Wednesday, 29 August 2012

An interesting day.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Jamie O Halloran who on behalf of the BBC asked me if I would be interested in taking part in a project they were doing.
It transpired that they were filming   "Escape to the country"  in Somerset and wanted the couple involved to as they put it do something of cultural interest.They wanted to spend the day in my workshop and  the couple from Essex to turn something from wood obtained locally.
About four years ago I bought some Beech from a tree that was felled on the Quantock hills due to storm damage this proved to be ideal for this project and would make a couple of nice bowls.
We started filming at nine O clock and finished at three O clock I don't think I have ever been so tired in all my life.I thought we would just do our thing and they would film it but it was not that simple.Lots of things were repeated until they got everything exactly as they wanted it.This made teaching a bit difficult at times as it disrupted the flow of things.The important thing from my point of view was to keep everything safe and professional.The filming and sound were done by Jamie and Dave who were very professional at all times and understood the need to be safe.
Steven and Lyn the couple from Essex who are hoping to move to Somerset where great company and keen to learn.All in all it was a very enjoyable day but very tiring.
Hopefully if Stevan and Lyn move to Somerset they will take up woodturning and come for further lessons.
This program will be screened later this year or early next year.
Apparently the six hours of filming will be condensed into just a few minutes so that will be interesting.

Left to right.Dave sound man,Lyn from Essex,Carly property sourser,Stevan from Essex,Jamie camerman and finaly yours truly.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Welsh Festival of the tree.

This weekend I was demonstrating at the Festival of the tree event in West Wales.This event was held in the beautiful National Botanical gardens of Wales Here Unfortunately it was a complete wash out for myself.
Due to combination of very bad weather poor advertising and other factors one being the heat and humidity.The demonstrators club stands and tool sellers were in the huge glass dome.The weather was extremely hot and the computer that controls the temperature and humidity packed up.It was so hot and humid that my clothes were stuck to me and my specs were steaming up.
There were very few visitors and the whole thing as far as I am concerned was a disaster .

Pic by kind permission of John Blake.Link to John's Website

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Finishing texturing and colouring course.

Hi all.

Today Mark Raby and myself carried out a Finishing texturing and colouring course for the AWGB.
We had six students that were put into two groups of three and each group spent half a day with Mark Raby and half a day with myself.
The half day with Mark Raby covered finishing colouring and different ways of applying stains, paints and much more.
The other half of the day was spent with myself exploring different ways of texturing and colouring of the textured surfaces.
The day was a great success and I am sure everybody went away with lots of ideas of how they can improve their turning.
My wife Sue and Marks wife Lisa kept us in tea's and coffee's and what now seems to be part of the course the rock cakes.
Here are some pics taken throughout the day.


To enlarge the pics left click on pic.


























Susan with her now famous rock cakes.







Feedback from yesterdays course

George, Just to say again, thanks for yesterday, the day was fantastic, I walked away with a brain ringing with new understanding and knowledge. As for ideas, thankfully the wife does not want to go anywhere today so, I’ll be trying out a few in my workshop. Attached are the photos I took, not many I’m afraid, I was to absorbed in the subject to keep thinking about taking pictures. Many thanks again,



First of all I would like to thank you both for wrecking a good night's sleep for me, my brain has gone into overdrive with all the info you fired at us yesterday, but I will say it was worth every lost minute of sleep.  When I booked this course with the AWGB I had no real knowledge of texturing or colouring, so for me, I wanted to get off on the right foot with sound advice as to what tools and materials are needed to venture into this field, as we all know woodturning is an expensive hobby so if we can avoid the pitfalls of not buying the bits we don't need but buying the stuff we do need that has to be a good start.
I have to say my time spent with you both yesterday was brilliant, the whole course was well planned out with a good delivery at a pace which I think was just right & in a nice relaxed atmosphere which does help a great deal it puts everyone at ease, just a shame it had to end.  I feel I learnt a lot from the course regarding technique and what's needed to get me started, so, with my goody bag of finishing products which I purchased let's go and have a play, I don't have a texturing tool yet, but Yandles show is only just around the corner!
As a committee member of our club I know a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to organise these events they don't just happen, so I would like to finish up by saying a big thanks to you both and not forgetting Sue & Lisa for their support & especially the AWGB for making these courses available.
I




I was one of the people lucky enough to be selected for the course so I'd just like to say a few words of thanks and my thoughts about it.
First to the AWGB for making it part of their remit to arrange these training days. They give those that attend the opportunity to partake of a very close-in experience with professionals not likely to be had without parting with a fistful of hard earned cash. For those of you out there reading this who have never thought to apply for one near you, please do, you will gain so much from them.

My day started with dropping SWMBO off at her craft club followed by a quick dash through a couple of towns, arriving just-in-time. A welcome and coffee and we were into it. We were separated into two groups of 3.

My group started with Mark Raby, many of you will have seen Mark demonstrate at your club or at the various wood shows and fairs that take place around the country. It's not the same. To be stood 3 feet away for several hours, watching what he's doing and be able to ask all the big and little questions you've ever had (and many you'd never thought about before) about finishing is an opportunity not to be missed.

Notes were taken extensively on the do's and don't's of what finished work or react with other finishes, tricks and methods demonstrated. Thankfully all of this was backed up by a handout at the end of the course because I'm sure we all failed to faithfully record all the information Mark was capable of imparting.

After lunch the groups changed over, now we were with George. It was his opportunity to impart the knowledge (as he put it) 'He'd gained by spending many many hours stood at his lathe just trying different things, just to see what happened.'

Again, it was switch the brain into receive and try and absorb all of the knowledge he wanted to impart in the few hours he had allocated. Various methods of texturing, each with a 'what happens if...!', different ways of finishing the workpiece from charring it all the way through stains to waxes.

Also during the day we all had a go it trying some of the things demonstrated on prepared blanks (to speed up the process), which we brought away with us.

It would also be unfair not to mention George's and Mark's wives. They kept up a constant flow of Tea and Coffee and (as read in a previous write-up) we were presented at the afternoon break with 'Rock Cakes' to sustain us. Ladies, my many thanks.

Just to say again, the day was fantastic, I walked away with a brain ringing with new understanding and knowledge. Now I'm eager to get into my workshop and put some of them into practice.



George Foweraker is a human encyclopaedia of texturing and colouring, I simply could not take sufficient notes of what he said and did – so course notes from him would be helpful (I understand he is planning to publish photos/notes online in future however).



I attended the course yesterday (4th). I’ve spent the day in my workshop repeating as many of the methods and techniques as I can (I don’t have all the tools I saw used). This is to set the information firm into my thoughts.
My overriding intent was to improve and develop my colouring methods as I have noticed that when I set out items for sale, it’s always the few coloured items I have that sell first. Of course I wish to sell more, and through this, hopefully, impart the art of woodturning into the psyche of the British public
It would be difficult to improve on the course. It would require a workshop where all students could have a lathe and necessary stains, tools and machinery to try each technique after it’s demonstrated. However this would also slow down the delivery of an already tight prospectus.
I would like to thank the organisers for arranging this course and giving me the opportunity to Observe and work under two very knowledgeable instructors.

Having seen George Fowrakers posting on the AWGB forum, I wanted to see and understand first-hand the methods and techniques he used.
I knew of (but not the name of Mark Raby), I therefore did not relate him to the Colouring etc part of the course, he was a pleasant surprise and a bonus to be able to ask all of the questions I’d formulated working alone in m y garage using many of the products he knows so well.