Is the Goose Getting Fat?

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Christmas is coming and if the Nursery Rhyme is to be believed Geese around the country should be putting on weight, so its time to start thinking about presents for your nearest and dearest as a festive gift, or for that matter any other time you need a gift, and who doesn’t like a candle?

This year for the first time I shall be offering a small select range of Tom Green Products which are made in very small batches, to very unique designs. The idea being once they are sold that’s it, there wont be any more its time to move on to the next product.

The first product out of the workshop are these hand tooled Black Leather Candle Holders designed to suit Pillar Candles. available from http://www.fitzrobbie.co.uk/acatalog/candleholders.html

I wonder if I could give some to Mrs Green for Christmas?

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Scared of a Spelling Mistake!

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For my latest project I have been building a temporary Signpost with attached signs for a Urban Food Festival Opening tomorrow at Canary Wharf for a few days.

The customer wanted a modern urban style sign based upon those tourist signs you see at destinations pointing out how far it is to New York and Tokyo. It needed to be modern, free standing on a solid floor, installed in a couple of hours without mechanical handling, and removed several days later without trace.

As you can see at the bottom we ended up manufacturing a lattice steel work post with brightly coloured signs at the top in bright modern colours.

The hardest part was specifying the wording for the signs. The customer wanted the option to reuse the structure at some point in the future, so the lettering is vinyl letters which can be peeled off at the end of this week, and replaced with something new next time. Ordering the  vinyl lettering is the bit that took the time if you make a spelling mistake no matter how good the structure, how bright the paint, the spelling mistake is the only bit people will remember.

I was reminded of a friend of mine whose job it is to arrange balloons, confetti, glitter etc to blow up or  fall down at the end of concerts. Who would have thought you could make a living doing that. Many years ago he was contracted at a very well known London Concert Venue to do a balloon drop at the end of a concert by the 1980s band Soul to Soul. The balloons with the bands name printed on had been supplied by the promoter, inflated by a balloon decorating company, my friends job was just to rig the mechanism to drop them down onto 5000 people. He was just about to press the button at the end of the concert when he noticed the balloons had “Sole 2 Sole” printed on – What do you do…….?

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A Sophisticated Bag for a Simple Man

I had a couple of days break between real work whilst I waited for an important customer to make a decision, so I took an opportunity to make a project just for me making use  of a leftover piece of leather.

A couple of times a month I forsake the comfort of my overalls, don a suit and commute into London, and whilst I have stripped back what I take with me I always have an iPad and my new Phone. When I replaced my phone as I can be quite hard on phones I chose one designed for builders, its supposedly drop proof, waterproof, dustproof, and designed for big fingers. Perfect I hear you cry, but as its for builders its also the size of a small brick and weighs just like one, so a bit big for a streamlined jacket pocket.

Therefore  I need a bag that can cope with my phone, my iPad  and hopefully a bottle of water, and more importantly looks right for me. I am man who is gently waving middle aged goodbye, my days of being able to carry off a stylish Italian leather man bag have gone, although if I an honest they never really arrived in the first place.

See how I get on and watch the video. According to my Fashion consultant, otherwise known as a daughter, Harpers Bazaar this month are hailing Prairie Chic – tooled leather as the new trend, so at last I am at the cutting edge of fashion. I maintain that fashion goes in a circle, and providing I keep wearing my dungarees I am ahead of the curve as I wait for the rest of the fashion world to remember again.

Enjoy the video

 

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The Old Blokes Kitchen Rides again

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Last year I was invited to appear at the Enfield Food festival,  I cant have been too bad because they have invited me back. I am on Monday but frankly having seen the line up its worth going for both days, and don’t bother taking a picnic, everything you need is there.

Last year was the first outing for my then new Smoker / Dehydrator, which lead to Smoked Tomato Powder, at the time revolutionary but now we have moved on experimenting and fine tuning the process, and now have a selection of “very interesting flavours”. We have had our successes and although I don’t like too admit it failures – Smoked Salmon powder tasted great but took weeks to get rid of the smell so don’t try that one. None of the flavour’s are available to buy so this is the only way you get to try them, and then you’ll want to make your own.

For this year demonstration I set out to make Smokey Bacon Crisps, therefore you obviously need Smokey Bacon Powder, which I have achieved although sadly  it doesn’t work very well on crisps – however it is magnificent sprinkled on hot chips. I am keen to let folk try it and get some feedback, but don’t have the capacity to cook chips for a large crowd, so we looked for alternatives and came up with pop corn.

So if you want to try Smokey Bacon Pop Corn which will be the climax of the demonstration  along with several other interesting flavours we have been playing with over the last couple of days – dehydrated watermelon is a revelation but does divide opinion. Then make your way to Forty Hall Farm in Enfield on Monday

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A Leather Lampshade

For this weeks video I demonstrate how to make a Leather Lampshade to fit my wooden Desk lamp. Over the years I have made a number of Leather Lampshades, in a variety of styles and colours, so I had forgotten the novelty factor of a Lampshade made from Saddlery Leather. However the reaction to the video has reminded me maybe this is slightly unusual. Follow the link and see what you think.

Opinion is divided, some folk are horrified, and others love them. I personally like the red leather ones, I did make some Black Patent Leather ones for a club which were interesting, and the Dark Brown leather Barrel shades looked really good. Recently I have been playing with carving Leather, maybe I should try carving a scene on the front.

What do you think? shall I continue with them – let me know

Tom

 

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Shine a Light

Its starting to feel like a proper film studio at the moment we have released one video a week for the last four weeks and there are a few more to come.

This weeks video shows how to make an Adjustable Wooden Desk light. The project  started as a need for a new bedside light and grew from there, into what becomes a product. In the past I haven’t kept products in stock for sale, instead customers ask me to make things for them, one off bespoke items, I don’t keep products in stock. However that’s starting to change and this will be my first “Stock Product”.

These products wont be available forever, I shall instead be making very small runs of each design, and when their all gone that’s it. That way I don’t get bored making them and gives me a chance to work my way through an enormous backlog of project ideas.

So have a look at this weeks video about a wooden light, next weeks video is for an unusual lampshade to fit, so if you want to find out about that remember to press subscribe. If you would like a own of the very few lanterns to be made then go to http://www.fitzrobbie.co.uk/acatalog/Tom-Green-Lighting.html

 

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A Useful By Product

Sometimes you stumble onto something good by accident, and you end up with a result you didn’t expect which far exceeds your expectation, and that’s where I am with Vegan Gravy powder.

If you have read my blog before you will know last year I made a smoker / dehydrator in order to make smoked paprika. (look on the Heritagecraft you tube channel) This project became public knowledge and I ended up demonstrating it at the Enfield Food festival, unfortunately the peppers for paprika weren’t ready, but the farm holding the festival had a surplus of tomato’s and so smoked tomato powder was born, which has transformed our cooking ever since.

Now it so happens that several members of my family have food allergies and one of the biggest issues is gravy powder, the one version we used to be able to buy has been discontinued by the manufacturer leaving us gravy less, so as the old proverb says “Necessity is the mother of Invention”.

Following a period of experimentation our home made gravy Powder is ready. A combination of Tomato, Mushroom, Onion, and Golden Beetroot, all smoked, dehydrated, and powdered, and mixed together with corn flour acting as a thickener. The end result is a gravy powder which is natural, without any additives or salt, but also happens to be Vegan and Gluten Free.

Best of all it tastes good, and all because the Peppers weren’t ripe. Now you can watch the video, and in September you can buy the book .

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