Category Archives: design


I turned the front of my vessel. A lovely plank of rippled ash running to the blonde sapwood on one side. It is about a metre in length by 400. I drew on a pattern of arc and radians. Carved a pattern of vee chevrons over the next few days. Tried to turn the back off, but the wood had twisted and turning had changed from tricky to silly. 0ne metre of wood on the faceplate comes past slowly. Thock, thock,thock. I took it off and planed it to form. Went through the grades of abrasive, filled the screwholes, fussed the face a bit more and a coat or four of oil. A clear evening, so it was down to the industrial estate with a broom and a camera to take some photos. Please visit my new web site on


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Visit Nick Barberton’s New Web Site

I have just finished building my new web site! Please go to to take a look at some of my latest work, exhibitions or to commission me.

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Solent Raid

We signed up for a group holiday. We like to think of ourselves as individuals, not following the herd, doing different things, but there is a time for everything. We were going on a Raid in the Solent with forty open sailing boats. We persuaded John and Frances to come along. I need John’s expertise in sailing and they are good company.

George at Solent Raid head office linked us with John and Lainey who sail a Ness Yawl like ours, to stay with us for the home nights. Why does everyone we know who sails have the same name?


Getting 40 boats into the water in one tide at Keyhaven is not easy, but the people are nice. We tie up at the Key three and four deep and go for our pub supper trying to attach names to the faces (no they are not all called John). The next morning we are sailing across to the Isle of Wight and up the Medina. We spread out once we have left Hurst Castle. Why are they going faster than us? We skip the packed lunch at Newtown and press on for Cowes, fearing the tide stream being against us if we wait too long. Cowes in the week before ‘Cowes Week’ is a maelstrom of yachting affluence. We go ashore for a bit of lunch and the town itself is rather poor. The wind carries us upstream to the Folly Inn where we are to camp for the night. We Tie up 6 deep on the pontoons and eat the remainder of the packed lunches we neglected to have midday. Our tents arrive and we pitch them in the car park under the trees. Supper is good and fun. We are starting to communicate more. The ground is hard.

the support vessel and get a tow down the glassy windless Medina. Haul up all our Canvas (Dacron actually) and pray for wind. Slowly we all creep out from the island, drifting more with the tide than sailing. The wind picks up ever so slowly and eventually we approach Calshot Castle and are sailing rather briskly up the Solent to Ashlett creek for lunch. There are too many boats for the small creek and we eat our lunch at a mooring before setting off for Beaulieu River with the wind against us. We got stuck in the mud up Beaulieu River because of tacking wide in the channel and discovering how shallow it really was. What a waste of time when we are trying to prove to our compatriates how efficient we really are. We pick up our tents and tie up at the pontoon. We reluctantly pay the ferry that brings us back to the yacht club. John gets a refund later! We pitch tents in the drizzle and get a sit down meal for all 100 of us. The next morning we leave several of our tents in John and Frances’ tent for them to collect in the evening.

We tack against the wind to Lymington, making fast at the yacht club, where we are given a notable meal and Live music. We opted to sail up the Yar the next day. Tacking up to Hurst castle and across to the island. The masts came down for the swing bridge that was not swinging then. We sailed slowly and peacefully up the idyllic river and stopped at the bridge near Freshwater where we ate. Down to Yarmouth again and the warning was that the wind was up to force 5. So, Mizzen out and a reef in the mainand all our foul weather gear on. Safely back with George behind us in the Rib. haul the boats out and enjoy convivial barbecue!

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Carving a doorway

I have been lucky,

I have been asked to carve one of my patterns on a doorway for a house near Lymington. The patrons had seen another door that I had carved and wanted more. This is an overall pattern and will give a texture and excitement to the front of the house. There was some hold up while they found a joiner to make the door and surround and I could complete a chair and then a shelving system. Then it arrived eight foot by ten foot of Framework and a door and two panels. This fitted in my double doors and onto the framework that I had assembled over my combination machine. I rigged up long trammels that arced from more or less where I had them in my drawing and traced arcs across the doorway. Michelle and Mark seemed pleased and were happy to let me chop into their investment. Now six weeks later I have carved the two side panels and am working on the door. I have tennis elbow and have to take frequent breaks when my arm seizes up. It excites me and is looking great. The end is in sight but I don’t want to carve this size area for ar least a year.


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My daughter Zan has set me up with this blog site.

I live a simple life. I hit blunt things on sharp things to try and make wood prettier. When I am successful I sell them, unsuccessful they keep us warm. Computers are one of the necessary evils of the 21st century, so here goes. I will probably gain direction and style.

Workwise. I am exhibiting at Manchester Craft and Design Centre 15th August to 31st October. Kelda may put one of my pieces into the Wesley Barrel shop window. Thank You Kelda. Thank you Wesley Barrel. Around the middle of September the Craft Study Centre will come and choose one of my pieces for their next exhibition. The best of what is on offer for Origin at Somerset House in October, the post summer selling exhibition. Harry and Harry brought me some fresh walnut. It is not what they said it was, but the wood is pretty and has potential. I will have to use it before Origin.


We have a Grandson. Zan is balancing freelance work with raising Isaac. Syann has rushed to Johannesburg to be with her Mother when she died. Cath Fauell was 90 and will not easily be forgotton.

I anticipated no work after Christmas and decided to build a boat. Passions and hobbies do not obey rules and I am nearly finished and will have a launching in early September of my Ness Yawl.walnut

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