Turning and Wood >
What I do and a bit more about them...
I have been turning for just 13 years. I have tried many things over the years, some have worked and others have failed. The failures have been the biggest learning experiences.
I especially love turning miniatures, small boxes and lace bobbins. Eccentric turning is also high up on the list. I also love turning big things like very large platters and bowls. In fact - I just love turning everything!
- Bowls, Platters and Plates:
These range from around 65mm (3 inches) in size to as large as I can get blanks for. Until recently,
I was happy to use both local and imported wood for my blanks and have worked toward perfection of line and form
and allowing the beauty of the wood to speak for itself - as opposed to decorating the surface of the wood.
Now that the price of wood has suddenly shot through the roof, I find myself leaning more toward decoration
and carving - or is this just natural progression?
- 1/12th Scale and Miniature Items:
Twelfth scale items hold a special fascination for me. Most of the stuff I see out on the web and in shops
is heavy, thick-walled, and bears no real resemblance (or maybe it does) to the fine, artistic full-scale
work that is so prevalent in good turning circles.
Small scale items cause a lot of holding problems - the
forces involved are the same as for big turning, but the holding sections are minute in comparison. Alternate
methods and orders of turning are required to overcome the problems involved. That to me is half the fun
of the making. I reverse-turn the bases of these and I aim for a paper-thin wall...
- Boxes and other Pretty Things:
Beautiful little boxes that nestle down into your hand are a delight to me, and it is for this
reason that I turn them. The fact that people buy them from me is a bonus. I think of other pretty things made
of wood in terms of 'useful ornamentation' rather than just art for art's sake. I satisfy the need for art
within me by painting.
- Spinners, Cribbage Pegs and other Toys:
I always seem to be turning cribbage pegs for players who need a 'lucky peg' or who need replacements
for those lost. Usually made to fit 3mm (std size) holes.
Spinners: We had a slasto patio
when we were kids, and used the degraded tiles as 'spinning plates' for our string-wound hand thrown tops.
When they touched the concrete on the sides, sometimes they jumped far enough to put the front windows in danger!
I still love spinners, and own a number of them which I play with from time to time. when I make them -
I get to play with them first. Just to make sure they work, of course.
- Turned Pens:
I make pens of different quality. This means the price I charge for a 'Gentleman's Pen' will be a lot higher
than for a 'Student Quality' pen. Then too is the price of the wood I use. As they say - 'you get what you pay for',
and none of what I sell is tat.
As John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) said: "There is nothing in the world that some man
cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey."
Out of interest, I started using a
student quality pen myself to check just what I was selling to my customers. I am pleased to be able to
report that it is still going strong after three years of use.
I have been making these for as long as I have been turning. I've improved as I've practiced, and have many, many
bobbins and pincushions on lace making pillows all over the world. To my delight, they are in use on pillows in England,
the Isle of Man, Australia, South Africa, America, South America, Canada and even Spain and Japan. I aim for
an heirloom quality, ultra-smooth finish and a life of at least 150 years...
- Walking Sticks:
I suppose this is just
part of my personal eccentricity - I get a kick out of turning walking stick components, and knowing that they
are made into sticks that then go on to be used (or entered into competitions) gives me a real sense of acievement.
I also like making the whole thing.
- Turned Pyrography and Carving Blanks:
Turned to my usual high standard with a smooth feel - ready for burning or carving. Left unfinished to make life
easier for you. Some also have spigots on them for those who use a chuck when carving. These can be carved away
- I don't do big discounts for multiple purchases or cheap bulk orders.
- You have to buy a lot from me regularly to get any discount at all.
- I do small production orders, but you will pay a fair, professional rate for my work.
- Production orders: While I will advise you on what you should buy for the job, all production work buyers
must provide their own timber.