Saturday, June 23, 2012

Castine 2012

On Friday 8 June, Mavis, Diane and I flew from JFK to Portland in Maine. We rented a car for the trip to Castine through the beautiful green country side and lots of delightful little towns.

We stopped in Camden for lunch and I bought this lovely painting by John Pa....? at Lucy's Dollhouse shop,  I can't figure out the last few letters of the name, I suspect it is a British artist, if anyone knows who the artist is, please let me know. Lucy's also sell beautiful antique dolls, wonderful to look at if you are a doll lover.

Late that afternoon we arrived in Castine, it was great to meet new and old friends and spend Saturday peacefully just relaxing a bit before the busy week kicked of with the opening dinner on Saturday night.

Sunday morning our classes started, mine was a full day class and more, the brass bed has 165 parts, wow, that is a lot of turning, just look at that pile of brass blanks waiting to be turned into a bed. I have never done any metal turning before and wasn't really sure what to expect, well, once I got the hang of how the tools worked which took about the first day, I really started to enjoy myself and then it was a race against time, I was determined to at least go home with all the parts finished and I did manage to do that.

Here is a photo of Bill Robertson's finished prototype bed that I took in the exhibition room, mine is still a pile of brass pieces, hopefully I will have it finished in a week or so. One of the tasks I found the hardest was drilling holes through all the brass ball bearings that is used to join all the pieces together. The task itself wasn't too difficult, but my poor hands just got sore from the handle on the drill tail stock that was just a piece of metal with no soft covering and we had to drill holes through about 50 ball bearings.

Here we are all hard at work. All in all it was a fantastic class and I learned more than I ever expected and I am eager to use my new found skills on some fire screens that has brass parts on them, like the original full scale ones in the following two photos .

Can you see the tiny brass finial on the top of this one?

And look at that brass pole on this one.

And here are some of my brass pieces together with a half stitched William Morris rug, wallpaper and fabrics that I am thinking of using in the bedroom that still needs to be built.

Castine is just an awesome experience and if you have ever wanted to go, don't wait too long, you won't be sorry


Fabiola said...

A fantastic experience!
Bye Faby

Catherine said...

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed every aspect of your vacation and the class. I knew you would love turning brass once you got started. I can't wait to see your finished bed. ;-)))

Rosamargarita said...

Que bien! el taller un éxito, la cama es exquisita.
Un abrazo
GRACIAS por no tener palabra de verificación

Linda said...

From where I'm sitting, the name of the artist that did your painting appears to be J. Palmer.

Alice said...

The brass bed looks lovely!
The painters signature looks like Palmer.

BLANCHE said...

Oh, Elga! William Morris fabric you have the background of my blog! Where did you buy?

Andy said...


I know I may have said this before but you truely are a marvel! What a lit of work you had to put into the brass bed, but if it looks as good as the one you took a photo of it will be well worth all those sore hands!

And not just metal turning either, wonderful rug too!!

The picture is sweet, it looks a little like Lavenham in Suffolk, but could be almost anywhere. Can't help with the name though sadly.

Look forward to seeing your finished brass bed when it's done.


Josje said...

What a great skill to learn! Glad you enjoyed it so much. I look forward to seeing the bed finished.

The painter's signiature looks to me like it says J. Palmer.

Elga said...

HaHa, you are all right about the painter being John Palmer, I should have read the front too :-), there is an inscription on the back and guess what Andy, it says 15th Century Wool Hall and Tudor shop, Lavenham, Suffolk, England!

Missy said...

Elga, if you ever decide to make a miniature of the firescreen with the brass finial on top, let me know. I'd love to have one!

Patricia Paul said...

Gorgeous project.

Margaret said...

What a beautiful bed to make, you have learnt some great techniques, I look forward to seeing your bed finished.

elvira said...

Ciao!! Bei lavori ..brava!!
Un bacio

jeffry said...

Hi Elga,
A wonderfull workshop and I just loved that bed. When finished it will look great with the color scheme you've allready made! And yes Castine is a wonderfull experience, a very busy but wonderfull one.
So it was nice to be able to see/speak eachother overthere

Debora said...

It seemed that Bill's class turned out to be quite a challenge but I'm so happy for you you got all the parts done! That way you can finish it when the time is right. But most of all it's great you got to learn more then you expected, cos those are the really important things to bring home back with you! New skills, yah! And you already sound keen to make them to use ;)