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. When trying to earn a living from an art or craft it is unlikely that you can just make what you like, unless you are well known and in demand. I'm not so I have to make what sells. The celtic brooches we domsell well, sold over 20 at the last show, so need more for Rosemoor in a couple of weeks. This involves making the brooches and the pins. Not quite production work but not quite as much fun as doing arty stuff  LOL. 

    celtic brooch scarf

    decorated spare pins

    Elm celtic brooch



  2. zen garden 2


    zen garden 6 

    zen garden 4 


    Following on with the oriental theme and our 'waste not want not' ethos this piece includes a small hollow form that Mo has yet to decorate and a rake that has been made by yours truly, all on the lathe. The 'rock' is a tiny piece of burr that was left over from some other work and the garden itself is a small porcelain tray on which I have put four little feet to raise it up. The stone on which the pot stands is sourced from a cornish beach and the sand is left over from other works. Size wise the ruler in front is a 6" one to give some idea of size and perspective. We often make pieces like this and have them hanging around for ages while we fettle and fiddle with them until we are happy to put them in the shop so watch this space. 


  3. However much I love turning  there is more to life than making shavings. Had to do some basic shopping and inevitably came home with more than we went for LOL. In this case it was plants. We seem to accumulate what could be politely called an 'eclectic' mix from small trees to annuals, herbs to perennials. All grown in pots of various shapes and sizes. As we only have a small patio area we seem to manage to squeeze rather a lot into it. Probably a bit of a mish mash and most definitely not going to be on gardeners world but at the end of the day it is a lovely feeling sitting with a cold beer or glass of wine with birds and insects around. A lovely little oasis. Tomorrow it will be back to the workshop and shavings, dust and hopefully new things for sale. garden (3)  garden (2)  garden (1)

  4. Spent the week rebuilding stock ready for the next show in about 5 weeks. Got some photos done but more to do of some new ikebana vases. Also had a play making a miniature zen garden complete with rake. See if I can get some photos of that tomorrow. Not a fan of pdroduction turning but as we sold all our ear ring stands I need to make a load more of those for Rosemoor as well. Single, double and ones on bowls, all sold at Wisley. Also sold more celtic brooches than I realises so need to make a pile of those as well. Shouldn't complain LOL. All puts food on the table. 

    ash ear ring stand

    iroko ear ring stand on box 2

    pale double ear ring stand 2


  5. The first show of the year was at Wisley RHS Gardens. Beautiful weather, lots of firndly appreciative people but not so good for sales for us at least. We came away with a bit of a profit but as a business, albeit small, we need to make more to continue. As usual we enjoyed it, staying at a little hotel right on the river Thames and meeting up with friends for the evening. It was a lovely break if hard work standing for 9 hours a day demonstrating and selling. Better than working in an office or factory though. LOL

    warren lodge



  6. Usually our first show of the year isn't until June at the earliest but as we are dropping several show this year for various reasons we decided to do the Craft in Focus at Wisley for the first time in May Bank holiday. Bit scary as it is so early and also as it is over 5 days. We have been doing shows with Craft in Focus for several years and are impressed with the standard of vetting (makers only, no bought in stuff) and the organisation and also have done a few shows at Wisley which have been very successful. Every show is a gamble however so maybe this time next week we could be just glad to get home LOL. Hopefully not but we'll see.

    Some shots of past shows showing the sort of set up we have. Takes a good few hours to do.


    Hyde End  20151118_174126  Blenheim 4

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. 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.