The Woodworker cover image for December 2014Welcome

There’s nothing like a spot of travel to liven things up a bit, both while you’re there and for the following days as well. New sights, places and people are almost always guaranteed to stimulate the imagination and to give the hungry woodworker an idea or two. During a couple of days in Bath (as opposed to the bath) recently, I started to feel as though I’d achieved one of my historical fantasies and actually managed to go back in time for real. Never having visited the place before, I was staggered to find myself in a city which, apart from a traffic light or two, seemed to consist entirely of original Georgian splendour.

Stone circles
The walk into the city centre was a succession of sumptuous stone buildings, each trying to outdo the other. Leafy square followed imposing crescent, and elegant street led into symmetrical circus, many dominated by superb mature trees which have flourished undisturbed since they were planted two hundred odd years ago.

Curved beauty
As well as the pleasure of observing the beauty of nature, I had nothing but admiration for the designers and builders of this select watering hole from another age. Every large house featured ornate doors and windows – all with elaborate interior shutters – and I couldn’t help but wonder how much work would have been generated for the carpenters and joiners of the time. Places such as the Circus – a Colosseum-inspired development of grand houses which took John Woods (1 and 2) and multiple teams of builders 14 years to finish – and Royal Crescent (John Woods again) underline the attraction of the curved frontage, and had me pondering furniture carcasses and columned decoration.

Deeply inspired
A visit to view top-class work from this era can always provide a rich source of classical inspiration for anyone with an appreciative eye, but sometimes the best ideas spring from the everyday things around us. I like to think that we at The Woodworker can play a small part in the genesis of a job, whether it be a straightforward magazine project or a variation on a theme. It’s always good to see things other people make, so if you’ve just finished something you’re pleased with, why not drop me a line – on a holiday postcard – and tell me all about it?