The 17th, 18th, and 19th. centuries saw the height of sea power in sailing ships. Sailors often had considerble spare time on long voyages and to alleviate their boredom they developed the art of decorative ropework. Articles were created to sell, exchange for other goods or favours. Their level of skill is hardly surpassed today except by those few men and women who thankfully keep the art alive through their dedication and perseverance. Decorative ropework apart from it's functional uses, is an art form in a class of it's own.
Virtually all traditional ropework had a practical function, be it a mat at the top of a companionway, a heaving line, or a stopper knot at the end of a rope handrail. The sailors of yesteryear elaborated on these basics resulting in decorative items of extremely high quality, yet still retaining the use for which they were originally intended.
The natural colours of rope have an aesthetic appeal.The different hues having a beauty all of their own. These combined with the tactile nature of natural rope seem to give a sense of the past, of security and a time of pride. It is this natural appeal of rope that allows me to create objects that enhance old and new dwellings alike, including classic maritime craft, and themed pubs and restaurants.
Natural rope coming from natural sources is obviously sustainable and it's process is one that does not require vast use of fossil fuels or extracts such as those used in the manufacture of synthetic ropes and lines. Having said that, there is still a wide use for synthetics in decorative ropework because of the eye catching contrasts of the colours and it's hard wearing properties.
With regard to myself, I originate from a well known Kentish seafaring family from Gravesend, although I live on the coast in South Devon which provides continual inspiration for all aspects of my ropework. Every item is handmade by me using only top grade materials together with traditional methods and tools. Items such as the monkey fist door stops are made using a considerable amount of force in order to make them extremely tight so as to reduce the slack often caused when subjected to the rigours of a centrally heated house. Nor do they contain any toxic material for the weighted centre core. Quality before quantity every time.
Because I do not have to rely soley on my ropework for an income I hope this is reflected in my pricing. I have been practising the art of ropework for the last 50 years and I hope that this experience is apparent in the standard of my work. It takes years of dedicated practise to achieve an acceptable level. Although I started on a semi commercial basis back in th early 1980's, it is only now ( 2007 ) that I have decided to publish a web site following so many phone calls and emails from around the country and abroad asking for visual access to my products. It is my intention to update the site on a regular basis with new items and ideas.
Should you have any queries please feel free to contact me, even if it is for advice on how to get started yourself,or there is an item you would like made that does not appear on the proceeding pages.
ALL PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE AND PACKING AND THERE IS NO INCREASE IN PRICES TO DATE OTHER THAN THAT CAUSED BY THE INCREASE IN POST OFFICE RATES.
( April 2012 )
Thank you for looking at my web site.
MAJOR ROPEWORKS AHEAD
A NEW MEMBER OF STAFF LEARNING THE ROPES