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.
A fun-filled evening of frolics and merry japes.
The flyer with the programme has been sent out by David Blundell
There is no monthly competition at the Xmas Special, instead, members take along the piece they have turned this year that they think will appeal most to BWA members in an attempt to win the Keith Sherwood Trophy. The rules for the Keith Sherwood Trophy are shown on the 'Competitions' page.
We will start 2018 with a demo from Martin Saban Smith. I am sure there will be some colouring involved, and Hampshire Sheen and Yorkshire Grit are bound to appear. Martin is one of the new breed of 'Internet' turners who have shaken up the turning world.
Martin has gone from woodturning beginner to organising the UK and Ireland Woodturning Symposium, setting up the Black Dog Workshop and developing and selling a number of woodturning finishing products in just a few short years. Oh! And he turns some interesting pieces.
Not to be missed!
Following a suggestion made at the AGM, the committee has booked the Priestwood Community Centre on the 1st Wednesday of February, March and April for a series of Drop-In Sessions. These will be similar to the current workshop sessions but shortened to fit into an evening.
The BWA lathes will be available. Come along and bring any problem pieces with you to get some advice from some of the more experience BWA turners
At the February meeting we will also be showing off the club's new sphere jig. If you want to 'borrow' this you will have to have been shown how to use the jig. The March Drop-In Sessions might will offer the opportunity to try out different hollowing tools.
These Drop-In Sessions will be on trial for 3 months. If successful they will probably become a permanent part of the programme
Led by Colin Burge and Jason Taylor, a number of BWA members showed up at the Henley Hand-Made Show at Stonor Park to provide demonstrations of woodturning and to promote woodturning as a hobby to those who attended the show. This was a massive undertaking for a small club like BWA.
The show was a great success with a steady stream of visitors who showed a keen interest in woodturning and BWA. Only time will tell if we manage to get any new members.
Colin Burge did a fantastic job of organising the weekend, working with the show organisers, coordinating the BWA members who attended and working each day of the weekend.
The organisers of the show and the woodturner from Lancashire who was selling his wares on one of the stalls were very impressed and pleased by the demonstrations BWA did over the weekend.
Our demonstrator for the September club night was professional turner, Richard Findley. Richard has been a Registered Professional turner since 2010 and writes regularly for Woodturning magazine with more than 75 articles to his name.
For the demonstration Richard chose to show how easy it is to use something other than wood as part of a turned item. The item turned in the demo was a small box which had a Pewter inlay.
The pewter was 'melted' in a small pan over a camping stove a poured into a turned mould. The mould was shaped and sized to suit the box being turned. Once the Pewter had cooled, it was removed from the mould, turned into shape and sized to fit a 'mortice' on the box. It was then glued in place and finished.
Turning the Pewter was no different in terms of technique used to turning a standard wood blank. However, the finishing of the pewter was taken to a much finer grit in order to get a mirror like finish
Richard carefully collected all the shavings and off-cuts from the Pewter to be re-used. He also provided links to the suppliers.
Once again we are indebted to Rob Legge for the use of his Eversley workshop. And also to Brian Attewell, who as always turned up, made the tea and provided encouragement all day long.
Keith Mosley demonstrated a number of different colouring techniques using spirit stains and acyrlic paints and a variety of application methods. The spirit stains were applied directly using an air brush.
The one that seemed to grab everybodies attention was the so-called 'Cosmic Cloud' style of colouring recently popularised by Gary Lowe through his YouTube videos. Most people had a go at this and produced some beautiful wide-brimmed bowls. The 'Cosmic Cloud' effect is created by using interference (or iredescent) paints over an ebonised surface.
Brian Attewell in his Chairmans Report congratulated the club on yet another successful year and thanked all the club members for their efforts throughout the year. Brian explained that though the year had been a success it was also tinged with great sadness following the loss of long-time member, Bill Riley who had been such a vital part of the club.
In her Treasurer's Report, Viv Mitchell explained that the club was in a strong financial position having made a healthy profit over the year despite having brought the new Nova Comet lathe, two lathe stands and a gazebo and banner for outdoor events.
The committee was voted in en bloc, including Keith Mosley and Jack Johnson who had been co-opted onto the committee during the year. John Chance and Jason Taylor did not stand for re-election, though John will continue to manage the BWA club lathes.
Following the formal business there was a long discussion about the format of the BWA monthly meetings and the potential for additional events. The main result was that in general the members were satisfied with the current format. See the newsletter for more detail and some news about the outcomes.
Once again BWA was invited to take part in the inter-club turning competition that happens as part of the SAW Open Day.
The competition requires us to enter 10 turned items from 10 different BWA turners. This year we tried to be a little more selective about what was used to ensure we had a range of different types of turned items for the competition. Items from Peter Osborn, Harvey Grimwood, Charlie Hayes, Terry Stevens, Dave Blundell, Chris Cox, Viv Mitchell, David Brownhill and Colin Burge made up the BWA entry.
The competition was judged by Simon Hope and Les Thorne and BWA were rewarded with a 'Highly Commended' rosette, which is quite an achievement given we were probably the smallest club of the six clubs taking part. So well done to those that provided the items which formed the BWA entry, and let's get turning now to try and get further up the podium in 2018.
Our demonstrator at the November Club Night was Paul Howard. Paul was a hobby woodturner, but has used his engineering background to develop a number of jigs for woodturning, which, now he is semi-retired, he sells to woodturners across the world. In his demonstration, Paul used two of his excellent jigs; the sphere cutting jig and the router jig.
The item Paul chose to turn for us was an owl, which is not something I think we have ever seen in any previous demonstration. But the owl was essentially a decorated sphere on a stand, which gave Paul the opportunity to show off both his sphere cutting jig, his router jig and an indexing system. As well as using the sphere cutting jig, Paul also gave tips on how to improve cutting spheres freehand. Paul has given the club some guides as PDF documents which will be made available to BWA members through the next newsletter.
After an excellent and fascinating demonstration which showed off the jigs to great advantage, the result was a very attractive turned item. Paul also brought along a number of other 'owls' of different sizes and in different settings.
The club has now bought one of Paul's Sphere Jigs which will be made available for use by BWA members. Details of how this will happen will be included in a future BWA Newsletter.