Last Thursday a Bespoke Green Oak Bed was seen (if only for a few short clips) on BBC2’s ‘Building Dream Homes’ Available on iPlayer for only one more day! The bed doesn’t appear until the last 5 minutes so don’t lose heart.
Inlaid butterfly joint detail to stop the cracks in the headboard opening up
The program followed a number of architects from across the UK. Wendy Perring of PAD Studio was the architect behind the stunning house in the New Forest in which the bed now resides.
Built in side tables with integrated power and light switches
The 3.3m long solid oak headboard helps give the master bedroom a natural feel, something that the owners were keen to achieve. The floor to ceiling glazing gives stunning views to the surrounding woodlands, helping to make the connection between the solid English oak of the bed and the surrounding trees.
As many of the followers of this blog will already know, Heidi and I got married on a very happy day last September. As you may imagine, it was a very handmade affair, but not just on my part. We had a lot of invaluable help from many friends and family to make it a personal, memorable, and at times moving day.
The largest (by far) of the handmade details was this green oak arch, under which the marriage ceremony was held.
Now the dust has settled we have launched a new wedding services page on the BGO website. From where you can find out more about hiring the arch for your own wedding ceremony.
‘Father’ Mike taking us through our vows
I can’t recommend an outdoor ceremony highly enough. It gives you so much freedom to make it your own and do exactly what YOU feel is important.
Planning a wedding is not for the faint hearted, especially if you want to make your wedding stand out and be a true representation of yourselves. Now knowing just how hard this is we are also offering bespoke wedding detail and decoration services. For example bespoke cedar shingle bunting or hand painted oak table name signs.
Handmade cedar shingle bunting, using eco-friendly paint
Hand painted table name signs
If you’re planning a wedding, or know someone who is, we’d love to help make it as happy and memorable as ours was. Email us now to discuss your ideas. email@example.com
Sad news as one of the Nation’s ancient green monuments is lost forever… Is it just nature taking its course or should we be working to preserve such magnificent specimens as this?
Just a couple of minutes from the hustle and bustle of the A303 you can find yourself in the peaceful presence of the ancient Silton or Wyndham’s oak.
The Silton oak stands quietly in a Dorset Field
The small rural village of Silton lies just 2 or 3 miles South of the A303, near Wincanton. A quiet field behind St Nicholas Church is home to the stumpy Silton or Wyndham’s oak (grid reference ST78422936). With an impressive girth of nearly 10m it is thought to be in excess of 1000 years old.
Heidi and I investigating the hollow insides
Also known as Wyndham’s oak, after a Sir Hugh Wyndham (born in 1603) who bought the manor of Silton in the late 17th Century, this ancient specimen has a surprisingly gruesome past. In 1685 Charles II died and his Catholic brother James II succeeded to the throne. A revolt started in support of Charles II’s illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The rebellion was suppressed and a rather sinister sounding chap called Judge Jeffreys was sent down to the South West to try the defeated rebels. Two such rebels were hung from this very tree!
Wyndham’s oak with St Nicholas Church in the background
It was quite common practice to use ‘Hanging’ or ‘gibbet’ trees back then. And Judge Jeffreys, it seems, was a big fan having hanged over 300 peasants! He left, “some places quite depopulated, and nothing to be seen in ’em but forsaken Walls, unlucky Gibbets and Ghostly Carcasses. The Trees were laden almost as thick with Quarters as Leaves.”
Still standing as a silent witness to our past, this ancient oak tree, like many others around the country, needs to be preserved and enjoyed as the green monument it is.
Much of the fascinating historical information above was taken from a must read book for all tree lovers out there, “The Heritage Trees of Britain and Northern Ireland”
Just a really quick note to let all you facebook users out there know about BGO’s Valentines competition!
WIN a pair of Lovers’ Tealight holders for Valentines Day!
Lovingly handmade in the BGO workshop, from sustainably sourced English oak. These unique little blocks of love, exclusive to BGO, are sure to touch the heart of your nearest and dearest.
To enter simply go to the BGO facebook page www.facebook.com/bespokegreenoak and ‘like’ it. Then ‘share’ the competition post.
The winner will be chosen at random from all the sharers and likers and announced on Sunday 10th February. Good luck!
Apologies to all non-facebook users, as most of the above will be total mumbo jumbo to you!
The Lovers’ Tealight Holders are available for £15 a pair (including 2 tealights and UK mainland P&P).
To be sure of getting your hands on a pair please get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 07973 863 511 to order yours today. Last orders in time for Valentines Monday 11th February.
Just before Christmas Heidi (my new Fiancee – not that there was an old one you understand!) and I visited Mottisfont Abbey for a crisp, wintery stroll around the gardens to see the ‘Stargazing’ sculptural trail that they’ve got on there until the 27th of this month. There is also an undercover exhibition inside the house called, ‘New Directions in Contemporary Craft’ in case of rain!
The grounds of Mottisfont are really lovely and the trail is a great way to invite people to give themselves a guided tour. The best thing for me is that it encourages people to actually use their eyes to search out the various sculptures. While some are hard to miss others are a little more tucked away. Here’s my favourite…
A hanging willow sculpture of shooting stars by Alessandra Cattaneo.
