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WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) is a festival which I have sold my work at every year for 10 years now. This year was not one of the best for sales. The credit crunch and the rain did not help. I do not do much in the way of demonstrations at this show but I did make a few wooden flowers. I also made the smallest flowers ever out of the wood I use for the normal flowers stems.

The coin is a twenty pence piece which is 20mm or 3/4 of an inch diameter.

A large attraction at the festival is the Carter’s Fair, made up of traditional attractions some of which are steam powered. This is a huge fair and most of the vehicles are almost as old as the rides. It must make quite a convoy on the roads.

The steam boat ride, see the next photo for details.

Click on the image to enlarge

A Steam carousel, one amazing machine. I have a love/hate relationship to this ride and fairground, for one year when WOMAD was at the Reading site, which was a lot smaller than the current one at Malmesbury, the organisers put our stall 30 yards away from it. From 11am and for 13 hours continuously, this ride pumped out organ music at full volume. We had to shout when talking to our customers. No one would do anything about the noise and believe me, plenty of complaints were made. I now have an inkling of what it is like for a POW to be subjected to music and sound torture because it was hell on earth.
I think this structure is amazing, with its carvings, paintwork and mechanics. I am not sure but it could be the only one left in working order. The horse carvings, made from wood, are similar to rocking horses but the features are accentuated making the heads a bit scary when seen close up. As this is a big ride and often seen from further away details need to be bigger.

Swing boats or as these ones are called, Park boats, a simple but fun ride.

Whilst back at the stall, I met a man called Richard King who introduced himself to me. He is a thatcher now, but use to make a living from green wood work. We had some great conservations, an one interesting one about Aikido and movement in craft work. Many of us in green woodwork learn bad working practices as we are not taught by masters in an apprentice situation. Ergonomics are very important as well as how we stand and move, as I know it is all to easy to damage the body. Richard reckons that Aikido and other martial arts came from ordinary craft or working practices as he uses many movements in his work that are very similar to his martial art.
He also showed me how to make a willow binding, the same one used in binding willow bolts, I must apologies for the fact that the video is on its side. I recorded it on my little camera and forgot not to use it in portrait mode.

The willow knot

Above is Ian of Funky Monkey a member of the APT. I much admired his shelter.

Anthony Rogers was again at the show, he had 2 seats displayed in the arboretum, new work that I had not seen before. As you may know I love his work, which has life and very good form, I am impressed with his new technique of carving small motifs in his work, for example this detail on the back of this bench.

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1 thought on “

  1. Some great work with wood. Nice photos of the ERF's as well (the Foden trucks that is). I think I understand your problem with the steam carousel – one will be at the Weald and Downland museum for the steam festival in 2 weeks time and I will only be a little further away than you were. Still last week with 3 days by the new forest plonkers (aka the wurzels) was good training. Looks like the credit crunch shrank your flowers as well – don't let it get to you,



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