Sunday, 15 July 2012

making a root stand MK1

It is getting to the stage where some of my trees need stands so they can be included in displays and shows properly. At Chelsea flower show this year I was scouting the displays as you do for any interesting bits that would be given away at the end and spotted some ancient vines in the African tourist Board stand in the pavillion. Asking if they would be available at the end we were told yes so at the end I bundled 4 large south African grape vine trunks together and carried them the mile or so back to the car.......they were getting quite heavy half way back and by the time I got to the car I was totally knackered.

I used one as a tanuki trunk for a juniper and have used about one and a half to make this stand. The vines were screwed together to make a rough stand shape then totally burnt with a blow torch. 2 hours of sandblasting cleaned it up beautifully and removed any soft rotten wood. Following the sandblasting random sections were lightly burnt again to add colour. I 'dismantled' an oak side table that had come from my gran and used the top to finish off the stand. All the sections were properly screwed together and leveled up, then the carving bit was bolted onto the grinder and the top shaped to go smoothly with the legs.

5 coats of satin varnish and here is my first bespoke stand - made for the slanting driftwood juniper - the pot is a 17"  drum so you can get a rough idea of the size of the finished stand,

I kept working the top until it was a perfect fit for the Walsal Ceramics drum pot and tried to balance the stand and pot where ever possible - the feet of the pot are centered above two thick strong root sections while the gap between the feet is mirrored with a hollow and cutback in the stand top. I feel the power from the pot now flows down into the stand so hopefully it comes across in show as a pleasing combination as I've just gone with instinct making it really.

Here we go - tree, pot and stand all together and I'm really happy with MK1 stand. Now to plan the entire display - the accent will need a different style of stand so no roots, burrs or wooden jitta can be used really. I think a very neat formal wooden stand if I use a small tree as the accent or a slate maybe if I use a traditional grass or flower.........??

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