Friday, 8 September 2017

Making do...

 Occasionally, I find that the 'thing' I intend to create simply will not come out of the (considerable) stash I own. Or,I get to a crop and discover that I've failed to pack a staple ingredient for a particular idea. These moments are good for me. They cause me to assess and evaluate and in very many cases, come up with a different plan, making the best of what I have to hand. 

Travel back in time if you will, to 1662 England. Charles II was King, the monarchy newly restored. Women were being executed for witchcraft; paper crafting was probably not a thing. But other crafters have left their marks.
This fire surround was fashioned above what had been a fairly ordinary fire place. It's not as grand as it looks (although it is, of course).

The first panel above the fireplace is probably the front or back of a chest, a dowry or merchant's chest most likely, because it is so decorative. The 'shelf' of moulding above it, and the pieces of moulding around the other panels look as though they could have come from windows or frames of some sort. The date is carved into the patterned piece of moulding. The next two panels are drawer fronts, (close up, keyholes are clearly visible). The larger centre panel is possibly from a panelled door..and so it goes. So you see, 'necessity is the mother of invention' is not a new concept. You knew that. But isn't it remarkable that we can see 500 year old evidence of it. I expect the house owner wanted to impress somebody and the imposing fireplace was probably a fashion, a window onto wealth and prosperity. Who knows. 


I was a bit giddy about this fireplace, it's just in one of many rooms in a lovely old house that is now a school. And the reason I saw it - Mr Dunnit was commissioned to fit a new doorway, and he needed an extra pair of hands. So while I wondered about a bit taking photos and remarking on the incredible pillars in the main hall, he started to assemble the new doorway, with the pillars duplicated as uprights for a glass door.
I can't imagine how it would be re-purposed, but I hope that 500 years from now, there's still evidence of beloved's work. 

12 comments:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Oh wow. A story about history, architecture, improvisation, repair, and true love. What more can one ask for in a blog post from the 21st century.

Lynn Holland said...

Your man is one talented guy and how lovely you got to see his work in situ and also to see that grand fire surround.
I'll have to post a pic of me in a boiler house with the wandering welder. It wouldn't be anywhere near as attractive as your pic
Lynn x

BJ said...

Wow - what an amazing piece of history and to think your beloved has added to the history of the building with such magnificent work too. Amazing BJ

Twiglet said...

I really love that doorway - what a clever man he is indeed. The history tied up in the fireplace is wonderful isn't it. Marvellous to think it has lasted all these years and will probably last another few hundred too. Thanks for sharing the photos and info. x Jo

Lunch Lady Jan said...

That Mr D is a blooming genius!
Xxx

Shaz Brooks said...

Awesome piece of work, his doorway, blends in so well. And that fireplace- what a magnificent piece of work. I can look at that sort of thing for hours, just marvelling at the skill involved in the creation. So wonderful to see how it was repurposed. Hugs, Shaz X

Sue said...

WOW! Beautiful. My granddad was a very keen woodworker and my dad had all his old tools. When dad passed away, I took the tools to the museum in Lynn and they were very pleased with them.

Hope you are having a fab Friday and you get a lovely weekend. Sue

PS....I sent you a message yesterday using your contact form thingy on here. The beautiful notebook arrived yesterday. It and your card sure did make me smile. A lovely surprise. I will be emailing Kathy.

Monica said...

it will be a backdrop for a Loo.

your hubby is a craftsman
monica

Helen said...

Mr D is a man full of talent! (having seen evidence of it before I knew this to be true before today) The doors are incredible, but WOW to the fire surround; that is just staggering. As you know I have a thing for architecture and history so this pleases me much.. What a great building for a school - lucky pupils, I hope they appreciate it!

Christine said...

Beautiful post!
I hadn't realised the Mr D was an artist. I love to see good wood beautifully put together....Well done Mr D.

Elizabeth said...

Started to comment this morning when my PC decided to crash! Just wanted to say that the new door is a thing of beauty - Mr Dunnit is clearly a genius craftsman. The fire surround is not bad too. Recycling never goes out of fashion. Hugs, Elizabeth xx

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Great post Julia loved how you traced the various aspects of the 500 year old piece ... only in Europe would you see such a thing, certainly not here in the antipodes.
We're up and more than halfway through Wednesday here, still wee early hours chez vous.
Hugs Shaz in Oz.x