The Berkshire Woodturners Association is based in Bracknell and draws woodturners from East Berkshire and South Hertfordshire



While we have not had any formal competitions since the start of the Covid-19 Lockdown, one or two people have sent pictures of some of the things they have turned during the lockdown

I have included a display on the Gallery page which shows some of these items if anyone is interested.

If anyone else has pieces they have turned since the lockdown started, regardless of the competition themes, please send then to me and I will get them put up in the gallery

Please note the item Stephen Evans has turned is part of an appeal for donations to the Marie Curie charity. Stephen recent lost his sister after a long battle with cancer. The carers at the hospice helped his sister through her illness and the family cope with a situation made even more distressing by the Covid-19 situation. Please consider making a donation to this fantastic charity through this link. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/se-woodturner


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Interactive Remote Demonstrations (IRDs)

IRDs arrived at the American Association of Woodturners Seminar in 2016 based on technology described by Alan Zenreich. IRDs were particularly important for the US woodturning clubs because of the significant distance involved.

It is very possible this will become the 'norm' even when we transition out of the Covid-19 lockdown. An increasing number of the pro demonstrators are now undertaking 'paid-for' IRDs at $5 or $10 per head as well as club funded IRDs.

It will be interesting to see what effect the ability to have the IRDs delivered into individual members homes will have on the woodturning clubs.

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Interactive Remote Demonstrations

Cheam Woodturners ran what was probably the first of these IRDs in the UK in April 2017, with Lyle Jamieson demonstrating from his workshop in Traverse City, Michigan. Cheam then ran a second IRD with Alan Zenreich himself early in 2019, Cindy demonstrated in November 2019 and Emiliano Achaval will demonstrate in July.

In 2019 Berkshire Woodturners booked Cindy Drozda for an April 2020 IRD, i.e. well before the start of the current Covid-19 Lockdown. But the lockdown has dramatically accelerated the take-up of IRDs to the point where many of the pro woodturners in the USA either are, or will be, capable of providing IRDs. And an increasing number of UK based pro turners are also now capable of delivering IRDs..

There was a massive advantage to both the woodturning clubs, who will get to see turners who would never have been able to visit the clubs and will not have to sweep away wood chips at the end of the evening, and the turner who can demonstrate from the comfort of their own workshops and potentially fall into bed ten minutes after the demo has ended as they have no need to travel.

The original intent was that the demonstrations would be provided within the club meeting places on large screens through the venue's internet connection. However the Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in the IRDs being delivered into individual members homes rather than to the club meeting places.

It is very possible this will become the 'norm' even when we transition out of the Covid-19 lockdown. An increasing number of the pro demonstrators are now undertaking 'paid-for' IRDs at $5 or $10 per head as well as club funded IRDs.

It will be interesting to see what effect the ability to have the IRDs delivered into individual members homes will have on the woodturning clubs.

As an example of the issues the clubs may face, on June 6th Cindy Drozda will be doing an IRD on her Signature Finial Box, Martin Saban-Smith will be doing an IRD on Bowl Turning for Beginners and a woodturning club somewhere might be doing an IRD with some other pro turner. So which one will the members of that club chose to watch???

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Jeff Hornung will be demonstrating from his workshop in St Louis

This will be an Interactive Remote Demonstration based on the 'system' introduced by Alan Zenreich and previously seen in use for the Cindy Drozda demo.

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Jeff Hornung

This demo will now be done direct into your home via the Internet. Before the demo takes place, you will recieve an email with a link which will allow you to connect through a programme called 'Zoom". A guide to connecting to Zoom and the conduct of the demo can be found here

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Jeff is a well-known woodturner in the United States. He runs the Walnut Log Studio from where he sells his turned items and various woodturning tools and materials, including Yorkshire Grit and Hampshire Sheen.

Jeff has also visited the UK turning at the UK and Ireland Woodturning Symposium in 2018

Jeff is active both through FaceBook and YouTube. He will be demonstrating a square plate with a bead foot and a bronze finish.

This is a shared demo with the Kennet Valley club.

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Emma Cook, 'The Tiny Turner' will be demonstrating from her workshop in Yorkshire

Note the date. This demo will be on Tuesday 14 July which is the Kennet Valley club night.

Again this will be an Interactive Remote Demonstration.

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Emma Cook - The Tiny Turner

This demo will now be done direct into your home via the Internet. Before the demo takes place, you will recieve an email with a link which will allow you to connect through a programme called 'Zoom". A guide to connecting to Zoom and the conduct of the demo can be found here

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This is a shared demo with the Kennet Valley club and will be held on what would be the normal Kennet Valley club night rather than the BWA Wednesday club night.

Emma started woodturning through her Uncle and younger brother and then worked in the local woodturning supply store.

Emma is now well-known for selling glass balls with LED lights which can form the basis of Christmas decorations.

Not only is Emma an excellent woodturner she is also a very good woodcarver. Emma has a fascination with Dragons when carving, though she will be turning a mallet for us.

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Up and Coming Live Remote demos

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Some Up and Coming IRDs

This list is not complete. There are so many pro turners doing Live demos across Zoom these days it is difficult to keep up with it.

If you have a favourite turner its worth looking at their Social Media pages or their website to see if they are doing such demos.

