Saturday 31 December 2011

Another year gone by.

Another year has gone bye and a new year to look forward to.I was lying in bed this morning and thinking of where my turning has gone and where it is going.It is now eight years since i started my journey as a woodturner and many thousands of hours.It has been an interesting and enjoyable journey from the day I walked into my Brother Chris's workshop in Devon.Chris is a self employed joiner with a workshop on the edge of Dartmoor where he produces bespoke joinery work.On this particular day he was turning a newel post for a customer.I remember being quite fascinated and when he had finished he let me have a go.
That was it I was hooked and have turned almost every day since.
I am a bricklayer by trade and spent many years plastering scaffolding and lorry driving.It came as quite a surprise to me and it has to be said my family when I got into woodturning.It was always supposed that as I was always big and strong fine works would not really be my thing.My father still to this day is amazed at some of the works I turn out and never forgets to tell me.
I am a very fussy person when it comes to quality and will not settle for anything less than perfect.I have lessons from a number of professional turners to refine my work.The best thing that ever happened to me as far as quality within my woodturning was meeting Mark Sanger who I had tuition from .The important thing I have learnt from Mark is that there is no substitute for form and finish.
Mark and I speak on the telephone almost every day and when I am not sure of something I can always rely on him to give me guidance and sound advise.
I think most turners aim to create a name for themselves by creating works that is universally recognised by other turners as their work in other words signature pieces.I don't think I will ever  have a signature piece as my work is always changing.I tend to start making something like Hollow forms or something and make hundreds until I think they are as near to perfect as I can get then I move on to something else.Most of my work now is coloured and textured and I have no idea what I will be doing in the future.The problem I have is that because none of the work I have done in the past had any artistic input, bricklaying plastering and scaffolding needed lots of muscle and very little brain I am now playing catch up. I am sure like most people I do have artistic ability it is just finding and exploiting it.I am hoping to take my turning further next year  and also do as much teaching and demonstrating as possible.My greatest pleasure is teaching and passing on the things I have learnt.There can be no greater pleasure than to see a student who has never tried woodturning before go away with something they have made in their first lesson and a big smile on their face.
I would like to wish all of my friends a very happy new year.

Saturday 24 December 2011

New inserts for Wall plaques.

That is seven all framed up and two sets ready for frames.

Further update on wall plaques

They are starting to come up together only two more to do.
It is looking like I will be having Christmas day off.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Update on Wall plaque progress

Getting there slowly.
That is six new frames made made.Two coats of sealer and one top coat .They will have another couple of coats of top coat sanded between coats with 1500 grit abrasive.
I am having a bit of a problem as the weather is so cold the drying time is extended.The paint is oil based so I cannot forse dry it as it would skin up and not go hard.
Last night I left the heater on low heat in my workshop.

Click on pic to enlarge if required

I thought I would share this with you

Goldfinches on the bird feeder eating Niger seed

Saturday 10 December 2011

Busy Busy.

I am busy making Wall Plaques to fulfil new orders.
I have an order for four to supply a new outlet that specialises in interiors.They see these as something that will go well in their bed department.
I also have to supply two to existing outlets.
As I make these I will be putting up a few random pics.

Here I have cut up some of the MDF and applied a coat of sealer.

This is the first one clamped up.

 Filler on all the joints and edges ready for sanding
Having a good table saw is a big advantage when doing this sort of work.
 The following pics show the material cut up and ready to assemble
The first pic is of painted black inserts ready for colouring and turning.
Some will be coloured with the Jo Sonja's system and some will have patterns turned on them.

 This pic shows one frame set glued up and epoxy filler applied to all the edges ready for sanding and painting.

Getting there slowly.
That is six new frames made .Two coats of sealer and one top coat .They will have another couple of coats of top coat sanded between coats with 1500 grit abrasive.
I am having a bit of a problem as the weather is so cold the drying time is extended.The paint is oil based so I cannot forse dry it as it would skin up and not go hard.

Thursday 8 December 2011

More experiments.

I have been spending some time in my workshop experimenting with different paint techniques.The ones I like will be made up into wall plaques.

To enlarge pics left click on picture

Monday 5 December 2011

My latest wall plaque.

This piece is 4' x 1'Turned and framed with MDF.
This piece can be hung horizontally,vertically or floor standing.

Sunday 4 December 2011


I have neglected my blog lately mostly because not much has been happening.
The exhibition I took part in in Bath was hardly a success I sold nothing at all and not many of the other 18 makers sold either.Although the Exhibition was in the centre of bath and well promoted from a sales point of view it was not a success.I think it is a sign of the times nobody is spending.
In the new year I have several Demo's booked which I am looking forward to.Very difficult to think of what to demo as most club members have seen it all before.One club said don't do Hollow forms,Box's or bowls as we have seen enough of them.
I think I will be doing a demo on how to set out and make the large candlesticks I make as I think there are not enough between centre's work demonstrated.If anybody has any other ideas please let me know as I like to keep an open mind.
I suppose everybody is busy making Christmas decorations and small stuff to sell.I cant really get my head around making small stuff i find it too tedious.
I have been busy making Wall plaques and have got to produce new ones for a couple of Galleries the difficult bit is coming up with new ideas.I do enjoy making plaques and have a few ideas that I am working on and hope to show soon.