Friday, 21 December 2012

End of another year

Well we are at the end of another year. The time seems to past far too quickly, possibly as this year has been the busiest to date.

So  a new year is on its way, and I feel a new direction is needed.

 A long time now I have been talking about moving in a more sculptural direction and 2d wall art as I feel it is the only viable way to move forward with my work and business.

New tools and materials have been accumulated over some time now and are ready to start work with. The designs I have been building up to for the last year or so are ready to start in the new year.

It is always a juggle when going through any transition as the bills still have to be paid, this at times means producing bread and butter items but this is now coming to a close with my last commission of bowls being taken to a happy customer today.

For this reason I have during 2013 been trying to cut back on demonstrations but have as many booked for next year as this, and bookings for 2014 already coming in.

Having said that I have cut back on evening demos as they are just not cost effective for me when I look at the amount of workshop time/profit lost compared to what can be produced and sold in the same time spent staying in the workshop making.

My change in direction is also in part down to my disillusionment with the way in which woodturning is viewed in galleries etc compared to when I introduce my creative work and other media.  My creative work is viewed with enthusiasm but turned wood seems to be harder to sell, with a few new mixed media galleries now being interested in stocking it at the prices I believe it is worth.

Wood turning while a wonderful enjoyable craft, is not where I any longer want to concentrate my time as a career, this does not mean that I am stopping turning just moving into the sculptural work as my main focus with the lathe moving back very much into a small part process.

It is important for me to keep pushing my boundaries and a target since starting out using the lathe is to produce primarily sculptural work. Often round work that is primarily made on the lathe is seen as the only way in which to produce work when using this machine. Over time I have seen its power as a material removal tool and a highly efficient machine for the production of  flowing base curves for sculpture.

By staying in the round I believe I am missing am exciting process.

I have been speaking about this for some time now, and it has been slowly coming mainly due to many of the designs I previously sketched not being of the right concept. It takes time to come up with a range of work that is new/unique and has longevity and while I feel I have found it, of course to date it is an unknown and may be a monumental flop, time of course will tell..

The sculptural pieces part finished shown on my blog some time ago  are now gathering dust. They have provided a good deal of research and development time to see what tools and materials I want to work with in the future, and since their conception the new designs have come through and taken my time, they will be finished at some stage but when I do not know.

The picture at the top of the page is another of a similar piece made some years ago and is not reflective of the new work I will be producing. I just thought it looks a bit more festive than some of my other pieces.

So have a great festive season. My blog will will be rarely updated for several months while I spend a lot of time working on new work and other projects.


Paul said...

Good luck in your new journey Mark and im sure it will be a enjoyable one, I will call back now and again hoping for a update on your journey as ive followed your blog with great interest all the best for the future,


Mark said...


Lovely to hear from you and I hope you are well. It is my intention to pop down to see you in the new year when you are free.

Standing still in one place for too long is something I can not do.In years gone by I would fight against change as stepping out of my comfort zone has been a difficult thing to do on numerous occasions. Now however I am happy to let go and just see what happens, it generally seems to end in a good place even if different than I intended.

Taker care

Mark said...

Hi Paul

You must have thought my last comment was rather strange in my saying I was going to pop down to see you.

Today I did 'pop' down to see my friend Paul and realized during our conversation that he was indeed not yourself.

Sorry for the confusion.