Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Old year- New year Updates.

Year End.

The NCCS exhibition went very well at the Hostry with The Norfolk Contemporary Craft Society at the end of last year, unfortunately I didn’t get time to take any images of the items I made. life and work got a little hectic at the end of the year.I have posted an image of the exhibition for you to see what  a wonderful venue it is.The Society will be exhibiting there again this year in November.

New Year.

2014 has begun in ernest and is starting to gather pace, what happened to 2013, 
It always amazes me just how fast the first last few weeks and months of every year seem to disappear. 
I have been working on information that I want to update on my website as it has been over looked for the last few years. The main changes are going to appear on the Teaching/Demonstration page detailing my new courses for 2014. I am going to continue to offer introduction/beginners courses to the newcomer to woodturning, but I am also introducing targeted courses giving the students  choices, these are designed to give the student a focused course to explore specific areas of wood turning after they have mastered the basic techniques, I will have three levels of course the Beginners course,Targeted courses and the Advanced Turning, carving and colouring course, this is a no holes barred course for those that want  to take their work to the next level allowing them to develop in their chosen direction. 
I am also planning to include a Buy Now option for the Retail page to sell a number of items. The other changes will be quite general across the site to keep the information up to date, It is a time consuming process to rewrite text and decide how I want to change the content as I do not wish to be doing it all again in 6- 12 months time.
Check out my new website in a few weeks.

I thought I would also post some of my thoughts for the year ahead below:

My Personal Targets for 2014
1: Avoid the winter blues by keeping busy.
2: Create new interesting and challenging work.
3: Become more proactive about a number of issues.

Well only a few weeks in and I have to report that I am currently hitting some of my targets, however I still need to focus more on some of the others!! 

Come back soon, please let me know what you think to the changes on the website when they are up and running not sure when that will be at present, This part of the revamp is dependent upon my site administrator.  
Have a great year and try to maintain your personal targets.  

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Day out in Norwich Again

Sat 26th October.

I've had a busy week or so last Sunday I had a day painting in Bury St Edmond's with wonderful new friends i met through UK Plein air on Face book we had a great time, alight lunch then painted some more,then it started to rain so we retired for coffee and then found our way home it was great to get out and relax with new friends.

The Apple Shop.

The Register of Professional Turners New Web Site

I've had an appointment at the Apple shop today this was a tutorial for my new mac mini, hopefully it  will help me get more out of it , after working on PC/windows OS for so long its not that easy, while there I showed my tutor the new website for The Register of Professional Turners which I noticed this week, my tutors reaction was not good,I have to say as the visible window to the world the website in my opinion is not one I am happy to be associated with, it is in my opinion un professional,  tacky and cheep,I do not know who designed it but they haven’t  done a very good job,is this really the way to promote the Professional WoodTurners in the UK to the World not in my opinion.

Jane came into Norwich with me and did some shopping and made me carry all her bags, so as punishment I took her to lunch at Bella Italia and I also paid, we then we did some more shopping before travelling home.


Next week is looking busy already as I am getting ready for the Norfolk Contemporary Crafts annual exhibition at the Hostry Norwich in late November.

Thanks to those who commented on my technology post your comments were interesting and diverse,I have to admit i am getting to like my latest phone I posted onto Face book while having lunch today but surely the art of conversation is not to be ignored when having an enjoyable meal with good company! 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

September Update

September took my wife Jane and myself to Yorkshire where I demonstrated woodturning at Snainton Yorvik and Thirsk woodturning clubs, Two evening demo’s and an all day on the Sunday,Jane and I had a great time and thanks must go to the clubs and our hosts as they provided beds and breakfasts along the way Saturday was fun, we got a day to explore the area which we don’t often get when travelling to give Demonstrations at wood turning clubs.We spent some time in a town on the edge of the moors then we bought some lunch and headed of to do some sight seeing.
 We found a great spot where I decided to set up my Pochade box and paint it was glorious, but as the day drew to an end and the sun faded it became a little chilly,Jane sat in the van with a wonderful panoramic view and I painted it was a fantastic way to relax during a very busy weekend before heading off to find the B&B,a few hours cheated from the busy schedule was just what I needed.

