Monday, 25 February 2013

False economy


Cro has just been saying how awful it is to get old and injure yourself through work. The other thing about getting old is the tendency to repeat yourself - you've seen these photos before, but I know you have, so I am relying on another symptom of old age when I show you them again - forgetfulness.

False economy: I bought this massive block of unidentified French stone from a bankrupt mason's yard because it was so cheap - about £30, I seem to remember.

It sat in my yard for a year or two until the owner of an ancient manor-house came to me because the egg-shaped finials either side on the gateposts to it had been stolen, and he wanted to replace them using photographs.

He also said that he wanted a few mice to be crawling around on top of the new ones (which greatly upset the local planners), and the name of the manor carved into the eggs. His girlfriend liked mice.

The scale and hardness of the stone meant that he ended up with rats rather than mice, but he didn't seem to mind. I split the block, then took the smaller piece to a stone yard to be roughly turned into two, egg-shaped bits which had excess left on for the 'mice', and when I went back to pick them up, the turner looked at me with utter hatred and told me never to bring him a piece of that stone again.



Some years later, I had forgotten the look of hatred in his eyes, and used the rest of the block to make the head below - because it was there.



Another picture of the top of my head - a view that most average height people rarely get unless I am kneeling in front of them, for some reason. It's a view that I keep expecting the Queen to be treated to (Services to Blogging), but I keep being passed over.

From the first whack I gave this block, I understood the hatred in that turners eyes. Sometimes it's better just to throw something away and start all over again, but at least the owners know that these items will last for hundreds of years, no matter what weather is thrown at them.

16 comments:

  1. You are such a clever cloggs Tom ...... I love the entrance eggs and that head is wonderful. Can you tell me why there is a line running along the bottom ? XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That line is where I had to join another bit of stone on the bottom to get a full beard with a larger head. It was eventually filled with mortar.

      Delete
  2. Love the finial with the mouse/rat on the top. Very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue - if you ever find yourself in Broughton Gifford, you can see them in the flesh. There is a classic village green there for old fairs, and a nice pub for lunch.

      Delete
  3. There's a house quite near here, that had one of a pair of round finials half-inched. The owner (or maybe the owner's 4 year old son) has recently replaced it with a hand-fashioned ball of concrete... it looks, er, fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get them to do something for your tower?

      Delete
  4. Comments on getting old, given to me years ago by a G P friend, long dead now.
    At medical college the lecturer said that a good way of testing for sugar in urine was to taste it - and he demonstrated by dipping his finger into urine and licking the finger. He got all his students to line up and do the same and when they got back to their seats he pointed out that what he had really been demonstrating was how observant doctors had to be - they had all licked the same finger they had dipped in, whereas he had licked the next finger!

    The same chap once said to his class that one of the signs of getting old was that you tended to repeat yourself. One of his students called out, "Sir, you told us that yesterday."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm confused now - you drive a green Transit and you drink your own urine instead of coffee?

      Delete
  5. Dear Tom,
    Ecclesiastes 1:9 (following Husband and Son and DIL into Lent starts to show...): although "there is nothing new under the sun" there is always someone (in this case: me) for whom it is new - each of your photos!
    Creating statues of stone: hard work (literally), and I love your results!
    Looking 'down' on people's heads: Husband's (1.98m) and son (2.02m) are deeply amused because with 1.78m I always think/feel I am almost as tall...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A two-metre husband? I will be careful what I say.

      Delete
  6. That's a great piece of work Tom and good to see that your grey matter is both inside & on the outside :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would ALL be on the outside if that block landed on my head.

      Delete
  7. All very Robert Thompson
    A nice touch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just looked up Robert Thompson and - for a while - thought you were talking about the murderer of James Bulger, then eventually found the mouse man under the pile of recent tabloid revelations. Phew - I almost got worried for a minute.

      Delete
  8. Nice full head of hair, Tom! And the sculptures are sublime...

    ReplyDelete