Friday, 3 October 2014

'Mini Revolution' Video

This is the latest video that I have produced of me demonstrating the 'Mini Revolution' hollowing tool from Crown Hand Tools Ltd, Sheffield, England. 

It is a great tool for those wanting a low cost hollower for smaller projects. Efficient cutting on both end grain and cross grain seasoned and un-seasoned woods as well as Burrs. 

It can be purchased here and via any other Crown Hand Tool stockist worldwide. 

More videos will be coming soon. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

'All That Jazz'

Hi all

busy here making pure work for re-stocking will post some pics soon, in the mean time this is the latest picture I have created titled 'All That Jazz' available for sale soon via my web site along with others. But how soon I am not sure, as always with me I seem to be chasing my tail. :-)

Have a great day.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


It has been a while since I have posted any woodturning due mainly to being busy making and delivering to galleries. Currently most of my work is bread and butter bowls, hollow forms etc so nothing which make me want to get my camera out.

Recently however I did attend a Rolly Munro demonstration at Burnham-on-Sea woodturning club which was great day out, pictures and write up can be seen here.

Could not resist getting a picture with Rolly after the demo, a great day was had by all.

As an update during this day I was asked by several people how my next book is going, some do actually read my blog which is refreshing :-). The answer to this is that my book is in various piles around my desk gathering dust and I think it will be for some time, currently I am enjoying making and starting new projects and sculptural work with this being the second point in that no one has seen any of my new sculptural pieces. !!. There are various reasons for this including that I now tend to keep things close to my chest until they are finished,  I have again just not had the time to dedicate to taking pictures at all. Summer holiday means I have to juggle looking after my two daughters and getting work done so anything which is not profitable is left on the sidelines and this includes taking pictures of new work. 

That is about it for now, nothing exciting going on other than making larger forms, one of which is shown at the top of the page being an oak vase turned from wet wood 450 mm high x 200 dia, being (18 inches high x 8 inches dia) in old money. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A fathers love - The worlds strongest dad

This has absolutely nothing to do with wood turning, it is however one of the most inspiring stories I have ever watched, sent to me by a friend I just had to share it with you.

At the moment the world seems to be tearing itself apart, the human race seems to have lost its way with every news bulletin showing wars that never seem to be resolved and that will never achieve anything but more hate and sadness.

This story shows that despite all the bad, there are great people, doing great stuff and whom won't let life get them down no matter what, instead they take it head on and show us all how we can be better people.

Make sure you have the sound on.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


 This video link was sent to me by a friend and I just have to share it with you. The video while showing ceramic masters at work just has to be seen by any one working in wood on the lathe. Techniques seen here such as incising the clay is where we woodturners obviously got the idea for piercing from, Sgraffito the process of cutting through various layers of colour for differing effects is also a technique often adopted by cutting through layers contrasting woods etc. Anyway enough of me talking about it, just watch, relax and be inspired. Such a privilege to see such masters at work.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Well  this month has been busy with work for galleries and other outlets,  added to which some DIY work around the home was needed, not the most fun of things to do in the current weather but I guess it is better than working in the rain. It is a change to get some good weather especially after the floods we had through the winter and hopefully it will continue.

During down time I have been working on fractal designs, this gives me a mental break from the work shop and helps me look at new ideas, develop old ideas and forms further as well as think about new ways of working. Using fractals is an excellent way to come up with new ideas as is looking within our local environments to see what is around that can be used for inspiration.

Nature and architecture can all be used as a source and looking in detail at plants, insects, buildings we often find all that is needed with a wealth of , shape, form, texture and colour to work,  below are some fractal pictures recently produced and photos I have taken while out and about, so many possibilities and sources of exploration for new works. Now I just have to find time to get into making some new pieces.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Book Review

Received a copy of British Woodworking today and found a great review of my book, great to read and it means all the hard work was worth it.

The magazine is full of great useful information and projects, well worth a read.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Using up scraps

After processing the wood I source for my work the waste checked and processed further into small box and spindle blanks. Although I don't do a lot of spindle work as such I hate to throw away wood. As a result my wood store has become over stocked so after some head scratching I came up with this project for the galleries I supply to help use up some of the hundreds of small blanks in my store. 

