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'

20 September, 2010

Stories Through the Barrows

Roger Hutchinson (2006). Calum's Road. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 9781841584478.
Surface wear from pushing the page into Calum's road.

Malcolm (Calum) MacLeod B.E.M. was a resourceful, determined and self-made man of the Hebridean Island of Raasay, Scotland. Out of frustration at the local authorities’ neglect of the task, he spent ten years (1964-1974) constructing a road with little more than simple hand tools and a wheelbarrow. 

Inspired by my own visit to the Isle of Raasay and Roger Hutchinson’s book
Calum’s Road, I have created three handmade wooden wheelbarrows, each with a story relating to the life and work of Malcolm (Calum) MacLeod (BEM) and his road building quest.

On three separate occasions, I will re-enact the journey taken by MacLeod, 1¾ miles from Craft Victoria – the same length as Calum’s road. The re-enactment will be motivated by MacLeod’s weight of duty and determination to achieve his goal.  Two of the starting points will be from past Craft Office locations - Meat Market, North Melbourne.  (1980-92) & Gertrude St, Fitzroy (1992-2001) to pay homage to Craft Victoria turning 40 years young.

Post (wheel barrow), 2010, red iron bark, oil, polish.
“In 1958...Calum MacLeod was by then the only postman serving northern Raasay, collecting the mailbag three times a week from a mail van at Brochel, carrying it on his shoulder along the broken footpath to be sorted at Torran, and then delivering to Fladda and to his family at Arnish”.  Roger Hutchinson, Calum’s Road. 2006
Carved into the tenons beneath the tray is the phrase Rathad Chaluim Gaelic for ‘Calum’s Road’.
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon.  L. 134cm H. 64cm W. 66cm

 Ruination (wheel barrow), 2010, spotted gum, oil.
Ruination is a wheelbarrow without legs. Those in authority passed in the responsibilty of building a road in the north of the island. The barrow lying on its side symbolises the ruination of Raasay.
The gunstock checkering on one of the handles is in reference to South Raasays history as grounds for game hunting and the Raasay raiders – (ex-servicemen whom on return tried to reclaim their crofts)
Once his mistrust towards centralised authority reached hatred he would pick up the wheelbarrow, bearing all weight of duty from surveying to construction to maintenance, determined not to set down until a road was built.  This accomplishment shamed those who neglected the north and provided longevity for the community.

Using wood from Urban salvage, the entire barrow is made from Spotted Gum, the wheel is made up of 6 lamination's each 1.5mm thick, the 7mm thin tray is constructed using angled dovetails with the frame pinned mortise and tenon allowing for seamless grain flow and structural integrity. 
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon. L. 141cm H. 56cm W. 52cm

Dry-stone (wheel barrow), 2010, red iron bark, spotted gum, untreated.
Like the Dry-stone holding walls supporting Calum’s road, the barrow tray is without mortar - no glue.
Dry-stone reveals the methods involved in its construction.  Pins holding the frame together can be removed and joints discovered.  The Spotted Gum wood of Ruination and the Red Iron Bark of Post come together in Dry-stone, linking Raasay’s north and south.
It was Calum’s grandfather who helped build the 7-foot high deer wall across the island (Rainys wall) and the skill of dyking has been handed down to him.
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon.  L. 134cm H. 64cm W. 53cm

Rona.(lighthouse), 2010, spotted gum, steel, untreated.
Made up of 116 Spotted Gum strips each 3010mm x 70mm x 2mm.  Steel ring suspended from I beam.  Slats are wood pinned to steel ring.
Based on the lighthouse Calum tended on Rona and a symbol of the earth he moved. It has a continuous narrative, emphasising ongoing duties, his disposition, often going around in circles pressing his case to the council for a road.
As you move around the space, a feeling of solitude is near - even with company. 
(if you walk around Rona 406 times, you will have walked 1 ¾
miles - the length of Calum's road)
Photographer, Timothy McLeod.  H. 317cm W. 220cm

Raasay (photograph), 2010, red iron bark, spotted gum, high gloss flex paper on diabond, danish oil.
Taken in September 2006 using an SX-70 Polaroid camera with SX-70 film. It was by chance that I captured the postal service using Calums single-track road approximately 40 years after he took to its construction. It shows the township of Arnish in the background.  Isle Raasay - old norse for Roe (red) Deer island
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon.  D. 3cm H. 133cm W. 25cm  

Wood Plane (tool), 2010, Red Gum, Spotted Gum, A2 steel, Untreated.
Krenov style wooden plane with 1 ½ inch wide blade, Red Gum body with Spotted Gum wedge and insert.
L. 21cm W. 5cm H. 6cm 
Plane Hammer (tool), 2010, Spotted Gum, Brass, Untreated.
Adjusting hammer for tuning wood hand plane. 
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon.  H. 29cm W. 6cm T. 2cm

Scraper Plane (tool), 2010, Red Iron Bark, A2 steel, Untreated.
Scarper plane for revealing Calum’s road within ‘wood envelope’.
L 12cm W. 8cm H. 8cm
Shoulder Plane (tool), 2010, Red Iron Bark, A2 steel, Untreated.
Plane for revealing Calum’s road within ‘wood envelope’ 
 L. 15cm W. 7cm T. 1cm
Wood Envelope (tool), 2010, Red Iron Bark, high gloss flex paper on diabond, Untreated.
Use the shoulder plane and scraper plane on the wood envelope to discover Calum’s road inside.
Photographer, Jeremy Dillon.  L 22.5cm W. 11cm T. 1cm