Picnik Fractal with neon effect by Gemma Wiseman ~ A birdfeeder at Tyabb Antique Village, Mornington Peninsula
Dear Mr Woodcutterman,At this moment I feel a creative urge. You will be glad to know it has nothing to do with a secret yearning to paint. But that is another story which did somehow or other resolve itself. No, I wish now to do some creative project with wood. Perhaps, by now, you are getting the idea I have never worked in wood before. I did some painting on an old wooden table of mine - but that's that story I just mentioned. I would like to try, however, with a little help from you.
I would like you to select some very special wood for me. You see, I have in mind to build a bird-feeder. My forest birds often have trouble finding food in the chilly days of winter, and I would like to help them. The wood must hold warmth and reject cold. The wood must be easy for bird feet, but not too slippery in case the birds taste the unexpected experience of ice-skating. The wood must be an inviting colour. Magical, varied tones would be just the thing.
The roof will be a pointed cottage style, so the birds have a ledge on which to land and so that the food is protected from damp in the rainy season. Hopefully you will supply some extra off-cuts of wood so that the birds may even have some resting perches on the side.
The base of the bird-feeder will be surrounded by an eating ledge. I intend to attach some wind chimes to the base of the bird-feeder so that the birds may eat in musical calm.
The whole bird-feeder will be raised aloft on a staunch block of wood. This block of wood should be different - a detrrent to any animals who thoughtlessly wish to attack the birds.
Wood lengths? I have no idea really. Perhaps if I just say I would like a large bird-feeder. The roof should be high enough from the base to allow even the large forest birds to feel comfortable as they eat. I would like the block of wood to be as tall as a small tree. I would like the base to be wide enough to hold many birds on all sides.
Perhaps you could supply me with wood nails. I have failing eye-sight, so the nails must be easily seen. I don't have a hammer - I've had no need for one. Perhaps I could borrow one. Do you think I need a drill? That will be a problem. You see, my little cottage has no electrcity. Will the wood have to be sanded? My hands are old and gnarled and not as steady as they should be. Perhaps I may not even see well enough to do the sanding properly.
And, I just realised, I don't have a ladder. I will need a ladder to put the bird-feeder on the block of wood. I'm not quite sure how I could manage to do that all by myself.
My unsteady hands, my failing eyesight, my no head for heights...
Mr Woodcutterman...I think I have an idea.
Would you be so kind as to make the bird-feeder for me?
Bring it over to my cottage when you're finished, and I will hold your ladder steady while you put it up for me...
I do make beautiful honey-meade wine...If I could tempt you try some when you're done...
Waiting in magical hope...
20th April, 1998