This piece stands around 300 mm high and holds a battery powered 'T' light within the black pierced section and looks great in the evenings flickering on the sideboard. It was inspired by the Buddhist Stupa which is a building/structure of stone or wood that is used used to store religious relics, as well as being a place for worship. What grabbed me was forms and shapes of these buildings and how I could produce a project based on them with the added bonus of using up some wood stock. There are hundreds of variations to the form of the stupa so it is large resource for turning projects and one I will certainly re-visit for further exploration. 

Friday, 13 June 2014


A short while ago I returned from a family holiday in Alcudia, Mallorca, this being my second trip to Spain in a relatively short time. It is a country I enjoy very much and we all had a great time.

Needless to say I took loads of picture for reference, textures, colours shapes etc which can be used for inspiration. Many are just for interest but I will post some of the ones I snapped once I have finished the current article I am writing.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Finished and delivered

The sculpture commission that I have been working on has finally been completed and delivered to the customer who I am glad to say is very pleased with the end result.  The Swan stands just over half a meter  and was commissioned to have a high black gloss finish set on the aged base. The finish was an interesting and lengthy process requiring a huge amount of patience and attention to the smallest of detail, this however paid off i and I was very pleased with the tactile feel and finish up close. The picture below shows it delivered in its final place at the customers home, so it is time to start the next sculpture which has been designed and is ready to go.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


This is a piece much larger than the first I made recently commissioned and to be finished and delivered soon. It stands just over 1/2 a meter and is sat on a hollow form which will not be the final base, but included to give lift and show the form. 

The picture below is after most of the finishing with a sacrificial coating to help show up the uneven areas, this piece is to be black gloss which will show every minute imperfection so the foundation finishing is paramount before the top coats. The shaping and carving is the easiest and fastest part of the process with the finishing/abrading today taking most of today alone.  Tomorrow it will be cut back again with more coats  more cutting back and refining before the final colour is added, cut back and burnished, another 2-3 days should see the main form finished and then the base will be made with the two being fixed together. There is a £1 coin placed onto tail of the swan for scale.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Turning in Spain

From the 25th - 27th  I will be demonstrating at a woodworking show in Northern Spain  in collaboration of tornnyfusta , and my sponsor Crown Hand Tools I am looking forward to the experience and hope I can grab a few pictures through out the show to add to my blog on my return. I am also hoping to try out some genuine Paella and of course sangria, but having been abroad before for the same I normally get very little time to see the sights.

Nice amount of work via sculpture commissions to get stuck into upon my return so hopefully I can get some pics of this too in the following weeks. The sculptural work seems to be quite popular and is a nice addition and amalgamation to the turning.

Catch up soon

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Yandles show

Friday and Saturday this coming weekend is the Spring Show at Yandles, Martock, Somerset.

I will be there demonstrating for my sponsor Crown Tools together with loads of other demonstrators and companies. The weather is looking good so it should be an brilliant weekend. Come along, say hi and see all the crafts being demonstrated.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Few recent pieces

Here are a few pure turned hollow forms in Sycamore, Beech and Ash that I have finished buffing today together with the picture above also being finished, titled 'Fisherman'

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


While I have five minutes to spare, an update to the blog is in order.

Other than the workshop upgrade I have been teaching, writing, demonstrating and in my spare time of running the home and ferrying my daughters around,!! making  for galleries and commissions pictures of which I will try my hardest to post some time in the future, don't know when exactly as work load has made me look at prioritizing which until recently has mainly included doing what I want to do and not what has to be done. After all life is too short to go rushing around with work. !! mind you I think of what I do as playing and not work at all, I am very lucky I guess.

A recurring  theme in any creative pursuit is stagnation for which I have come to realise is the flow of the process, fortunately I am able to produce many items people want and after a blast of production turning, the cobwebs are blown free and my brain starts working back toward creative ideas.

Work load has continued to take large steps upward to the extent now that I am seriously considering cutting back on demonstrations for 2015 and onward other than wood working shows and a few near by. Mainly I have had enough of driving around the country late into the night, missing time with my family and neglecting making in the day due to the preparation time required. Commissions and interest in my work means that time has to be prioritized towards making and less driving around the country.

Teaching is something I greatly enjoy, hence the reason for taking time out to re-organise my workshop. More work is in the pipeline for this including extended storage space to free upwork area for me to upgrade my second lathe so that teaching of two people is more accessible.