Assington Mill

I also managed to make time this month to attend a painting course with Roy Connelly at Assington Mill in Suffolk this was great fun an entire day spent painting and talking about it with fellow artists and painters.

As I type this entry I am beginning to start work on some new pieces for the

Norfolk Contemporary Craft annual exhibition at the Hostry (Norwich Cathedral) in late November)

I will try to post some images of work as it progresses,as usual i am very busy and finding time to do things I want to isn’t always easy.

Technology Thoughts.

have noticed recently that there seems to an  increase in the way many are connected to the Internet using things like twitter/ Face book to tell us what they were doing a few minutes ago via their mobile phones or other portable devices, much of this seems pointless to me as it is taking time out of an otherwise productive day. Is this healthy and should be concerned that connectivity is so very easy today and some even expect immediate responses. What ever happened to using the phone or even making a person to person call or using the answer phone if there was no reply,these are only some of my thoughts today what do you think about constant connectivity is it really needed.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

ITS BEEN A WHILE and a long hot summer

Well it sure has been a busy summer teaching & demonstrating at woodturning clubs around the UK and even in the US, there is always production turning to be done, I even gave a talk to an art group (Art-line) in Attleborough, this was great fun and went extremely well, I cant wait o do another as the  group was very receptive to what I presented to them.

A Great But Sad Trip to the US
It was a huge privilege to demonstrate at the Utah woodturning Symposium and stay with Dale and Sharon Nish but it was with great sadness we learnt of Dales death a few days after our return from the US, this is a great loss to the world of woodturning and one I feel sure many do not fully understand as Dale did so much to bring woodturning into the wider world to share with everyone, I hope I sill have his passion for wood and Turning when I get to the age Dale was.

As some of you may be  aware I have had a break from writing for the Woodturning magazine and am beginning to get itchy feet to create some new articles, but I am also starting to think/ work seriously on my next book, as the first seems to have been so well received, and I have more ideas that I want to share with everyone.
I have some very clear ideas but I am going to keep them to myself for now, I am really looking forward to a productive time ahead over  the winter months.
 I know I have said this before and I really must try to post more frequently as I know there are many of you  following my blog.
Check back soon as I will endeavour to do so. Now I have a new computer to work on it seems to be so mush easier now it is not driven/powered by water I did think for some considerable time it was steam but it turned out to be running with slow moving water!!
Maybe next time I will post some images of what I have been doing.    

Monday, 1 April 2013

March/April update.


Was busy with production turning and teaching and soon disappeared.

3mm natural edge Holly

Rough turned Spalted Beech Vessels.

Lots of teaching this month and a fair bit of turning and a reasonable amount of production spindles from various clients, it has been a good mix to create the diversity I really enjoy. I have rough turned some spalted beech vessels. I was also fortunate enough to obtain some very fresh Holly which is always such great fun, turning it to a very thin wall thickness (around 2-3mm) leaving its natural edge and allowing it to move as it dries. It is always challenging to say the least, at times frustrating but it is always Fun and helps refine/hone ones tool control and understandings of how a tool actually performs.

Norwich Urban Sketchers.

I did manage to get out sketching and painting a bit but to be honest it has been to cold and damp for me I did get to the Norwich Urban sketchers gathering at the Castle Mall on Sun Feb 24th . This gave me an opportunity to sketch people on the move, the speed that you need to work to catch the movement is amazing and teaches much, trying to sketch figures climbing the stairs was fun and not as easy as one first imagines, but there was lots to draw it was a fun afternoon getting the chance to meet with other like minded folk to draw, chat and drink Hot Chocolate. Unfortunately I missed the gathering at the Norwich Cathedral due to prior commitments, it must have been great with all those architectural details to sketch maybe I will get there another day. I

Planning for next year 2014.
I am currently planning a trip to Scotland next year demonstrating at a number of clubs this is an area we rarely get to. This is something I am looking forward to, I would also like to include days of tuition during this trip, if you are interested in a Demo or tuition please contact me at:

This is a great opportunity for the clubs in this area as I am planning on dividing the costs for mileage amongst those involved, this will make it affordable for everyone until we have a route planned it is difficult to give a final cost if you are interested in making a booking then please do not hesitate to contact me at:

A trip like this takes a great deal of organisation putting together the route but also the accommodation required I often stay with club members spending time with them sharing experiences and knowledge, one thing I simply love when invited to do so is seeing other peoples workshops it’s a privilege to see were others work and it is amazing what can be learnt doing this, its unbelievable what everyone gets up to in there private spaces.


