Monday, 15 December 2008

After the Residancy

All packed up sales made and the work back at the workshop ,I guess I should call it my studio but when ever I have considered this in the past part of me still want to call the place that most of the turning is created should be called a workshop, I know I have a workshop, a studio and a decorating room, does the place you create your work need a name if the work stands alone as it will do once no longer in your possession, does it really matter.
One thing I do feel very strongly about is the space has to be right to create in and this is of utmost importance to me considering the diversity of the things that I create,this means that my space has to be multi functional but overall has to be right for each type of creativity, if all you do is turn this may be difficult to understand the hardest space to create is a clean one in which to paint as most of the other disciplines are dirty in comparison. But I have it sorted and in my shed because that is where I work ,this is the building that houses my workshop, decorating room and studio, all of which have the best light available some is natural and some is artificial remember that I also write and need to take photos of the projects and articles in hand so it has been no easy task to get this right and I feel sure there has to be flexability built into the space, does it really matter ?
To some it does but to me having toys to play with and space and to do it in is more important than what it is or should be called it's like the age old discussion Woodturner or Artist (who am I and does it matter and to whom )any way enough rambling for today. I still have work to complete for the holidays that has been promised, so it' s back to the shed.

Artist in Residence

Very Early this year I was invited by the Rev Norman Steer to be the artist in Residance at the Dickleborough Christmas Tree festival this I accepted and took part in. Making sale's and more importantly showing the South Norfolk Region some of my work.
I displayed a cross section of my work including both traditional and decorative turnings hopefully I had something for everyone the festival lasted 12 days and attracted several thousand people to view the displays it was great fun and on two programmed occaissions I met with the public to discuss my work and onoccaisions my thinking behind the pieces on display as some of it was not traditional by any means, all in all I recieved many very appreciative comments regarding the display some even commented that they had never seen work of such high standard in Norfolk before.
Overall it has been a busy few weeks again along with the usual round of teaching and production work that come's through the door every week.
What a Great Way to Start the Christmas Holiday Season, It also meant yet another Church visit I drerad to count how many Jane and I have made this year several more than any prevoius year !

Monday, 17 November 2008

Last Demo Of A Busy Year

This has been the busiest year for for me I demonstrated in Sth Africa for 3-Weeks and have given many in the UK along with teaching and all the other component parts of being a full time wood turner Teacher and Writer there has been little spare time if any but it has been fun and that's thanks to both students and audiences at demonstrations THANK YOU to everyone who helped with this and that must also include Jane for her support or should that be barracking, and personal critiques on each performance as we travel home and it's a long way from South Africa.
Hopefully I will get more time for my own work over the winter months and maybe even post some pics as it evolves who Knows.
Again there is more work to do, as I am artist in Residence at Dicklboro in a week or two and I need to finish some new work so it's back to the workshop again, I did hear recently Gary Rance no longer enjoys his turning!
But then wondered how many of you enjoy your day job, do you? let me know the answer it would be interesting to hear.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Dedicated Work

An unusual commission came through my workshop recently and Sunday saw the work dedicated at Weston Longville Church.
Jane and I went along to the service and I have to say it was quite moving to see the candles in use at the church for the festival of All Saints so often the work comes in and out but I enjoy the fact that they will be in use for many years to come on a regular basis they were made to a design supplied to me by the Benefactor as they were a gift to the Church, I used oak obtained from Ickworth Park in Suffolk and left them finished to the natural colour ,I must say they did look good with the figure showing very well indeed.

However the rest of the week has been busy again, But! I now have no more outstanding commissions, so Friday allowed me to press on with the new work that I have been trying to get started with utmost desperation and today I finished the piece that is being donated to the Tudor Rose wood turning club for the Children In Need Auction next Saturday.

It's great to have time to develop my new work without deadline pressure!.

Tomorrow sees a PR guy visiting me, I have agreed to be the Artist in Residence for the Christmas Tree Festival at the end of the month so I need work ready for that I'm not sure what he is after but I'm sure he will Know just what he wants. The rest of the week is to be tied up with more of my work and teaching, I seem to have a good steady supply of students there is not many months that I don't get fully booked and on some occasion's they have to wait some time it's better to be busy than looking for work.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Another Long And Busy Week.

