Tuesday, 16 August 2011


The last week has been a busy and enjoyable time.

During the week as mentioned previously I was joined by Deborah a student studying with the Ecole Boulle school in Paris. Deborah while in England is also visiting other craft makers for a week at a time to gain experience in working in different medias and processes.

The week started with basic material, tool theory and techniques. It was evident early on that Deborah had a natural ability to pick up knowledge and techniques with ease to such an extent that through out the week many subjects and projects were covered.

Thursday and Friday were taken up with the making of items that Deborah had designed herself during the evenings. This was an interesting process to be involved in as being a turner I guess I am pre-programmed to look work that is turned in the round.This at times can restrict my ability to look outside of the norm. Where as a student that has no prior knowledge of a subject is not restricted by the process and has a far more open mind set.

This as a positive allows for greater expression in design. The interesting part is moving from the theory/drawings to the process of making. This at times opens up the reality that items when being designed can not necessarily be entirely made using only one process, in this case by using the lathe. Or that the reality at times is that often a re-design can make the production stage much easier. At least, it is useful to have knowledge of the processes involved and the way machines work.

This being the reason why Deborah who is studying a course in Product design came to the UK to obtain practical experience of working with materials and different processes and to see how both design and making need to be linked.

This was encountered on several occassions with the design and making both being altered to facilitate the end result. Some of this required work off of the lathe using other machines. However the gap of theory and reality are not necessarily that far apart when looked at from a different angle and often a solution can be found by the simplest of means.

As with any time spent in a confined enviroment with one person freindships can be formed. My Daughters looked forward to her arriving each day. We managed to pick up a few lessons in speaking French which had all of us laughing especially when some of what I was saying had been translated back to me in English.

We also visited Dansel Gallery at Abbotsbury to look at other wood craft during which time we saw that not only humans enjoy wood.

Below are some pictures of the week.

Various techniques being covered from bowl work/natural edge to skew and finishing.

The end results

Making a box incorporating various surface finishes.

The rest of the week was used to for Deborah to design and make her own items and to cover specifics that she wanted to investigate.

Visit to Dansel Gallery at Abbotsbury.

Our K9 freind adding his own personality to the window display.

The three pictures below are supplied and used with kind permission of Dansel Gallery.

Visiting Shaftesbury with Deborah and my daughters where I grew up. A short distance from where I live now.
An interesting seat designed with local buildings for the back support. Design ideas can be found in most places.

It was a brilliant week and very enjoyable for me and my family to meet Deborah. We both learnt a great deal and it was particularly interesting to get the perspective of a design student, and I wish Deborah all the best in her endevours.

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