Maurice has worked with The Friends of St. Mary's Island, Whitley Bay for more than 8 years, making hazel and birch wattle panels and short wind breaking wattle panels of willow for the superb sensory garden.
The latest project was to make three new wooden gates to replace the old, rotten and in some cases, non-existent gates on the island. The brief was for something traditional, robust and durable and in a style that Maurice is now well known for, i.e. combining locally sourced rustic materials with traditonal old-fashioned carpentry.
The gates were made from an intriguing mixture of milled and riven oak which was sourced from the National Trust's Wallington Estate in Northumberland; the frame was made using 3" x 3" timbers milled in the woods by a local woodmizer mobile bandsaw.
The palings were riven using a froe and cleaving break then nailed in place.
Whilst heartwood oak is a natrually durable wood they were given several coats of raw linseed oil which was produced by an enterprising farmer in the south. The expectation is that they will last many decades, dispite the harsh salty environment on the north east coast.