Friday, 25 November 2011


Here are a few pictures I took while out walking my dogs. Each time I go out I try to take time to look at different items in a way that I had not viewed them before. IE on occasions I will take panoramic photos and then close up pictures of mundane objects that I normally walk past without paying much attention to.


Well this week has been very busy so I have not had a great deal of time to work on the sculptural piece previously posted in its raw form.

The main design has been drawn and I am in the stage of roughing out the shape using anything and everything that will cut wood to see what works best.  Rotary carver, power carvers, burrs, wood chisels have all been used and it is enjoyable to have to slow down and watch each chip of wood being removed with the hit of the mallet.

There is a lot of work to be done but here are a few close up photos of the piece to date.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Revisiting previous skills

The previous picture is of a new piece in which the lathe is used for a very small part and has provided me with the basic offset curve for the side and base for the sculpture.

Quite a bit more work has been done but has been slow due to having to move totally away from what I am fairly proficient in to trying out or revisiting old skills such as hand carving using mallet and wood chisels, a set of which I purchased some years ago but which have remained in my tool cupboard hidden.

I have also bee experimenting with various burrs and have found that the "Dura Grit" work well for the way I am working at the moment, although dust is a problem, so I have also had to make changes to my air extraction unit. Turning/finishing on the lathe enables the dust to be directed from the orientation of the piece into the extraction hose, but a rotating burr/abrasive cutter chucks the dust all over the place. An obvious problem which I did anticipate but often working in different ways requires time not only being spent on the techniques but also workshop/work holding and other time consuming issues.

Working in a more sculptural direct does force me to slow down and become much more involved with the material and techniques and I can understand how people become lost in the process, with it being a good way to concentrate solely on the moment.

Hopefully I will have a few pictures of the work in progress tp post soon.

Friday, 18 November 2011

New piece

This is the start of a new piece of sculptural work using the lathe only as a very small part process. The lathe is a great machine to use but we can get locked in to thinking that it has to be used for the whole process.

For more sculptural work it can be used to great effect for producing base curves and shapes to work to when carving.

This piece will be updated from time to time to show the progress.

Lastes update

Last week was a busy time what with tools sales, three demonstrations and a master class. The first demo which I have previously posted was at Hampshire woodturners. Since this time I have not had time update my blog as I am also trying to get more work made for galleries and to work on the next set of targets and methods of achieving them.

Firstly on Thursday I attended Kennet & Avon Woodturning Club and met John Boyne-Aitken the Chairman for the first time to have a real chat. We have met before but always seem to have been too busy to spend time discussing woodturning.

Thank you to John and the members of Kennet and Avon Woodturners who made me very welcome during the evening. Here are some pictures of the evening and I hope to be back soon.

Pembrokeshire Woodturners

A beautiful Place 

On the Friday George Foweraker and I drove to Pembrokeshire in Wales for a two day visit to the Pembrokeshire Woodturners, the Friday evening being a master class for ten members with two to a lathe. Each member brought with them various tools and problems to that they wanted to look at and I believe all went away pleased with the evening. It was certainly enjoyable to meet some of the members in such a relaxed setting.

The Saturday was an all day demo covering the selection of un-seasoned wood, how to orientate for a hollow form, how to season and re-mount a seasoned form to finish with a lid and carved finial. The after noon was along the sames lines but for a cross grain bowl with a little scorching and finally another variation on how to make a small hollow form.

Although I do not demonstrate tools for sales at the demonstrations that I attend as I am invited to demonstrate woodturning not to promote the tools I sell, I was asked prior by the Chairman John Blake to bring along some tools, a large number were purchased by the club members and the 10% club discount that I give was well received, in the current financial climate it all helps.

The day was brilliant and the members very very friendly and hospitable, I was made an honouree member of the club and will be going back in the summer for another demo.  Thanks all, I was very privileged to be be included within your club.

 Here are some pictures of the day and a few to show that no time is ever missed to take pictures for reference.

Members work which was of a high standard. 

 Discussion about chip formation and tool presentation to achieve the best finish from the tool

 Discussing the correct wall thickness.

 George Washing up, oooo errr.

 Pictures for reference