Sunday, 29 May 2011

After which

After the teaching it was onto getting work boxed up and promotional bits and pieces together for a nine day Arts Trail which is held every other year in the Wylye Valley. This being my second time on the trail so I was looking forward to catching up with some old friends.

Fortunately on the first occasion I was contacted by Jon and Louise Stone who are two creative and talented photographers, web site here. They asked me to join them at their studio together with Fi Mehra jeweller, who I have since the first time of meeting Fi attended her studio for a lesson on silver work. Fi again is a creative maker who makes working in her chosen craft look so easy, but when I try it seems to turn into a melted mes

This year ceramacist Linda Bristow is also exhibiting with us at the studio, her work is wonderful and I have obtain some pictures for my blog after asking for permission to post them. You can of course check out Linda's web site just click on here highlighten name.

In the first two days there was over two hundred visitors to the studio and it is refreshing to meet people who appreciate the work of us all. Sales are g

ood and it has given me confidence in that people are willing to purchase individual quality hand made work.

The other benefit and this being one of the main reasons that I enjoy it so much is due to being able to interact with other creative people from different disciplines to my own. It is certainly evident within my limited exposure that they have a dynamic and modern way of thinking towards the creative process.

Also marketing and promotion is high on the adjenda and work is carried out very business like.

Here are a few pictures of my daughters with Fi making a silver ring each. Both love making so I like to try to keep them enthusiastic about the crafts available to them.

Various pictures of Linda's ceramics.

Pictures of Fi working and some of her products. All made from scratch in pure silver, gold with precious and semi precious stones.

Keeping busy

While I am burning the candle at both ends at the moment what with still working at 0130hrs this morning to get work completed it has been an enjoyable week.

Teaching on Thursday and Friday one on one basis beginners course. Mind you I say beginners however the student not having picked up a gouge before took to it like duck to water so carving, scorching were introduced to the mix. All the courses that I teach are fluid in the subject matter/format for this exact reason so that the student can learn at their own pace.

Here are few pictures of the day with Eric at the lathe working on his forth project.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Playing catch up

Things are busy at the moment in relation to writing, teaching and a week Arts Trail coming up which I still have to prepare for . So not much in the way of actial turning at the moment or new work. So I thought I would post a few more pictures of items that I have found of interest.

The moon and sun pictures shown before and in this thread have all been taken with my new Canon SX30 is Power Shot which has a 35 x optical zoom ( the largest on the market apparently for a bridge camera, not that I am bragging just thought if any one is looking for a new camera I would give the full details.)

The moon picture above at the time of being taken was behind fine cloud cover so it was not that clear due to the blooming.

The moon/sun pics were taken with the digital Zoom which is max of 14o x's. While this will obviously pixelate the quality it allows me to take pictures that I never dreamed of. Especially seeing it is a single lens camera. The pixelation can be rendered after to a certain degree with photo software. But the moon pictures here have not had any computer enhancement/rendering.

The camera also allows various other settings one of which useful for product photography such as turnings and sculptures is the macro setting. The camera lens can be almost touching the subject and fully focussed for the picture.

The main thing I like about the camera is the ease of use which for a photographyfobe such as myself is the main consideration next to picture quality. So these are more snaps that proper photography.

140 x zoom

Fungi ( don't ask me what type), taken using macro

This Chaffinch was a distant unrecognisable spot at the top of a tree. Not until I zoomed in could I see it was a finch. You can just see the insect in its beak that it had just caught.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Berkshire Woodturning Association Demo

On Thursday the 18th of this month I attended Berkshire Woodturners Association for an evening demonstration.

Thank you to member Don Mitchell who kindly took and sent me the pictures shown here. I did take my camera but the moral of the story is, make sure you charge the battery before such an event.

Before arriving I stopped off at Adrian Cobb's a fellow woodturning friend and member of the Berkshire woodturners club. It is always interesting to look around other people workshops to see how they work. A meal was laid on, thank you Adie and to your good lady, it was much appreciated after the long journey.

Then onto the club which was located in a rather posh conservatory show room. All around me were conservatories that I could only hazard a guess at the cost of each. It is amusing turning a fine inch piece of beech at 1000 rpm while only being 3 meters away from a glass building. Mind you they were top of the range so I guess the glass would have been shatter proof :-).

During the evening I demonstrated the offset hole lidded form shown above. The evening went well and appeared to be well received. Thank you all your your hospitality, a very freindly club and I hope to be invited back again in thre future.

At the end of the evening members were given details of how to obtain a copy of the PDF handout that covered the project for the demonstration. This is a fifteen page step by step article including pictures so that the members can go into their own workshop to tackle the project.

During the evening I was asked to judge work produced by the members and to award 1st, 2nd or third prizes. Critiquing and judging is something that I genuinely do not enjoy, mainly as I find it difficult to judge a piece of work with so little knowledge of the maker or their intentions with the piece.

Thankfully in this case all the work was of a high standard so my task was an easy one.

The project was finished with five minutes to spare with time to cover any points raised/asked.

Setting Up

Discussing the form

Hollowing out

Coffee break and time for a chat

Then onto the judging

Discussing techniques, I really must learn not to point. :-)

Thank you all again for a very enjoyable evening.

Recent Visit to Eden Project

When ever I go on holiday I always have at hand my camera. Taking pictures for me is a two fold process. 1/ A record can be kept of where I have been and family memories, taking pictures of interesting objects helps with future ideas. 2/ By using a camera I have found that I really have to observe what is around me and as such can train myself to see things thatI did not.