The days just don't seem to be long enough right now,plenty to do and I had the man flue on top of everything else, still I've made it to Monday and have to say I am feeling much better but Jane my wife is now feeling unwell.
The week was very busy with general turning, Thursday,Friday should have been spent teaching but feeling so unwell I rearranged with my student.
Sunday found us with another early start heading off to an all day demo for the North Herts and Beds wood turning group near Leighton Buzzard the journey was wet all the way and it sure did rain! But the trip was well worth it the group were receptive to my demonstration and also asked numerous questions throughout the day, lunch went down very well and was supplied by the local pub and very good it was too for me the best bit was the fruit cheesecake with cream, lunch over I was back to work.
The afternoon was spent turning and piercing a very thin walled bowl which all ways goes down well, followed by a brief look at surface erosion techniques.
I then turned an off centre pendant after many requests to do so this project did not play ball the wood blank that I selected had a hidden crack in it, all went well until I attempted remove the piece from the chucking method when it promptly split along the hidden crack not even crazy glue could help with this one but I feel sure there may well be many being made over the next few months as Christmas approaches.
I feel that the group enjoyed my presentation and we left feeling they wanted to see more of my decorating techniques than the day had given us time for, maybe next time?
I would like to thank the club for the invitation, as I understand that they only have one all day demonstration a year.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

No Sunday Lay Ins !.

Lets go to the Car boot went up the cry from Jennifer my 21 yr old so of we went for a wander around a damp field early Sunday morning, I always enjoy this looking at what other's have to sell, well this time look what I found.
Two ebonised and carved vases 6" tall and 4" dia I know nothing about them but will say as it has been said so many times before.
"There Is Nothing New In Woodturning"
Pieces like these that often serve as motivation /inspiration with my own work and often take several years to appear but having only cost me £1:00 I just couldn't resist.
Keep your eyes peeled you never Know what can be found.
These pieces have a Moroccan feel to me what do you think ?

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Timber Sale

Mobile sawmills and board timber already sold and awaiting collection.
Jane and charles sharpe just can't decide which pile to buy!
There is always a wide selection of timber this year I picked up some super rippled sycamore and spalted beech.
Also to be seen are steam powered sawmills timber framers and lots more wood related crafts/skills and sculptor's we always have agreat day out, its an event not to miss every year.

A Busy Month !

I thought I should start this entry showing you where I work this is only twenty minutes from Norwich but situated in a very quite part of Norfolk which suits me just fine,its great to return to after a trip away or even a day out.

This month is very busy something to do every weekend no spare time if I am not teaching, turning, writing or out demonstrating then it is off to the timber sale on Saturday and then Sunday a trip to the new woodworking show, so now I have wood and new tools to play with not a bad life.
The down side to the trips was that both days started at before 6:00am and were long days but as they are not made every day I don't mind, it is good to get out and network with other people at such events, however I do feel that due to chatting! Jane and I did not get around the entire show on Sunday.
Woodcut have just launched a new hollowing tool onto the market it appears to be a direct competitor to the Roly Munroe Mini it will be interesting to see how they run side by side when I get time to play; it's the usual story no time for me!
I can usually see spare time approaching and in comes another student or batch of production work as I write this, one of my small furniture makers is heading my way with a shortfall on the last batch I did for him and they will be back to him by Friday morning to keep him happy, I'd rather have it like this than be sitting on my hands waiting and wondering were tomorrow's work is coming from in the current financial climate.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Day One !.

I am a professional wood turner working in Norfolk UK close to the city of Norwich much of the work I produce has both colour and texture but always starts life on the lathe, this allows me to be more creative than when producing spindles I also write for GMC the woodturning magazine here in the UK, as well as teaching and demonstrating the craft of woodturning. Every Monday during term time I teach a group of 12-14 year old boy's,this is always fun but it can also be hard work sorry guy's it's not always easy.