Archive

Tag Archives: Jim Blackburn

Day 3 of the tree house build process. Jim’s injured right ankle is quite a bit better, though still delicate and requiring painkillers (did I say? We had to cancel a weekend in June). He’s looking very cheerful, though, and bless him for running this workshop today.

8.7. 1

Setting out – for the trees

8.7 2

Introduction to the tree ‘corner’

8.7 3

Only a second before someone shins up a tree – Rosa

8.7 4

8.7 6

Clare and Marcel are up another tree, Clare is on Olivia’s ‘perch’: the original tree platform and source of inspiration for the tree house here.

8.7 5

This is called ‘direct design’,that is, creating the basic structure in situ with lengths of softwood.

8.7 7

There followed a fantastic group interaction, working towards consensus.

8.7 8

The structure is created to the group’s satisfaction.

8.7 11

To ensure the structure can be re-erected in the same place, triangularisation happens (I know, I wasn’t concentrating at this point…)

8.7 10

with the aid of this tool, I guess.

Ideas came thick and fast, the group process was wonderful, and the structure came down at the end of the day, to be rebuilt in oak another day – tomorrow with any luck.

Advertisements
Blog 1

Jim arrives with a load of oak…

Fast forward nearly 3 weeks from the first workshop, and Jim Blackburn turns up with a trailer full of green oak timber, an amazing sponsorship gift from his suppliers. So it was all systems go with the introductory course to green woodwork timber framing on the bank holiday Saturday just past.

First, a fascinating and informative presentation about timber framing – this has all been going on for hundreds of years, and we will all look at old barns differently from now on, as careful inspection reveals a multitude of information on when, who, what, how…

blog 2

Jim’s introduction to Green Oak Framing

Blog 3

The good old Dove kitchen table! With cooks Faye Suzannah and Lois Wulff in the background, waiting to reclaim the space for lunch.

An introduction to tools followed, and then a demonstration on how to lift heavy timber without hurting yourself – all about gravity, levers and fulchrums (fulchra??)

Blog 5

Lifting practice

followed by lunch – this has to be an essential part of every communal activity.

And then: outside to practice marking up the timber and then cutting it, working in pairs:

Blog 8

Jemma and Marcel

Blog 10

Ange and Clare

Blog 9

Zan and Jya

Blog 11

Bethan and Joe (and Jim)

And something very important has stayed in my head since Jim’s presentation: that this ancient craft of timber framing is precisely still relevant today because of the fact it HAS to be a group, communal activity, and that these groups were – and still are – often itinerant, spreading and sharing their skills and methods across borders and ages, a free movement of people, ideas, trade, knowledge – yes, come on everyone, bring it on!

Blog 12

Blog 1

The day after the workshop: I got back from an unexpected few days away, to find 8 carpentry ‘stools’ stacked in the back garden. The workshop had taken place the day before and this had been the scene in my studio:

It had become a carpentry workshop: for the first time in 30 years or more, since the days when woodworkers Roger Frood, Jon Swayne and David Beech inhabited it one after the other. This time it was Jim Blackburn, long time associate and one time resident of the Dove, with the first of his inspirational workshops, and 8 keen participants ranging in age from 12 – ??. After the introduction to woodwork in the studio the class moved into the garden, measuring, cutting, fixing….

Brilliantly, the first person to twig that the pile of ‘practice’ pieces mounting up beside him was going to become a trestle, or stool, was the youngest: Zan!

And so the trestles took shape at the end of an exhausting but demonstrably inspirational day, awaiting their usefulness for the rest of the project. Thank you Jim, so much.

Blog 16