Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Dean Heritage Centre.

A few weeks ago we stopped at the Dean Heritage Centre in the Forest of Dean near Gloucester for a cuppa and a look round. There is always something of interest there and as my husband was born only a few miles away it's a favourite place for him. This amazing creature is carved from wood - from a distance it looks just like a stone sculpture.
There was quite a collection of other works, many of which have been worked with a chainsaw and there is usually someone on hand working, who will answer questions. I just photographed my favourites.

I love this bird of prey - he'd look lovely in our garden but we might put off the visitors to our bird table.

I can fully appreciate all the skill which went into creating the other pieces but have a very soft spot for this deer made from small branches picked up in the forest.
The Heritage Centre is a museum whose exhibits cover three floors and include archaeological artifacts from the Stone Age right through almost to the present day and featuring the flora and fauna of the area as well as industrial and social exhibits. There is a good cafe selling home made food using locally produced ingredients and a gift shop, as well as other small retail outlets selling locally made crafts. The entire area was once a thriving mining community for coal and ores. When the mines closed there was a great deal of hardship but now the area is an attraction for tourists and there seems to be a gradual upturn in the local economy. My husband sent some of his family photos to the museum and they have been on display along with many artifacts from the various industries and trades which were worked.
Back at home, progress on the completion of the capping round the edge of our pond is slow, but the work will be done in two weeks time. We did the whole job ourselves when the first pond was put in but that was 20years ago and we had youth on our side then. I didn't realise that the plants I dug up in such a hurry would have to wait so long before being replanted and wish I'd taken more care in potting them up, however, they look alright and the weather hasn't been too hot so they should survive.
I'm still making strips of textured bits and pieces for my 'allotment'. I keep chopping and changing and can't make up my mind how to present it but think it will have to be a soft wall hanging and hung like a quilt - it wouldn't look right in a frame though that would be easier. It's very labour intensive and there have been times when I've thought 'why am I doing this?' To quote Magnus Magnusson when he hosted Mastermind - 'I've started, so I'll finish'.


Anonymous said...

Those carvings are just amazing. Thank you.

BT said...

Wow, I can hardly believe that the griffin is wood, it's just amazing. The eagle is splendid too and that deer is so delicate. How clever.

The place sounds just the sort of afternoon I would enjoy, especially if there's a cafe. How lovely that your husband sent them some of his photos and that they have been on display. That was thoughtful of him. I have missed out on your 'allotment' so I shall read backwards (?) and see if I can find out what you are up to!

BT said...

Aha, I've just found the post on your allotment piece. How complicated it looks. I wouldn't even know how to begin such a work. I think it will definitely end up a wall hanging and I'm sure it will be stunning from what you have done so far. May I ask how you made those 'paper' beads?

Carol Q said...

oh Heather you always make me feel guilty at all my local places of interest that I've never been too! LOL I love the birdy of prey. Beautifully carved.

Maureen said...

Beautiful carvings heather, such a talent to be able to do such work, the dragon is amazing!!

Val said...

I've just spent a very pleasant 20 mins. looking over all your beautiful pix Heather - thankyou. I must admit I like the deer best though, there is something about odd shapes formed into something recognisable - magic I think!

Julie said...

What amazing sculptures and I love the deer too.