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.