Through the Glass

Anna Pearse (a gifted maker of leadlight) designed this beautiful window many years ago. It was subsequently completed by her studio colleagues.

A tall window depicting Sun/Moon, Sky, Hills, Leaves and Ocean: that was the brief.

Alex and Ruth Pearse have very kindly donated the window to our Lady Bay Boatshed, where it will be installed – and cherished – for as long as the structure endures (my expectation is about 500 years – after which the posts and walls can be replaced, as in the Japanese temple tradition).


Well, there’s no denying it: I am a novice, and these things happen. My first attempt at a centre-rib proved to be unsatisfactory.

I have made a second version, and must now  adjust all the other ribs, so that they form a watertight lute shell. (Watertight is probably not the correct term, but that’s the way I think of the  process).

Slowly and unsurely the bits and pieces come together. I am still confident a musical instrument of some sort will emerge – and as I follow the Curve, I find myself having to learn (if not master) new skills, and old skills….



A  kind and longtime friend recently sent me a bank cheque, along with a written instruction to buy something you need – or else, something you may not necessarily need, but definitely want.

Those who have been following this Boatshed commentary won’t be surprised  to learn that I felt more inclined to the second half of the instruction – and as it happens, I had for some weeks been admiring a not really essential block plane at the online shop of  Fine Tools Australia.

Having persuaded my Credit Union to accept such an unfamiliar, and possibly criminal currency, I secured the diminutive Low-angle Block Plane, made by Qiangsheng Tools Co. China – and as you will see in the first photo (with the dollar coin), it is an adorable and handsome and irresistible woodworking tool.

I can’t understand how I have managed without it for so long.

Already it has proved useful for a range of unnecessary jobs, and I am certain there will be more.   It can get into difficult corners; it can plane smoothly across the end-grain; it is a joy to hold and cherish.

And it has settled in comfortably with the little family of Boatshed Block Planes, which grow in number if not size….



Slow going, as I cut the native cypress with Dad’s Japanese Ryoba saw.

The kerf is minute: approximately 1 mm – so there is little waste. A truly amazing saw-blade.

These rough-sawn ribs are 3 mm thick – I will plane each of them down to 1.4 or 1.5 mm, using the  Luben Low-Angle Block Plane.

(see my commentary: A Tale of Three Planes – March 2018).