Cake and eat it!

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Michelle Robertson

Monday, April 6, 2009

I have spent this weekend in the company of some lovely carvers in Orpington, Kent and at Lancing College, West Sussex, and what a wonderful time I had. On the back of one of my recent blog entries where I asked for clubs to invite me to tea, the Woodentops carving group took up the challenge and asked me to come along to their Saturday gathering where author Bill Prickett would appear as guest speaker. In the words of club treasurer, Cathy Thomas:

"I"ve just read your latest blog on the Woodworkers Institute site where you invite us to invite you to tea! In this spirit you are cordially invited to join us at our Woodentops meeting this Saturday, 4 April. Not only do we supply tea but also coffee and cakes too!"

How could I refuse an offer such as this? As it turned out, I was offered 3 lots of cakes throughout the day so my quarterly quota for the year has now been exceeded!

Cake 1: The Meet

The day itself was wonderful and I never tire of meeting carvers who are so enthusiastic and passionate about carving, something which was evident from the many conversations I had with various members of the club, and from the work displayed on the day. There really is an exceptional amount of talent amongst this band of carvers, and I hope to be able to feature the work of some of them in the magazine too – Benjamin Bedford"s work really has to be seen to be believed, and even then it"s hard to believe!

Oh and the homemade chocolate cake was sublime!

Cake 2: Mick Cuomo

From the meeting, I was next invited to club founder and Woodcarving author, Mick Cuomo"s abode, which houses a large collection of beautiful carvings from Mick, plus one or two from others (most notably Rimas Metlovas). I was taken on a whistle-stop tour around the "museum", chomping on more cake, courtesy of Mrs Cuomo who herself shows great talent with her tapestries, before setting off for my next round. I hope to also bring you a feature on Mick"s carvings very soon.

Cake 3: The Thomas household

The next cake came from an invite back to Cathy"s house with Bill Prickett. There I was treated to viewing some of the early work of Bill"s which truly was fascinating. It really is an honour to say that I have held in my hands a Bill Prickett carving. Cake was lovely Cathy (sorry about the cheese!) and thanks ever so much for a lovely day.

And then I was off home to cradle a full stomach!

The Sunday saw me visiting Crafts at Lancing College as a result of an invitation from Peter Hurrell and his Porchester evening class, who were demonstrating at the event. It was reassuring to spot woodcarvers amongst the many varied stalls, which helps to keep the craft in the public eye, and I hope that they received a keen interest – they certainly looked to be busy with curious visitors. The work on display was again superb, so well done to Peter and his group who I will be seeing again at the Wests" Woodshow on the 8th May.

So for those of you who think I can eat more cake, do invite me to your clubs. See you soon!

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