At Berkshire Woodturners we invite professional woodturners to our club nights to show us the techniques, tools and processes they use to turn their work in the hope that some of their expertise will appeal to our members.
As well as the monthly demonstrations providing inspiration to our members, we encourage all our members of whatever turning standard to develop their turning skills through a regular monthly competition and bi-monthly turning workshops.
Berkshire Woodturners are very active in the local community delivering demonstrations at Craft Fairs and similar local events, We also hold free Taster Sessions so local non-turners can give woodturning a try without having to go to the expense of buying all of the necessary equipment.
Our demonstrator for the August Club Night will be Jason Smith. Jason has not previously been to BWA.
A member of the Register of Professional Woodturners since 2014, who was previously a pharmicist, he produces a wide variety of items using mainly local woods.
Operating out of his workshop in Kent he describes himself as "a wood artist using local wood, to produce unique, handmade art, and a select amount of functional craftwork". Have a look at Jason's work on his website here .
The competition theme is "A Honey Pot and Dipper". Look at Google for a number of pieces on the most efficient design for a Honey Dipper!
We have no professional demonstrator as this Club Night was originally designated as having a club demonstrator. Currently we do not have a volunteer to demonstrate.
So we plan to run the Club Night as a 'Practical Evening'. We will have a mixture of 'Show', 'Show and Tell' and concise demo's of particular techniques.
The 'Show' will be tables on which a couple of selected turners will be asked to display some of their recently turned pieces. The 'Show and Tell' will be where we ask a turner to display a particular piece and explain briefly the design and turning process pieces. The concise demonstrations will be of particular techniques. Current thoughts are the use of pyrography, the way to use some of the new finishes available, eg Yorkshire Grit and Hampshire Sheen and perhaps the use of Milliput for decorating pieces. Further details will be given at the August Club Night and in the next edition of the website
The competition theme is "A Pair of Candle Sticks". There is always an interesting discussion about what is meant by the term 'a pair' so we have taken the definition of 'a pair' from the OED.
The OED defines "a pair" as "A set of two things used together or regarded as a unit" or "An article consisting of two joined or corresponding parts not used separately". While with candlesticks, we generally expect they will either be identical or a mirror image, neither definition requires the two items that make up the pair to be identical. Note: this cannot be used as an excuse if you were trying to make them identical but fail!!
OK, so trying to run a workshop when there is a big football match going on that England might have been involved in wasn't a good idea. I think we also chose the day that most of our members, if not watching the football and planned a day out to get away from the football!.
The plan was to turn a fairly basic bowl and box showing what is generally considered the prefered method. Based on the results of the survey undertaken at the July Club Night this still seems to be a good subject for a workshop, so we will re-schedule for later in the year. Details to follow.
Our demonstrator was Stewart Furini. One of the new breed of Internet turners, Stewart worked through a number of the processes and tools he uses to create textured and coloured bowls. There was not a lot of turning going on as Stewart focused on the means of creating some texture and then applying some colour.
All of the demo pieces done on the night were on flat blanks, often had multiple techniques on a single blank and were not finished, but for most of the techiques Stewart passed around a finished article which showed how it would look on a shaped blank and with an appropriate finish.
Stewart managed to get through an awful lot of examples on the night, including the highly technical tearing of the cardboard (please don't try this at home!). It will be interesting to see whether we get some of Stewart's style of texturing and colouring turn up on the BWA competition table.
To see some examples of Stewart's work see his website here
The main purpose of the questionaire was to get some feed back from members on the Workshops BWA generally runs in the Summer months. A series of questions were asked concerning whether they should continue, the topics to be covered and the location for the workshops.
We had a great response on the night and a few more have come in via email from those who could not be there.
The outcome was overwhelmingly in favour of continuing the workshops, with the workshop covering selected topics with some general workshops thrown in. It turned out that Sundays were the least favoured day for the workshops, all-day Saturdays and weekday evenings were the favoured times. For the location Rob Legge's workshop seemed to be the preferred option for most, but there are clearly a number of members who live on the other side of our catchment area who would prefer to have the workshops at Priestwood.
Once the committee have had the chance to digest the finding and discuss them, we will issue a more formal report based on the questionaire and propose a way forward.