Here are some pictures taken from my visit. The first pictures are of a sculpture made entirely from discarded rubbish/junk. For me it respresents the monstor that we ourselves create and inflict on our planet. It also is a fine example of how powerful statements can be created by using objects that we would not normally perhaps think about incorporating in our work.

Note the discarded computer mice used for the teath. Taking time to have a look to see what other items have been used is interesting and has given me a few ideas.

The remaining pictures are items that I found interesting with regards to form, texture and colour.

Visit to Ireland

The trip to Ireland in March of next year has I am very pleased to say been confirmed. Two days of demonstrations with the Gorey Chapter at their symposium on the Saturday and Sunday. I have been asked to take a master class on the Sunday which will involve texturing and colouring showing some of the techniques that I use in order to show how work can be developed further.

An exciting time and I am looking forward to the experience.

Friday, 20 May 2011

New horizons

Well I had some fantastic news today, in fact two fantastic things happened.

As you will be well aware I am now sponsored by Crown Tools. This and my situation is rather surreal as I started using Crown Tools when I started turning nearly twelve years ago and have used them as my prefered tools ever since.

So when I was asked to be sponsored by them then it was an easy choice as I have used the tools for an extended period and knew they are quality wihout the over inflated price.

So being sponsored by Crown Tools was a wonderul opportunity.

Today I was asked by Crown Tools to accompany them to the AAW Symposium in St Paul, Minnesota, USA, to demonstrate the new Revolution hollowing and other tools.

I never dreamed in a million years that such a prestigious company such as Crown Tools would invite me to go to America with them, not only this but to go to the AAW symposium, the mecca of woodturning, to say I am happy would be an understatment.

To top this I was also contacted today and invited to be the guest demonstrator at the Gorey Symposium in Ireland next year.

A beautiful country that I have always wanted but never managed to visit. This will be another amazing experience and a chance to meet many more woodturners and to make some more freinds across the world.

I have to say that I do not like to blow my own trumpet but four years ago when I decided to take up turning full time I never thought it would take me to other countries. So on this occassion I wanted to share it with you.

So if all goes well I will hope to meet up with some of you there.

The pictures shown are some that I have taken recently with my new camera.

So feeling a bit over it I thought the moon was a good choice.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Revolution 5/8th shaft now available

The Revolution hollowing system now has a 5/8th shaft version that will allow for deeper hollowing.

The 1/2 inch 13 mm shaft will allow hollowing to a depth of 6 inches (150 mm) where as the 5/8th (16 mm) will allow deeper hollowing to 10 inches (250 mm). Although these depths are dependant upon the users skill, deeper depths can be obtained.

The new shaft can be view/purchased from my web site here.

New videos are in hand to show the tool being used covering specifics. However at the moment I am chasing my tail more often than I would like to be, so please be patient.

But if you have any questions you can always contact me via my web site.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Recently I had need to purchase a new camera for my work.

I often spend many hours just snapping away at various subjects that I find interesting.

The camera I have has a 35x optical and 140 x digital zoom, and while a digital zoom does some what pixelate the image there can be benefits in using it.

So I though I would have a go at capturing the moon. The textures and shapes will have been seen before in many a book but still intesting to me none the less.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Latest Piece

This is a prototype/marquette for pieces that I have had in my sketch book for some time now.

Wanting to continue with my current theme I decided to scorch the main form to bring out the grain and to add bamboo which has been tied with copper wire.

The base is not the final material and on future pieces be altered for stone.

Numerous other forms/ideas based on this are being produced some of which will be for the Arts Trail that I am taking part in ast the end of May.

There were various problem photographing this piece but I have managed to get a resasonable result.

The next one will probably be much taller. and some will be squater and wider.

Here is a close up of the top detail.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Woodbury Woodturners

Sunday was back down to Devon for another full day demo at Woodbury Woodturners.

The club is very friendly and it is enjoyable to attend as there is a wide range of skilled turners .

Some members also attended from the Axminster club from the day before. So I had prepared a few different projects to keep the interest.

Thank you to Keith West for taking and kindly allowing me to use these photo's. All copyright for the photos in this thread remain that of Keith West.

The day started with a wide rim textured and scorched bowl. I enjoy making these as they can be made in a multitude of variants by altering the texture and adding colour.

Followed by coffee and biscuits and a time to chat to members.

The next project covered was a small version of one of my garden sculptures. This seems to go down well when ever I demonstrate it possibly as it is slightly more unusual.

Hoping not to set off the smoke detector.:-)

Lunch was an enjoyable feast of some freshly made pasties from the local butchers. I have to say that normally I am not a huge pasty fan. Probably down to only ever eating the ones you buy from the service station wrapped in cellophane.

But these were to die for and my opinion of this south west food has been greatly changed for the better.

The afternoon was taken up with the demonstration of an offset hole lidded form including colouring and texturing. a variation on the one below. Including gold leaf and colouring to produce an aged metal effect.

Finally I finished up with a stained and verdigris incense burner. Showing a variation of the colouring technique previously demonstrate.

The day I believe was a success and thank you all for your hospitality. There was great exchange of ideas and as always I picked up a few tips along the way. This for me is one of the benefits of meeting so many turners, we all have a slightly different way of doing things and the exchange of ideas is more often than not beneficial.

A few more pics of the day that were kindly taken for me on my camera by one of the members. Thank you.