Salt, Pepper and Spice Mills – Rescued From the Flames!

Pepper Mills by Steven Kennard 2018
Pepper Mills by Steven Kennard 2018

Those who know my work will see that I have begun producing something quite different from my boxes. The story of how this happened is an interesting one.

I have firewood delivered to me every year, and every year while stacking these pieces, I discovered wood that was far too beautiful to end up heating my home. Every year I rescued some of these, putting them aside to dry in my workshop, saving them for… I wasn’t sure what! They were local maple, with lovely figuring, I just couldn’t stand the idea of burning them. So the piles of rescued wood in my workshop grew and grew and grew until this year I couldn’t move around for the stacks of them. I knew the time had come to give them a purpose. And so here they are! I present you with my latest project, the first collection of (for the most part) “Rescue” grinders, for pepper, salt or spices. They are made mostly from the maple from my firewood, with the exception of the few I have made in walnut and cherry. All are lovingly hand turned, polished and finished, each is unique and every mill features a ceramic Crushgrind® mechanism which is guaranteed for 25 years and is a pleasure to use. The finished grinders, though made with material discovered in firewood piles are in no way inferior to those made with commercially available wood. In fact they are superior, as this kind of beautifully figured wood is just about impossible to buy. I guess they are burning it all now. That is such a terrible waste. I wish I could go through all the firewood piles to see what treasures there are to be found. In the “Rescue” mills in particular I see the creation of a useful, beautiful object that will give pleasure for many years to come and I find that intensely satisfying in itself.

You can read more about these on the new Shop page on my site (see the menu above) – (linked here) which I am excited today to announce is open, linking to an Etsy purchase shop.

Stuart McLean – In Memoriam

I just heard the sad news of the death of Stuart McLean. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his crew and photographing his show in 2009 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. The video I made of the photographs is accompanied by one of his best loved stories, as told by Stuart himself. It’s a very funny story and typical of Stuart’s wonderful story telling talent. He was a Canadian literary treasure who will be sorely missed.

Sunset Over the Deben

Sunset over the River Deben, Woodbridge, Suffolk- Steven Kennard 2015
Sunset over the River Deben, Woodbridge, Suffolk- Steven Kennard 2015

On our first day in Suffolk we were reminded of the beautiful sunsets that so often occur in this county. This is the River Deben, seen from Woodbridge in late November.

Sleeping Elsie

Sleeping Elsie - Steven Kennard 2016
Sleeping Elsie – Steven Kennard 2016

I have few words for this photograph. My little granddaughter, Elsie looks so peaceful sleeping that I couldn’t help myself wanting to capture this beautiful moment.

More of My Day in New Zealand

Although I only had one day to spend in New Zealand sightseeing, thanks to my new found friend Tref, I managed to get to see far more than I would have on my own. Clicking on any of these photographs takes you to my New Zealand Through My Lens gallery.

Ferry from Half Moon to Auckland - Steven Kennard 2016
Ferry from Half Moon to Auckland – Steven Kennard 2016

I caught a Ferry which took me from Half Moon to Auckland. It was a stormy day and the bright light when it appeared was a striking contrast to the dark and angry storm clouds. I liked the way the silhouette of the lighthouse was haloed by the glow of the dramatic sky.

Gannet Rock With Gannets

Gannet Rock with Gannets- Steven Kennard 2016
Gannet Rock with Gannets- Steven Kennard 2016

Gannet rock is a beautiful natural habitat for these wonderful birds. As you can see here, they spill over into the cliffs around, where they breed. I could have spent all day here.

Gannets on the Rocky Cliff

Gannets on Rocky Cliff - Steven Kennard 2016
Gannets on Rocky Cliff – Steven Kennard 2016

These beautiful birds were constantly moving around, preening, squabbling, mating, nest building and generally having a great time.

Gannets, Gannets, Gannets!

Gannets, Gannets, Gannets - Steven Kennard 2016
Gannets, Gannets, Gannets – Steven Kennard 2016

A closer look at the gannets on the cliff shows the activity of gathering materials and arranging into what are their nests. These are pretty primitive rustic things, just a few sticks, feathers and bits of debris. They don’t seem to feel crowded as their personal space seems to be defined by slightly more than the distance each one could reach to peck his neighbour with his sharp beak.

Storm Building off Muriwai Beach, New Zealand

Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand - Steven Kennard 2016
Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand – Steven Kennard 2016

The woodturning symposium in New Zealand where I was demonstrating finished on a Sunday and my flight wasn’t until Tuesday night. Thanks to the kindness of one of the attendees, Tref Roberts, I got to experience as much of the beauty of this country as was possible in one day. I had a whirlwind sightseeing tour of the area, where it was Spring time and the weather was very dramatic and changeable, which only intensified the experience on this unforgettable day. I will have a gallery of my images taken on that day and here is the first, on the shore of the beautiful North island.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof



What is it on that roof? - Steven Kennard 2016
What is it on that roof? – Steven Kennard 2016

The first day of my arrival in New Zealand (or was it the -1 day of my arrival, as I lost a Monday in there somewhere?) I thought I would take a little stroll around the neighbourhood and see where I was. I looked up on this roof and saw what looked like a flat stuffed animal lying on this roof. As I got a little closer to it to get a better look it moved its head and stared at me.

Cat on a hot tin roof, New Zealand - Steven Kennard 2016
Cat on a hot tin roof, New Zealand – Steven Kennard 2016

This character seemed amazed to see a Pom walking down his street! He was relaxing in the hot sun of this lovely Spring morning. He had to be the first thing I photographed on my trip.

See all of my animal gallery here http://stevenkennard.com/blog/skgallery/animals