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Croissant Neuf summer party, Usk, Wales

Croissant Neuf Summer Party; Usk, Wales

A family festival in a stunning place. Lucy and I decided to both do something for the festival in exchange for tickets, and I ran some workshops in knife work and green wood. We were part of a great circle of craftspeople. Dale in the gypsy wagon and tables benches, sculpture and toys and games for the people who like to play. Dave and Em running LED lightning workshops. Bob making windmills from recycled tin and brazing them together. Bart and Amanda: wooden didjeridoos made from tree branches, and even small trees. Amanda with willow baskets and even willow coffins. Golly, a potter with whom I had some great conservations about smelting ores traditionally, bronze age onwards.

This photo shows most of the site. Croissant Neuf is entirely powered by renewable energy and has a fantastic sound system in the big tent.

Bob sitting in his workshop, in the foreground Crissy testing out her second spoon, the first one she made was also with me, 10 years ago, at Campus. She even had it with her.

We had great fun at the festival and I learnt a bit more about LED lighting, and bought 3 bulbs from Dave to make up a lighting kit for the stall and van. Dave goes around the country running his workshops and educating people about how energy efficient 12 volt LED bulbs are. For £20 I got a 3-watt spot light made up of 3, 1 watt bulbs, This is my favourite as it is the most powerful and has a daylight to warm colour. I have also got a 2. something Watt 48 LED `daylight` and warm bulbs for £12 each. The warm one is to yellow and the daylight one is a touch on the blue side but very good for working with. This colour temperature has been a issue with LEDs, primary colours are not a problem but daylight to warm colours have been difficult for the manufactures to make. So I have 3 bright bulbs that use 8 watts, that is a very long battery life. I bought a very small rechargeable sealed lead acid battery for £12 with all lights going full time it lasts for over 10 hours. The battery is a 7amp hour all I need now is a solar panel.
If will all switched over to LED lighting we could decommission lots of power stations. LEDs are the way to go, as they are very long lasting, 30,000 hours is what is given on life expectancy.

On the way home we spent some hours in Usk mainly walking around the Rural Life museum. Not one of the best in the world, but we love exploring local history, and of course old tools like the sandstone sharpening stone below: was it self operated or were 2 people needed?

This exhibit showed me that I have been making my frame saws wrong. I will now be including a handle below the blade in future.

I love this apple masher for making cider; pour apples in, turn handle and out comes the pulp ready for the press. It just has wire banged into the wooden rollers to pulp the apples with.

I am a bit behind with my posts as Croissant Neuf happened a few weeks ago now, and I have just got back from the Westonbirt Festival of the Tree, more on this in a week or so.