Tom Winfield

Tom Winfield Follow

Homo Faber 🔨
South Devon

http://tomsworkshop.uk/

397 Followers  182 Follow

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IGdry January. Hibernation over. Grateful to @neilmckinlay for his warming sense of humour this winter, follow this guy for some true news. Hollywood called yet mate?
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"No one does anything in January" in Devon I was told soon after I moved here and I can see why. I think today is the first day in two months it has not rained.
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That was over 2 years ago, about the time I completed my first commission, for @schumachercollege. It was an honour to leave a small legacy at this inspiring and necessary place. Solid chestnut and oak, all from woodland on the @dartingtonarts estate, minutes from the college. I know these stairs have given joy to many people (thanks @gavinblenchart) and I have learnt a lot since then.
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Structurally and creatively challenging, I often wonder about my path from working at the pinnacle of design and engineering to carpenter. And then it registers; back then, of course, I never got to make a damn thing. And if you ask me, with some sadness, that sometimes feels tragic to the young man I was. Carpenters are not the only makers but I know the music of tools working well and precise so satisfy me, that there is more to pleasure than just form and function, my senses are delighted by wood worked well. Tender grain and delicate fibres when forced sound like a tune out of key.
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I believe now that the human hand is a knowing entity, my own sense of beauty and judgement, even ethics, are firmly grounded in my senses. Not my intelligence. We live in our bodies and felt sense of each other, in the same way we have inhabited them for thousands of years. I rarely remember what someone said but remember the experience of the conversation. The tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling expressed through the body is primary and how we connect to the world. As Glaston Bachelard wrote about imagination: 'Even the hand has its dreams...'
Signing out for 2017, wishing you joyful festivities and gratitude for all for your support and kindness - it is welcome and appreciated. And what of this years teachings?

Well, I thought being myself and finding purpose might get a little easier? Michael Meade often talks about 'genius'; not something we name the few, but something for us all. Everyone and everything. In old Latin it meant ‘spirit present from one's birth'. Like all species we are born with a role, an ecological niche, to take a very specific place in the greater story of life. To be fully and uniquely ourselves is like becoming a poem, a unique expression, the gift of which can never be fixed by cultural categories and terms. And as Martha Graham put it: "It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions." So more of that next year please, good and not so good.

Truth is the strongest medicine... Along with vintage Port. 🌲

#wintertime #wintersolstice #itschristmas
Repost @outofthevalley_ "Timber frame up and ready for the next phase."
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I cut this oak frame, for a Finnish style sauna, with @outofthevalley_ last summer. Wonderful to see it raised, articulated in its simplest form, and settling in to the hidden Cornish home.
#smallisbeautiful #sauna
Repost @outofthevalley_ "The timber frame has been seated on four granite boulders elevating it above the waters edge."
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I cut this oak frame, for a Finnish style sauna, with @outofthevalley_ last summer. Wonderful to see it raised, articulated in its simplest form, and settling in to the hidden Cornish home.
#smallisbeautiful #sauna
Little ones love their new stage?
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Cabin by @otaboy1 .Deck by @tomsworkshop_
Larch. I got away without steam bending the curved front trim by using a very green plain sawn board from the outside of the tree. Slightly counter intuitive as a clean quarter sawn board might seem like the first choice. However, empirically, that did not bear out. I concluded the newest growth is most elastic and has to resist the greatest displacement and shear stresses when the whole tree is in bending.

Bringing my inner engineer (Patrick) to work is not optional.

Cabin by @otaboy1 . Deck by @tomsworkshop_
'Matthew Walker' end knot. #rigging

Cabin by @otaboy1 . Deck by @tomsworkshop_
Cabin by @otaboy1 . Deck by @tomsworkshop_
I am feeling the inward pull. Returning home each day with winter gathering round like a pestering wind. A time of listening, nurturing, and re-stocking. What sustenance has been growing in the land of my heart this year? In the Celtic calendar the year actually begins today, after the festival of Samhain on 31 October. The first month of the Celtic year is Samonios, 'Seed Fall': in other words, death and darkness brings life. It has always been that way. But as the darkness leans in, listening to sober news of nature's struggle, a quiet corner in me fears of the winter that will eventually become 'the long winter'. In the new Blade Runner 2049 film, ecosystem collapse in the mid 2020's has changed the world beyond recognition. Climate change has caused the sea level to rise dramatically. Humans who were not well enough to leave for the off-world colonies are left behind. There is no fresh food. By all accounts this collaspe is well under way. Biodiversity and habitat loss is leading to what Scientists​ are now calling the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history.

I am often struck by the sadness, around the beauty of this land, love and grief tossed on the same coin. Running under a line of trees near the riverbank, sometimes just the way the morning light catches my eye through the leaves is enough trigger crushing emotion. And then I wonder, as I go, how to best spend my time, broken and flawed as a man that I am.

I work with intention, the best I can. I cook with love and care, the best I can. I try to transform my personal and ancestral baggage, the best I can. I try to be patient with myself and others, the best i can. I support my partner, the best I can. I pain to find the words to tell you how life is for me, the best I can. I play with friends children in wonder and excitement. Well, that is effortless actually. And I might even do a good job of those things now and again.

On this all hallows day, my prayer is we all do what we can with what we have. Knowing the hardships endured by those who lived and died so we could be here, and the certain hardships to follow for our young. Start at home. Listen. That is what winters are for and it's a new year.
More charring of cladding using the @tomsworkshop_ patented shou-sugi-ban V-jig to hold and channel the flame. Hard Dartmoor oak for a current build we're on so a lighter, shallower, burn. Wonderful zesty scent.

I will be kind of glad when this architectural fashion is over but I also like the finish and texture it adds to the timber, and practically makes good sense given the durability and protection it adds. I'd prefer to be running the torches off a renewable though. Biogas? Magnifying glass?!🔥 Smokin'
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#shosugiban #yakisugi
Sawn larch meet cast concrete, cast concrete meet larch. Minimal construction with some handcrafted details.
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#fabricationfriday #wabisabi #timberisthenewconcrete (except when it's in the ground)
New project, new tools. It's a cliché about investing in quality tools, but it's a cliché for a reason. HKC55 18V circular & plunge saw, with detachable FSK cross-cut rail.
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#newtools #tomsworkshop #festoolfriday #hkc55 #festool #toolporn