As we enter April I am earnestly creating new work to take with me when I travel to the Utah symposium in May.

A small Tease.

You can see a tease of some of the pieces I am working on in the images in this blog post I will also post some work in progress images during the coming weeks on my face book page,( if you are not a follower please subscribe) this period is often frantic with long days the time is on occasions fraught with frustrations but it is always worth the effort when creating new and exciting pieces that evolve as they progress each time I make them.

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's no longer January!!

It’s always great to see the back of January with its cold short days and weather that most of us would rather be without. This January had its fair share of snow and ice when it is simply too miserable to spend too much time in the workshop, I usually dedicate this time to my second passion drawing and painting. This year I had a different plan late last year while preparing some timber for another project I had a number of off cuts that were simply too good to discard this presented me with the ideal opportunity to make my own watercolour box, using the figured Ash I had. The image shows the finished box ready for pigment to be added I must admit I am really looking forward to adding my watercolours and using this over the coming years. 
Figured Ash Watercolour box

I have also during this period made myself a Pochade box. This is an all in one design with storage and an easel for working En plien air, this project is another that I had been thinking of making for some time and I must say at present I am very pleased with the result, although I feel sure it will evolve over time and perhaps this is but the first I will make. The Box is made from pallet wood and recycled plywood the only cost has been for the fittings, all timber was entirely free using a contemporary term it is an up-cycled Pochade Box!
The box lid has an added box which holds spare and wet panels it attaches to the lid of the box which double as the easel, the base of the box has a large are to store brushes, paint and mediums on the underside it has an adaptor plate mounted this  allows it to be mounted onto a tripod,
 The lid when open creates the easel where I mount the boards to paint; everything I need is carried inside the box. This is something I have really enjoyed making as it is so different to the work I normally undertake.

My upcycled Pochade box.

My first trip out before the January snow arrived.

This is a group of trees close to my home that I keep returning to paint.close to Norwich airport.

My year usually starts slowly this year seems to have been be a little different I have already had a good deal of teaching and production work to do and boy was it cold in the spindle production workshop. I am currently focusing on new work as I have several exhibitions ahead of me this year and I like to present new pieces for these events. I am hoping to post some work in progress images here so check back from time to time.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Year update

Well it has been a while since I updated my blog, life just seems to get in the way, Last year was consantly busy,  I also took part in a number of exhibitions at the later part of 2012 which was demanding but fun and rewarding, when adding to an already hectic mix of teaching, production work and writing, there was little spare time.

This year 2013 is beginning to appear as though it could be yet another busy year; I will be travelling to America and France, I will need some new work to exhibit, so I will need to spend a great deal of time developing new ideas..

I have numerous demonstrations booked here in the UK which is always great fun but also at times hard work. I must admit to enjoying the varied mix that I have with what I do and how I work.

As I feel sure you will appreciate this all requires quite a bit of planning/juggling to maintain an even balance, and it is something that never gets easier, the hardest part is fitting time off into this mix without guilt and this does require some determination and commitment to achieve, as a result I am determined to find time for my 2-D Art Drawing, Painting and sketching. This is becoming more pressing as I get older. Like anything that you wish to do well with it requires time to develop and evolve, I must admit I find the break from the workshop refreshing and at times rewarding, next Sunday I will be at the Sainsbury centre meeting up with the Norwich Urban Sketching group which only formed here in Norwich at the end of last year, this should be a fun day out meeting and chatting to other artists, we all spend far to much time working in isolation.

Something I have and will always enjoy is travelling in varied seasons, throughout the year, I am currently planning a trip to France using the Channel Tunnel this will allow me to carry whatever kit I require for the trip, unlike when using the airlines with all the frustrations and limitations.

Check back for updates during the year, I will try to post more regularly as the year is looking like it could be somewhat diverse and interesting.