There’s a silver tealight holder you can buy with the Oxford skyline on it

Two years ago Gareth saw it and declared he wanted one with King’s college Chapel, and the porter’s lodge.

I did my best to finish it for Christmas, but you know that thing where you realise that yes, you could finish this thing for Christmas, but it would probably kill you, and you would kill someone else, and then you would be too tired from all the stress and Grumpiness and gratuitous slaughtering of innocent bystanders to actually enjoy Christmas?

Well, that happened, and I didn’t even get the basic wall cut out. (drafting it had taken me a week)

I mean it would help if the habitual minimalist hadn’t suddenly decided he wanted the most ridiculous frilly wedding cake of a building rendering in miniature silver – I mean, the thing is testament to having more money than sense in the stonemasonry budget. (he lived in the sixties concrete block concealed within the frilly bits, but did he want the concrete block? NO, because the concrete block would have been too easy. GIt)

Anyway, after about thirty hours or so of drilling and piercing, I’ve got this far, and I’m not entirely happy with it.


I’ve accidentally cut through the (much simplified) tracery on one of the towers, and it’s so delicate I’m ever so slightly terrified of trying to solder a repair. And bits of it are wonky. And you can see the drill holes (I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oxford one was laser cut)  Actaully I’m completely terrified of doing any soldering on it at all, I’m seriously contemplating just bending it round the glass inner and telling him it’s new wave deconstructionalist silversmithing, that it’s a very avant-garde new technique I’ve used to counterpoint the delicacy of the gothic frippery. He’s completely bamboozled by artspeak so I reckon he’s buy it.

It needs about two weeks of careful filing before I even contemplate any solder though, and his birthday is in less than a week.

So Guess what Gareth isn’t getting for his birthday?

~ by opusanglicanum on February 5, 2016.

19 Responses to “grrr…”

  1. Well I think it’s stunning. If he ‘s foolish enough to make any comment on any perceived issues then tell him you have perfectly rendered the erosion on those buildings. You’ve captured the spirit – it says Oxford perfectly- bugger the fine detail!!

  2. I think it’s beautiful. Shown against the light in your picture, it looks like an ink drawing, and the slight wobbles give it bags of character that a ‘perfect’ laser-cut version just wouldn’t have.

  3. Myself, I think it looks lovely. And if Gareth was like some students I used to know, he never saw anything straight enough to pick up on any slight twitchy bits!

  4. It is unbelievably fabulous. Gareth will love it — for birthday, or Christmas or any time. Take your time and finish it to your satisfaction.

  5. It is stunning. Tell him it is Cambridge with that early morning mist from the fens… or early morning still hungover from the night before… Gosh, I’d be eternally in awe of anyone who made anything so lovely for me.
    Knit him socks next year.

  6. It’s beautiful! The Oxford one is so simple in comparison. I’m amazed over your patience in doing such a complicated design.
    (I think Gareth is getting a card with a message in the vein of “all good things come to he who waits”)

  7. It’s stunning, but I know what you mean about knowing something is wrong and it irritating you every time you see it. But it’s so lovely. You are so talented

    • I could quite fancy doing a whole series of them, but
      a – they’d be very expensive presents, the glass part alone is twenty quid, plus silver, a dozen sawbaldes (they snap cos they’re so thin) and hallmarking fees, making half a dozon could get financially ouchy
      b – the pressure to finish so many for Christmas would get too much for me, I think.

      still, I know a couple of people who’d like one with a curled dragon, a durham cathedral one would be fab, Gareth’s sister would love and with romping westies, and my dad and janet would love one with a slinking collie and some sheep.

      maybe I’ll think about the collie one as a housewarming present for dad and janet, they’re about halfway through renovating their new bungalow

  8. That is why I often put my work away for a year or so and then take it out. By then I have at least partly forgotten what my imagined image was and the ‘mistakes’ have miraculously vanished.

  9. He’s a lucky lucky man, that Gareth, delays notwithstanding.

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