A passion for the practical makes Halcyon Lakeside's John a handy man
Drop by the Halcyon Lakeside work shed and you’re likely to see John Davis hard at work. He’s been a regular visitor since moving to the community with wife Jocelyn last year, revealing his passion for DIY and his latest creation, a wooden horse.
“I’ve been good with my hands all my life. I built a dinghy when I was about 13 years old because we lived near the water in New Zealand.
My biggest project was when I designed and built a full-size (8.5-metre) yacht, which I named State of the Ark. Several years ago, I began sculpting and I made a rocking horse out of Queensland Maple wood for my grandchildren who live in the US.
My latest project is a wooden horse sculpture. I had some Queensland Maple left over and I used it for the head and neck. The rest is made from off-cuts, which I painted rather than apply a varnish. I used a matte finish to make it look more realistic.
I probably spent five hours at a time working on the horse and it took me about 100 hours in total. It’s come up well and I think I’ll turn it into a lamp.
I find sculpting a nice tactile thing to do. It’s a combination of concentration and physical activity and it gives you quite a good upper body workout. It’s also a good stress-reliever because you are thinking about what you’re doing rather than other concerns.
The work shed has got very good equipment and you meet other people down there doing their own projects. There’s no sense coming into a community like this and not using the wonderful facilities.
I’m thinking about building another boat, it won’t be as large as the last one but it will be a sailing craft of some kind.”