Arts and Crafts

The facilities at Deelfontein include three fully equipped workshops for woodworking, metalwork and motor mechanics. A wide range of educational and recreational courses is possible in various crafts, for school groups or craft enthusiasts. The equipment includes the standard machines. Specialised equipment is available for crafts like stained glass windows, pottery or forging in the smithy. Of course, the facilities are also used by the owner for the development of the facility infrastructure. Commissions for special items are accepted.
     

   

 

Gerhard Benads love for handcraft and art started in his early youth with various building- and woodworking projects, and with tuition in several art forms under the supervison of both parents. Later he developed a predilection for nature photography, for carving and woodturning, and for lead glass work. He has held several exhibitions of his works, both in South Africa and in Europe.

Music stands form the mainstay of his production. The first stands were built in 1985 as a series of three -- two in meranti and one in embuia. The design was inspired by the Greek lyre. 

The next project called for a trio stand, built out of Embuia with a central leg and three arms. Even though the mechanism was not quite satisfactory, it still does good service.

A special wish from a flautist inspired a stand with a bird motive. With this design, the limits of small detail were plumbed using pearwood.

With each project, new technical solutions were found to simplify the work. The height adjustment is now done with a simple wooden screw, and fretwork is made using a router. However, most of the time is spent carving and sanding, so that further mechanisation is not possible.

The conducting stand, a commission of the Motettenchor Pforzheim as gift for their conductor Prof. KMD Rolf Schweizer, posed new technical challenges. It had to be very stable, but still allow being taken apart. The design incorporates the Bach coat of arms and that of the city Pforzheim.

Solving technical challenges in wood was also necessary building the next stand, which was a quartet stand using a central leg and four arms. Especially the hinge mechanisms, all executed in wood, requires precision work and especially fine-grained wood.

A design inspired by the outline of the violin and executed in two shades of walnut wood, was the next project. It appears on the photo band at the top of the website pages.