Ripon City Wetlands Framed

Ripon City Wetlands Framed

Laura at Ripon’s Yorkshire Wildlife Trust got in touch and asked me to carve six marker posts for the Wetlands, featuring different wildlife found in the area; I’ve done many of these for other YWT sites and they are always nice to do, with a simple bold design to aid identification and the name of each species underneath.

What wasn’t quite so straightforward was part 2 of the job: to construct a very large frame, which would be set in place in front of the picturesque views for photo opportunities. I knew it would have to be big enough for two or three people to pose behind, but also had to make sure the proportions looked right: after a few drawings I settled on a beast of a thing measuring 7ft x 4ft 6″. With the timber (sweet chestnut, my favourite wood at the moment ~ all the character of oak but a fraction of the price) ordered, I got the posts out of the way first.

Sanding the posts and routing the edges for a nice finish.

The marker posts finished it was time to tackle the frame; I carved the lettering first, for the lower horizontal beam, and decided on a simple oak-leaf-and-acorn design to go on the top beam. So far so good!

To construct the frame I cut some mortise and tenon joints and used glue and some heavy duty screws to keep it sturdy; the screw holes were plugged with some rustic oak pegs to give the impression it had been pegged in the traditional manner. Actually fitting the pieces together was a job and a half. They were so heavy individually and cumbersome due to the size, that much salty language and sweat ensued; it was far trickier than I imagined, and took me most of the day to put together ~ not to mention shifting it the 15 yards from outside into the workshop, awaiting collection.

Obviously this heavy lot wouldn’t fit in our Citroen Picasso, so I was indebted to Dave Powell from YWT who collected and transported all up to Ripon.

Once at Ripon City Wetlands Dave and the volunteers spent a busy day installing the marker posts, where hopefully the visitors to the site will be enjoying them.