Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Our Third Trading Post

Our third trading post has not gone without its 'issues'.  It was due for installation in the summer of 2020 but, alas, 2020 was cancelled for everyone! 

But, we have overcome so many obstacles and are pretty much there!

All the resources for all of the Trading Posts are reclaimed or recycled materials with only the fixings, painting and decorating being purchased.

The legs for this one were donated by the Rock and Fountain whilst the box itself once lived as a boring old pallet.

Issues this time around included:

  • Getting the resources in one place to build it whilst living in lockdown.
  • Getting help for whichever volunteer agreed to build it
    • Which we were not able to do due to social distancing and lockdowns so this one was built with, pretty much, no help at all!
  • Bad weather
  • Some resources being unobtainable due to them being 'non-essential' items.
  • Once it was created, waiting for the official 'handover' to Taff Rocks HQ in order to be decorated and
  • Because this one is bigger than our others (I'll explain why later in this post), only having a garden to decorate it in. No indoor space to create it
The box, ruined by the winter weather, had to be re-sanded and 'made good' ready for lockdowns to end and be handed over to Taff Rocks HQ for its final journey.

We waited for fine weather as it would also not fit into the house!

After the initial coat of green paint, base coats for all the text and images are added. 

Work has to start somewhere!
Once dried, it was time to add the detail.

Flowers and a beautiful dragonfly

Every decoration and letter is added and painted by hand, with up to six or more coats where needed, we do not use any transfers or stickers.

One of the three Taff Rocks members starting the project decoration.
Even the inside of the Trading Post gets attention

A butterfly, a bee, some ladybirds and some flowers.
So does the back.

Flowers and a little bit about the Trading Post and Taff Rocks
Three Taff Rocks members created and painted the decorations, but this had to be done in 'relays' to ensure appropriate distances could be maintained.

With social distancing a priority, only one person at a time could work on the project.

Always mention social media when sharing rocks.
As these three members worked in what little sunshine they had, the last day had no sun at all and was very, very cold. This means that, at the time this piece was published, the Trading Post has still to be lacquered - A nice, sunny and warm day is preferable for this task.

Once lacquered, the 'lawn' supports and the 'lawn' itself is added and secured.

Due to the sheer size of the garden / land it will eventually be installed on, we had to make it bigger than our others so it does not 'get lost' in the space. We think this has been achieved. It's nice and deep so it can be installed low in order to be wheelchair accessible. If the legs are too long, then the wonderful person installing it can always cut a little off before sinking and concreting it in.


What would normally happen is:
  • Two Taff Rocks members (at least one being a trustee) would deliver the Trading Post at a specific time and date to its forever home.
  • They would then stand back whilst the building's manager / owner / their representative would either 'sink' the legs in (if it has any, which this one does) or watch it being placed in its forever home.
  • Once complete, these members would add a few painted rocks, take some photos, and let you all know that the Trading Post is now open and where it is.
However! We have no idea what will happen this time. It could be that:
  • The box is delivered and the Taff Rocks members leave it in the building manager's / owner's capable hands.
  • The building's manager / owner has it installed without anyone from Taff Rocks there and let's us know when it is complete
  • We attend to take images and leave rocks
  • Then we let you know it's open for rocks and trading!
We just don't know how this will work.

Once complete / installed, we will update this publication. But, until then, we are awaiting a warm day, suitable for lacquering outdoors.

There are some amazing people that Taff Rocks would like to thank because, without them, this trading post would never have existed. 

Special thanks goes to (in alphabetical order):
  • Kimberly
  • Martin
  • Nicola
  • Yve
Without their help with construction, painting, decorating and installing, there'd be no wonderful third garden garden to share your rocks.

The images above makes it look a little wonky, but that's due to the garden being on a slope, that area of the garden being restrictive and the angles of the camera etc

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