Recently Bert attended a days course on hollow form turning as a Christmas present. Bert I have known for some years now as we are both members of the Burnham-on-Sea woodturning club, with Bert attending several courses I have previously run with George Foweraker. The theme for the day was to look at the tools and processes for turning a hollow form in seasoned Oak with a steep undercut.

The day was very enjoyable and a success with Bert achieving his aim producing a lovely form is seasoned oak. I look forward to meeting up again in the near future Bert.

Second but by no mean least was Adam who runs his own business but on the side loves to turn. Adam attended after a days tuition was purchased for him as a gift. Again the theme for the day was hollowing but on this occasion Adam wanted to look at utilizing unseasoned wood to produce a deep open form. The full process from wood selection, form to turning tools and techniques were covered with Adam producing a great form and having an enjoyable day.

Running courses with George Foweraker  at his excellently equipped workshop are popular and being extended to include more themes for this year and 2015.

My book is a great success, the numbers sold has surprised me and the excellent positive feedback received has been great.

Photography for textures, shape and form is still a big interest, a few of the latest pictures I have taken are shown below.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Workshop revamp

For some time now I have been meaning to revamp my workshop to sort through many of the items that have been stored away for years 'just in case' I need them. Working methods develop and change direction over time and with it the storage and set up of years gone by needs to be tweaked to boost efficiency.

In short I have been throwing out bags and bags of old equipment, tools rubbish and materials that are no longer needed. Any usable tools are given away, if I don't need them they have to go as they take up valuable space and  it is amazing how much has been hoarded into places I had forgotten about.

Once clear, new shelving was built and others moved and good white wash applied to brighten things up a bit. The picture here shows the coal face side of the workshop with the storage side behind the camera still being painted, this will be completed in a few weeks as I have to get back to making and teaching. In this vain I have been working on some new pieces as well as the normal roughing out forms for seasoning as with the spalted beech hollow form below,  I hope to show some new pieces in the coming weeks.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Woodturning Courses

On the 6th and 7th of this month saw four students (one regular who can't keep away), attended one of the many woodturning courses run by George Foweraker  and Mark Sanger at Georges well equipped workshop in Burnham-On-Sea. The course in this instance covered 'Turning Hollow Forms' in both unseasoned and seasoned woods.

Many other courses are being organised for the future at a fee of £180 per person for the two days, all refreshments, food, loan of tools and safety equipment included.

Courses include

Natural edge bowls and vessels
Box making
Vessels with lids
Bowl and platters

The courses start with a cuppa so every one can get to know each other followed by a safety talk, and the checking of PPE all of which is available for loan during the course.

The first project for the students was to make a deep enclosed form in parallel (end) grain unseasoned walnut, with subjects covered being;

  • Discussion and talk on selection wood, taking into the consideration grain orientation and the selection of good wood to give maximise project success.
  • Form- design using the 'Rule of Thirds' for proportion within forms.
  • Tooling techniques, covering the various hollowing tools and how to use them. 
  • Successful seasoning methods.
  • Finishing.
Each student works at their own pace with continued interaction with the tutors. 

Some pictures of the first days turning.

David, Brian and Charlie roughing the outside profile of their forms.

Charlie,Liz and Brian hollowing out

Mark working with David going through the cutting sequence

As well as refreshments on tap for all to help themselves to at anytime, lunch was served as a cold buffet on both days by Sue, Georges wife, and wonderful it was too.

Back to work with seasoning being discussed prior to finishing the forms.

The end of the day with the workshop clean and tidy, a debrief of how the day went and any questions answered. 

All the walnut forms lined up prior to being bagged.

Day two

On the second day we look at the turning of a hollow form from seasoned cross grain wood with an undercut and small opening. The relevant techniques and tools used for hollowing seasoned cross grain wood are covered together with refining any tooling techniques that the student requires. Design, form and finishing are also covered.

Here are some pictures of the second day. 

Brian, Liz and Charlie practising the pull cut with long grind gouge to shape the base profile of their forms.

Hollowing and finishing

The end of each was finished off with a tidy of the workshop, a debrief and question time with a cuppa in hand. Finally a group photo with all the student doing exceptionally well. 

Thank you all for a great two days.

More courses coming this year and in 2015. 

Contact use for further details via the websites below.