One of the other attractions to wonder at in the grounds of Mottisfont is a huge London Plane tree. Reputed to be the largest specimen in the country, it is very impressive indeed, even viewed as we did in its winter state of undress.
Believed to date from the early 18th century, in 1990 the Mottisfont Plane was measured at 40m tall with a massive girth of 12m and the area covered by its branches a whopping 1500m2.
Both the stargazing sculptural trail and the Contemporary Craft exhibition run until the 27th of January. The Great Plane will be there for many years to come!
Romsey is to be home to a brand new Art and Craft Gallery called Rum’s Eg (from the Old English name for Romsey). But this will be a gallery with a difference… it wont make any profit! It is to be a ‘not for profit’ venture, run by the newly established Hampshire Art & Craft Community Interest Company. Once up and running the takings will be used to help local charities and organisations in the community. In the meantime they will be used to fund the on going development of 27 Bell Street, the 3 storey listed building in which Rum’s Eg has taken up residence.
The ground floor of Rum’s Eg will be open for a Christmas exhibition, offering an opportunity to buy unusual and exquisite gifts from a selection of Hampshire’s finest artists and makers. The exhibition will run from this Thursday 6th, through to Saturday 22nd of December. After which it will be closing until February 2013, to allow the refurbishment of of the first floor cafe and the second floor workshops to be completed.
If you do manage to make it down to Rum’s Eg for this special Christmas opening you will see one of my green oak beam and glass coffee tables as well as some of my smaller, stocking filler, gift items like my oak tealight holders and the BGO Natural bird boxes. You can find more information about Rum’s Eg and the Hampshire Art & Craft CIC, including ways you can help this exciting new venture, on their website.
Here are some photo’s of a green oak pergola that I recently installed for a couple in Surrey.
The pergola nestles into a space near the house where a swimming pool once was.
Once vines have been established over it it will provide a very cosy space to sit and bbq in those warm summer evenings that we are bound to get next year… Surely!? In the meantime some chilly stargazing through the rafters will have to suffice!
This photo shows the braces, the traditional pegged mortice and tenon joints and the detailing of how the top rafter locks over the top of the posts and cross rafters.
This snap shows one of the top post joints ready to be pegged. Also in shot was probably the most useful tool of the day, the ‘Mighty Thor’! My heavy copper/hide mallet, perfect for banging in pegs and the fine adjustment of 6″ green oak posts!
Through this commission I met a very fine chap called Gordon Croy of Accent Garden Designs. To whom I must extend my thanks for ensuring the site was ready to accept the pergola and hence making it a very straightforward raising! Have a look at the AGC website to find out more about them and to have a nose around some lovely gardens!
Finally I must apologize for my prolonged absence from blog writing! My girlfriend and I (and lots of extremely kind friends and, paint brush wielding, family members) have been very busy (totally!) refurbishing our new house. I hope to keep you all more up to date with BGO developments, news and musings throughout the twilight of 2012 and onwards into 2013.
When one of Sark’s premiere hotels wanted to compliment its sumptuous accommodation with a smaller suite of equal standard, for its feathered visitors, I was only too happy to help!
Stocks Hotel is now the proud owner of a BGO Natural Bird Box. As you can see from this photo, they have put it up on the gable end of of one of the buildings, sitting against waney edge oak weather boarding, below the oak finial and facias. Lets hope the Sark birds are as bigger fans of oak as BGO and Stocks Hotel are!
This BGO Natural Bird Box should blend in well with its oak surroundings!
Last year the hotel underwent a major refurbishment and is now one of the premiere places to stay in the Channel Islands. All of the renovations were done extremely sympathetically, highlighting the beauty and grandeur of the 18 century granite buildings. And the fact that it is still run by local families means that the welcome and experience there is still as warm as ever.
To find out more about Stocks Hotel visit their website, blog or facebook page.
They’ve promised to keep us posted on any small guests checking into the BGO suite!
The official Sark Tourism website can be found here.
Seasoned oak Sideboard and TV Unit with fumed oak detail.
Here are a few photo’s of a recent commission that I completed for a couple in Wiltshire.
Gentle curves to the outside of the legs are mirrored by the lines separating the sides of the doors and drawers. The customers wanted the face of the sideboard to have clean and simple lines. This was achieved by using hidden handles on the tops of the doors and the bottom of the drawer fronts. These lines were picked out by setting the drawer fronts and doors in front of fumed (darkened) oak frames.
Fuming is the process of darkening oak by exposing it to ammonia fumes. These fumes react with the oak’s natural tannins to change the colour. The length of time that you leave the oak exposed to the fumes determines the depth of colour. I’ll do a separate blog post on fuming soon. It is a remarkable process, which gives great results!
This is the TV Unit made to compliment the Sideboard. It uses the same gentle curved legs and fumed oak detail. The open cupboard on the left, houses the various sky boxes, dvd players, etc. and has a hole for power leads cut in the back of it. I think the drawer on the right is used to house a small family of remote controls!
I have also been commissioned to make two small side tables to accompany the Sideboard and TV Unit. I’ll put some photo’s of those up when I’ve got some good ones.
Photo’s of these pieces haven’t made it onto the BGO website yet but have a look at the medium gallery there to see more examples of past furniture commissions.