Isle of Raasay , Scotland.
Taken using SX-70 polaroid film in Sept 2006
Isle Raasay; old Norse for Roe (red) Deer Island
Pronounced 'Raa-s-soy'  or  'Ross-oy'