Wood Turning and other wood matters

Life as a woodturner can be fun and hard work. I always say that wood turners don't make mistakes they have design opportunities. Well sometimes. This blog will perhaps give some insight to the ups and downs.It will be fed by both me (Pete) and my partner & wife Mo who collaborates and acts as quality control. Hope you find it interesting and perhaps a little amusing

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  1. Especially as you get older. I am convinced that as you get older the days get shorter and the weeks even shorter. We seemed to have plenty of time to get sorted for our first show at Wisley but now it is just next week. Hopefully we have got plenty of stock made up. Got sufficient of the bread and butter stuff, brooches, ear ring stands etc. Also got a good number of different ikebana vases made up along with sme lower cost decorative work. Every show is a gamble though so we could sell out or sell nowt. One reason we always make sure that we pay up front and so don't go into debt, so easy to do. Just hope the weather is kind tom us. Makes a big difference. Heres a taster of some of the things we will have there.

    elm walnut tipsy medieval goblets  spalted candle pillar 5  walnut oak ikebana 6  pale double ear ring stand 2    pots x 3. 3  heron pot 5    spring

  2. Sometimes as artists and crafts people we make something that we really like but for some reason it just doesn't sell. Our attitude is to make sure it is of good quality and if so simply be patient. When it is a matter of taste then someone somewhere will come along and spot it and fall in love. Classic example is this piece. Broken amphora with gold and silver pouring out of it....OK pewter that has been gilded in places. It has been through several different trials as far as a base is concerned and finished on a revolving mirror so it could  be seen from iunderneath and moved around. Today someone saw it on the website and came over and bought it. Off to a new home. Moral of the story is don't assume that things will sell straight away, especially artistic work, not everyone has the same taste in design and sometimes we need to just be patient.

    pewter amphora (4)

  3. So much for my intentions of posting regularly. My excuse is that I have been busy getting stock ready for a 5 day show we have at Wisley RHS grounds in a fortnight. Both bread and butter stuff e.g. tops, ear ring stands key rings etc and some more artistic items are needed so plenty of shavings being made. This will be the earliest and longest show we have done so far but we have heard excellent reports about it and as we are demonstrating as well it will hopefully be a good 'un. Here are a few of the things I have been making in collaboration with the other half of Bodrighy Wood , Mo.

    heron pot 2  Koi mini  Magnolia Vase. mini

  4. Left Oman on Saturday morning in about 30 degrees celsius to arrive in the UK in about 30 degrees fahrenheit. Quite a difference. Always nice to get back home but must admit miss the weather and the family.

    oman (97)   snow uk (2)

    Got a full week ahead with the RPT meeting on Tuesday a student for tuition on Wednesday and Friday then making sure we have enough stock for the shows which start in May this year, been focusing on the ikebana vases and candlesticks but also need a lot of the smaller items as well.

  5. Time flies especially as you get older. Our first show this year is at Wisley in May and so I am focussing on work that should be suitable based on previous shows we have done there. I have been researching ikebana vases and candle sticks for ideas and have made up a fair number of both so far. here are a few examples of the candlesticks and pillars.

    spalted sycamore candlesticks (10)  walnut candle pillar 2  beaded sycamore candle pillar


  6. Most of our shows afre booked now and they include three at RHS sites. With this in mind and based on what we have sold at these places before I am making ikebana vases. I have been researching different styles from the rustic to the formal and the so called free style. So many. Any way here are a couple of the ones that I have done and photographed so far. I confess the flower arrangements are Mo's work. Just shoving them into a vase doesn't work with these LOL

     ikebana oak (4)  padauk maple (4)  walnut oak ikebana 8       ikebana crescent (2)

  7. I have spent an enjoyable couple of days making three hollow forms / vases in holly. I had acquired a decent log of dry holly that had already been turned round and fortunately dried without any splits so what to do with it? I am always on the lookout for wood that Mo can pyro and colour and holly seemed ideal. She wanted a few pieces to work on that weren't bowls so I decided to use the holly to make these. They will be a challenge as two have knots that she will need to work around or incorporate the design but clever lady that she is I am sure she will work something spectacular out. Apologies for the picture, just a quick snapshot to show the shapes etc. They are left on the tenon in the image as I had  brought them in for approval prior to turning off and finishing the bottom. Something I have learnt from experience is a good idea. Often something can look good in the workshop but in the cold light of day, or under someone elses scrutiny faults or tweaks to shape etc can be seen.


    holly hollow forms

  8. As a woodturner I try to make things as well as I can and as a skinflint I also try and make them as economically as possible. One of the things I like to do is use and adapt items that often get thrown out or broken. This is a good example. The globes and funnels from old oil lamps are often just thrown out but when I can get them I use them to make candle and t light holders. This one is in cedar and can hold either a 1 /2" dia. candle or a standard t light. The base is cedar and as with all my t light and candle holders has a metal insert to take the wax.


    cedar candle pillar 4  cedar candle pillar 3