Slate & Nature on BBC1 in Escape to the Country!

Proudly we can saySlate & Nature will be featured, for 2-3 minutes, in the program Escape to the Countryon Wednesday the 14th September, 3 PM (or 15.00hrs GWMT) on BBC1.

escape 1Sorry we don’t know yet what to expect, but we liked the shooting; it was fun. Amazing what the crew & participants were doing. Gerard is not a ‘natural’ actor as he couldn’t keep his story-line constant. Every-time something new ‘popped-op’ driving the crew crazy, but they kept friendly and just said, ‘again, but now….’ Now it appears that (software) editing is mighty professional and it was possible to stitch something together; lets keep our finger crossed…. tbc..escape 2

The Father’s Day Gift: Multipurpose Roofed Slate Sign

shed as pictThe man and his shed;… according to Wikipedia… The Shed appeals to the culture of “blokes” who do woodwork or metalwork DIY projects in their sheds…. At Slate & Nature we received a request to make something for Father’s Day related to a ‘just finished project; Daddy’s Den. As the nation is already ‘stuffed’ with ‘roped’ signs, Gerard needed to make his version on the matter; a multipurpose roofed slate sign (Engraved or Blank). For the customer it was engraved towards 6 different uses (from Closed, Working, Beer O’Clock, Guest Suite, Mummy’s…) but can be used for Timing; I am back at … 5…20 min, Activities; Rooms to… clean, tidy, hoover…. Endless possibilities. Enjoy your Father’s Day!

multipurpose roofed slate sign copy

Enjoying the Dark Skies; the Zodiac Lamp

Dark Sky Designation! S&N is situated in a fortunate dark sky area. We love our diamond stars and like to ‘translate them into our live at earth’. Sometimes it can be cloudy and we still would like to enjoy a ‘sparkling’ sky line; hence I made a ‘universe’ lamp’, the Zodiac, showing the 12 constellations we can observe over the months of the year. 1 zodiac full view pictureThe lamp is divided in three parts (a 360 degrees skyline) 4 copyThe elliptic table has the shape of Earth’s orbit travel (according to Keppler) around the sun (center = the pole of driftwood) during each calendar year. 3 table sectionOn the table edge each (your) month is engraved; starting at your month, edge, follow your line to the sun (the pole), through sky viewing or looking up (at bottom of the lamp) you will find your star sign (zodiac constellation) on the lamp. Also on the table the equinox & solstice and the sun/earth distance (aphelium & perihelium) is engraved as also the seasons are indicated to explain our relation to Nature & the Universe. When you are interested in stargazing, visiting the Kielder Observatory have a look at our special Zodiac Sculpture less than 10 miles at our riverside studio  in West Woodburn, Northumberland.

Romantic Evening Essentials

The wonderful summer evenings are approaching; watching the spectacular red nights when the sun goes down indicating the next day will be fabulous. Sitting in your garden, chatting away among friends or with your partner, good glass of wine and a quality piece of cheese. Not to forget the details of fine dining when serving the cheese on a Mouse Platter of S&N. Made from a piece of redundant (unused-> NEW & NOT recycled; but disregarded by builders) slate to guarantee it is clean/fresh in combination with food.
Excellent present; at the moment I made a few for the coming market, but soon available in our Studio.

Wow; Hexham Christmas Fair was Excellent!!

What a beautiful day it was; the Hexham Christmas Fair 2012.

All elements were great; first the organisation -the Hexham community partnership- worked hard, like clockwork and very friendly (starting from 05.00 AM! till very late), weather-wintery cool (not cold!), perfect clear and even bits of sun shine, people came in huge numbers and were in a happy pre-Christmas mood (meaning prepared to spend). Last, but certainly not least the stand holders -a cool bunch with a variation offering every visitor something; from cheap to expensive, lots to eat & drink, from handmade to brand related; for young to old. All in all, a ‘lovely day’; something to remember, and to look forward to next year.

For Slate & Nature it was also good, with much appreciation for our fat-ball holder, window feeder etc.; the birds will love them and pleased to use them in the coming year!

Thanks to everybody for this wonderful day, Jeanette & Gerard from S&N.

This great picture © was taken by Nonny Bakens, our Dutch friend & photographer for S&N, 2012.

S&N’s plant pots are well admired!

Slate & Nature received a very nice image of the plant pot in use. Designed to decorate the studio at its opening with beautiful pantsies, our plant pots were quickly used also as candle holders. Proudly presented as a table setting we received this photo from our friends when they had ‘special guests’ over. Thank you David & Janey.

Fabulous Eating Festival in Hexham

Slate & Nature was given quite a prominent position in the park of Hexham. Directly at the entrance opposite the Queens Hall between two gracefully old trees we were allowed to put up our marquee. As usual with a lot of outdoor products we could show the ‘blending into the green surroundings of the park’ of our feeders and bird boxes. Underneath the improved/new fat ball holder.

The Festival was excellent organized with friendly helpers everywhere, all assisted by enormous sunshine with a wonderful Indian Summer high temperature. A combination that drew a lot of people into the centre of the town, creating a buzzing atmosphere. Activities and stalls started from the old Market Place, passed the Abbey towards the Park; from organic food stalls to several good music groups, entertaining for young and old to craft stalls and a great graceful display of old and classic cars. All locally sourced, made and maintained; something to be proud off.

At our stand we received lots of people, early already a busload from Sussex, touring through Northumberland with the next stop in Alnwick; quickly the stock of fat ball holders & window feeders we took was decimated as coming back was not an option, suggestion as “I can also send it….” was not an option; I want to have it now!

Park activities around us were great; pressing apple juice; not only instructive but also delicious in taste. Bottles weren’t for sale, but I was allowed to come back a second time! The artichoke wine; good but beware of getting tipsy after too many! For the more energetic visitors under us it was possible to make your own fruit juice on a bicycle. Other craft people were there; unfortunately it is impossible to mention them all, but worth mentioning and springs to mind is David Lawson Ceramics, ‘functional and beautiful’ (see also

All photo’s were kindly taken by Sue Chapman (from the community partnership); thank you!