A Special Job for St. Martin's Post Office
From time to time here at Woodcott Signs I do a very special job - one that will stand out in my memory for a long time amongst the more regular ones - and this one is certainly in this category.
The customer runs a little store and post office on St Martin’s in the beautiful Isles of Scilly - a place I have visited in the past so I can visualise where it is going. It is a wind-swept but interesting island with a bakery, church etc but not a large population and I imagine quite a large percentage of visitor’s to Bruce’s store are visitors (and quite often lost visitors) so he wanted a direction sign - and, unlike some customers knew just what he wanted, the sizes and everything else - a great design too!
I have a page of unusual and business signs on my website and this one is certainly headed there.
The interesting finger shaped end was inspired by a sign he saw in the Far East and the motif on the right is the Daymark - a building on the island.
Bruce also wanted the sign morticed through the post, which was going to necessitate a very large slot making through tough oak, and also a rounded to to the post - more of that later.
The sign was going to have to stand up against Atlantic gales for a long time so the oak had to be extra chunky - for the post as well. Luckily I have a woodcarver friend who has some very large pieces and we cut down the post from an even larger piece on a huge bandsaw in a neighbour’s workshop.
not a run of the mill job (but maybe ‘run of the sawmill!)
The carving has gone in a straightforward way so far with no great problems - you can see where the post is going and how well the little walking figure conveys more attractively he words ‘by foot’.
At Woodcott I am used to designing a lot myself when customers contact me and say that they want for example one like ‘The Old Barn’ on my website (with a changed name) but leaving the motif and exact sizes to me - this suits both me and the customer because i am very used to solving design problems and carving wooden signs is not a very common activity these days so it is not surprising that they feel a little unsure.
Sadly when customers are very specific about everything something often doesn’t add up or look visually quite right but there are exceptions and this was certainly one - a perfect design in all ways - and, to be honest probably better than I could have come up with!
White lettering was necessary for clarity - especially as the weather on the Isles of Scilly is always the best! and the only colour was on the motif at the end.
when I was in St Martin’s I don’t believe I saw the Daymark depicted but maybe I’ll go back and have another llok someday (and at my sign of course).
Incidentally it is unusual to have an apostrophe in a name like St Martin’s - most seem to have lost them.
The next big jobs were rounding the top of the large post and cutting the mortice through it - maybe they don’t sound big but I had to do the rounding by hand with chisels gouges and sanding fairly smooth.
5″ is a deep mortice for a fairly small machine and required cutting from both sides and making sure that the slot met up in the middle - a bit like engineers in in the old days burrowing tunnels from both ends and hoping for a good meeting in the middle (alright - a bit easier). Anyway, it met up fine but still took me a whole afternoon to finish because the sign had to be a good fit (held in with pegs and/or wedges - supplied the customer who is doing that on site).