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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Autumn 2011 Fendermaking Course at Audlem Mill

Last weekend we ran another of our fendermaking courses at Audlem Mill. We had 3 students this time, Kim from Essex, Pete from Malvern & Mark from nr Wolverhampton.

On Saturday morning after a brief introduction we got knotting, making a couple of side fenders by crowning the rope. We worked with Victory Black rope which is a staple spun polypropylene designed to look like tarred hemp, it's a lovely material to work with as it knots very well. With a little persuasion we all stopped work for a lovely hearty lunch of Chilli Con Carne with Apple Charlotte for pudding mmm!

Mid-afternoon we stopped crowning & started making the core for our button fenders. These where made using 36mm polypropylene rope which we bound into circular cheeses using the same binding knot we had taught in the morning.

On Sunday morning we completed making our cores making sure they where a good shape & well bound together including the chains. Then it was time for the hitching to commence. We carefully put the required numbers of half-hitches on the centre spine, making sure they were evenly spaced & with a consistent tension. Once again it was a battle to get people to stop work for lunch but in the end the temptation of Christine's Chicken wrapped in bacon with roast potatoes & veggies was too much to resist. The afternoon seemed to just fly by as we continued to hitch, learning where to drop stitches & how to splice in more rope. By the end of the day everyone had completed their buttons to a good standard and they were better than you see in many chandleries. We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, our trainees were very keen to learn & it was a pleasure to pass on our skills to them. So a big thank you to Kim, Pete & Mark for being such a pleasure to work with and also to Peter & Christine at Audlem Mill for being such good hosts & feeding us so well.

Our next fendermaking course at Audlem Mill will be 3rd & 4th March 2012.