Pushing The Boundaries

I am not the first to notice that everything is perfect in YouTube world. People lead apparent idyllic lives, and in my space its populated with magnificent craftsmen and women, with incredible skills, incredible tool boxes, and nothing ever goes wrong.

Whilst I have always been happy in pushing at the edges with my videos tackling things have never made before, I have always used materials and techniques I understand and where I have a modicum of skills.

In my latest video filmed during lockdown  I am taking a chance and trying something very different. During lockdown I have been trying to improve my skills so when we come out the other side I am better equipped, however all the skills I have been working on are allied to my trade that of a Wheelwright / Wainwright. They are all skills I would use in making a carriage. However for this video I am pushing the boundaries, away from my normal work and using techniques and materials I have never worked with.

So I set out to make what I want to call a swinging bench, but that comes with connotation’s, so we will call it a suspended bench. Where I push the boundaries is the sides and back are constructed from woven willow, something I have never done before, and more worryingly something I cant find having been done before. It must be I just haven’t found it.   Further in my research I came across a few swings and benches and one things I really hated was that they were suspended by chain or rope which had been knotted, not very tactile but I can understand why its done that way. I wanted something classier and so I also included spliced rope ends again something I have never done before.

During filming at the half way point it became very obvious I was not a master of weaving, or for that matter splicing rope. If you look carefully I only start to reach an acceptable standard at the end, and so I was in two minds whether to publish the video. It doesn’t show me in a Perfect light, as a master craftsman at the top of my game, but was persuaded by a few of my Instragram friends that it would be good to see someone pushing themselves. I can then making further videos in a few months showing how I have now perfected these skills, but as I am hoping for this to be the only lock down that might not happen.

So in that spirit enjoy the video. If you enjoy it – Marvellous, if you don’t treat me gently.

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