Sunday, 4 May 2014


 I've been a bit slack with keeping the blog updated for a month or three! I've been really busy with non turning work and other than a bit of production turning in the form of things like large mushrooms, drawer knobs, some 'magic' wands and bowls for galleries , I've not had much opportunity to make any art. I am about to start work on extending our home so although I will be very busy I will be taking on less outside work and so will hopefully get some time in quieter moments to make some pieces to share with you all.

 Anyway I can't write an entry here without giving you something to look at! Here is a video I made with my quadcopter(my other passion) of the beautiful bluebells that flower in the woods nearby at this time of year.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Mushroom Seats

The Pre-School my Daughter attends are making a 'Sensory Garden' for the children to enjoy (when the weather gets better!). They have a very limited budget and knowing that I was a 'wood man' they asked if I could help out by making some 'mushroom' seats for the kids to sit on'. I agreed that if they could source some suitable hardwood (I had nothing of a suitable diameter) I would gladly give them some time to make the seats.
 A local wood yard 'kindly' offered them ten 'hardwood' logs to use, the lady organising the project collected them in her horse trailer and brought them round, upon opening up the trailer I was confronted with one partly rotten Oak log and nine half rotten softwood fir trunks, years old and soaked in muddy water...great!( I have dealt with this woodyard in the past and wasn't in the least surprised at their 'kindness'..........)
 I felt bad telling the lady that this timber was no good, completely unsuitable for making the seats from  especially as they can't  be treated with chemical preservatives ( you can imagine how quickly even a fresh piece of untreated fir is going to start decaying and how rough the end grain tops would get as the soft part of the grain structure goes, leaving that ridged texture....).
 Thankfully after our disappointing start she managed to get some nice Oak logs elsewhere which were perfect for the job! I turned them on the lathe and made sure all the surfaces and edges are sanded smooth with absolutely no splinters to keep all those little hands safe!
 My kids were very keen to test them out before we delivered them!

Monday, 27 January 2014


'Nut' is the second piece in my new 'Welded' series. This one has gone a bit rusty......
 I thought it would be interesting to make a threaded bar insert and a nut but to leave these in natural wood. I liked the idea of doing it this way as it's the opposite of what you may expect, that is, a turned vessel is usually wood (I know it is but you get the idea) and a nut is generally metal.
 I have made the threaded bar from Mahogany which has the added bonus of being naturally rust coloured, the nut and hollow form are Sycamore.
I have a few more ideas for these but need to work out a few methods to get the results I want for the next ones.........

 I made the threaded bar much longer than needed so that it can  be turned further out or in, which gives the piece a nice 'fiddleability'(new word? lol)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Small Elm Bowls.

 I was asked by a gallery who sells my work to provide them with some more small plain bowls as they tend to sell ok.
 I made a batch up of mostly Sycamore but also used up these two small pieces of Elm that had been laying around for a while and were in the top of a box of bits and bobs. I was quite surprised at the lovely grain and warm colour of these when I had finished.
 They are five inches wide and are finished with nothing more than a bit of oil, which is my favorite finish for Elm as it really seems to bring the best out of it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

'Junk Pile'

Here is the first item from the new workshop! The workshop isn't quite finished, there is a bit more rendering to do and I have yet to get some armoured cable to supply the electricity(currently using a couple of extension leads...) but apart from that, the lathe is in and there are benches to work at!!

 I've been wanting to make some things in this 'welded together' style for ages. I've seen loads of stuff welded in the past and have always thought it looks cool. I came up with a plan to make the 'welds' which worked so well that I only did a test piece of about six inches long before doing it to the main vessel here! The colouring is airbrushed on and just copied from looking at some pictures of the burns (more importantly the colours) created by mig welding.
 I made the vase from Elm as its open grain structure would show through the decoration giving the keen eyed observer a clue to its true wooden nature. The piece is quite tall for me at seventeen inches(430mm) but was a lot of fun to turn. With the lathe now on a stable concrete floor I may do a few more larger pieces.

Monday, 6 January 2014


 The new workshop is not yet finished but I really needed to make something, its funny how being away from producing new work and generally away from creativity starts to get to me. lol. 'Making' has become such a large and important part of my life and  my own creativity seems as if  it just needs to come out and be expressed! (That sounds horribly pretentious when I read it back....)

 This piece has been rolling around in my mind for a while, I wanted to make something that represents impermanence and fragility, mainly due to my fast approaching 40th Birthday and for the first time my realisation that I'm impermanent and thoughts of my own mortality, the 'rusting bowl' represents this well for my mind.

Anyway, I would like to wish all the readers of this blog a very happy new year, I'm hoping 2014 will be a great year, I am very much looking forward to getting my new workshop finished and working in the lovely area we are lucky enough to now live!

Friday, 22 November 2013

New Workshop Progress!

The new workshop is starting to take shape with progress being made with the blockwork despite the November weather trying to stop us! I'm making a timelapse video of the build and this is it thus far!