John had been working on the carving of hydrangeas since the day of our show at Hollingworth Lakes in October 2017. It was an unusual choice of subject and he took us through the thought processes and tools used. The wood had been chainsawed down to the heartwood at sometime and still showed sings of beetle in the softwood. He used a Sabur donut tool to get the shape of the flower heads and a forester drill for the layout of the florets. There was a disasters along the way when the flower heads and the vase came apart. The broken stems were held together with insulating tape and copious quantities of superglue fed into the damaged area. The florets were coloured with blue shoe polish as the amount of colour could be adjusted late on in the process more easily than with paint. The stalks were painted with acrylic paint and the vase finished in Vaseline.
The hydrangeas were an unusual form of John’s normal way of carving using Found wood. Found wood, he defines as ‘not machined”, as Bought is an opposite of Found, and all Bought would is machined. With various examples, he showed the advantages of found wood. It is far less boring than square bought wood, and has the strength that the growing tree builds into the wood, so there is less problems with short grain etc. He takes penknife were ever he is and carries a 6 tooled Flexicut knife set on holidays.