Many of these demos will have a cost (generally around £10 or $10) and a registration process so if you are interested follow the link to register. And they do get fully booked quite quickly.

And remember IRDs from the US might be at strange time due to the time difference. Make a note of the US time zone where the demo is based and covert the time to British Summer Time. And IRDS from Australia will be at even stranger times!!

It is also worth looking at the AWGB site. They are trying to run IRDS every second Sunday and do a couple of 'Meet the Turner Sessions each week. Initially these demos and chat sessions were free to all to view but now require registration and so might now be reserved for AWGB membersregistering

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Another IRD - Martin Saban-Smith's First Full IRD Run-through

Martin invited Kennet Valley and Berkshire Woodturners to his first full run through of an IRD using Zoom

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Martin Saban-Smith IRD

Martin began by showing the system he was using, including the camera's, their locations, and the Elgato Stream Deck he used to control the various camera options.

As with other turners who first take up Zoom based IRD, Martin explained that not having rows of people out front providing the banter was initially a little off putting.

The demo was extremely successful. Martin was able to show off not only his turning skills but also his mastery of the technology used to deliver the IRD.

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Cindy Drozda demonstrated Wonderful Finials From Her Workshop In Colorado

Cindy is one of the most in-demand turners in the USA. She is know all over the world for the spectactular boxes she turns and the finials that adorn them.

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Cindy Drozda

Within the demo Cindy described in some detail all aspects of the design and methodology she uses to create her finials.

The demonstration performed live over the internet allowed BWA and guests from Surrey Woodturners and Kennet Valley to question Cindy on the demostration.

All told there were more than 70 participants who recieved the demo on their computers, tablets or smart phones. Supporting Cindy Roger Phebey acted as Moderator, controlling those who joined to avoid any 'Zoombombers' crashing the meeting.

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Cindy Drozda at the lathe.

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Berkshire Woodturner's Third IRD

Malcolm Cleaver and Stewart Furini Demonstrated

Once again a shared demo with Kennet Valley.

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Malcom and Stewart's Turned Items

Malcolm's box started off as a 10" square cube of Cedar. The blank was held by two opposing corners in the headstock spindle and a live ring centre with the centre-point removed. Malcolm then turned the shape of the bottom of the bowl and then turned a tenon. The blank was then mounted with the tenon in a chuck with a gripper jaw so top of the bowl could be shaped and then the inside hollowed.

Once completed and finished a Purpleheart top was turned to fit the box and a blackwood finial turned to finish the whole thing off.

Though based on video sequences the method worked well allowing the important elements of the turning to be explained more fully and the repetitive elements skipped over. Malcolm commentated over the video sequences and answered questions from the participants

One of key pieces of advice given by Malcolm to anyone turned a winged bowl of this type was to keep fingers and knuckles on the turner's side of the toolrest as catching either in the fast spinning wings will hurt.

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Malcolm Cleaver's Triangular Winged Box

Stewart's demo was a full-blown IRD. Because of the relatively short time available Stewart only textured half of the bowl. The texturing was done with a fairly aggressive Proxxon based cutter. This was then coloured based on colours selected by the participants.

Stewart then turned a detail rim on the top of the bowl side. This again was textured but this time a little more subtly

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Stewart Furini's texture Bowl

Both items were beautifully turned and a credit to the two turners.

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The Evolution of a Finial

This is a follow up to Cindy Drozda's demonstration in April. Unfortunately because of an important family issue I did not get to see the demo.

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Evolution of the Hollow Form's Finial

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Around that time I had turned the hollow form shown in the picture. Initially I thought I was going to put a simple cap top on with a fairly basic knob, but once I had turned it I decided it needed a finial.

For the first iteration of the finial I had a small piece in the scrap pile and turned the finial on the left in the picture.

Almost before I had ebonised it I had decide it wasn't really the right shape, size, etc for the hollow form.

As part of the material Cindy sent to help us select the subject for her demonstration, she sent a design document which included a picture of her basic finial design. So I turned a second finial, the middle one in the picture, based on that design.

But when I put that one on the hollow form, while the base looked OK (to my eyes at least), the top looked a bit clunky, so I turned a third finial.

I was actually quite pleased with that one.

But then the finial Cindy turned for the BWA demonstration arrived on my doorstep (along with Shirley and Paul at a suitable distance away). While size wise Cindy's finial would not be right on my hollow form the delicate flow of the shape as it transitions from the 'onion ' to the tip showed how poor my third finial actually was.

So the evolution continues as I turn another finial perhaps a little more in keeping with Cindy's design!!

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A comparison of Cindy's Final turned during her demo to BWA and my third finial

BWA Demonstrator for 2020

Competition Status

Beginners

Totals Turner
ThTh+OpBeginners
1020Leigh Pawson

There were no entries in the Beginners Section for the January 2020 Club Night


Competition Status

Advanced

Totals Turner
ThTh+OpAdvanced
2038Justyn Fowler
1736Malcolm Cleaver
1727Richard Audsley
723Colin Burge
717Trevor Doran
15Viv Mitchell
88Chris Cox

Competition Status

Masters

Totals Turner
ThTh+OpMasters
1735Stephen Evans
1020Harvey Grimwood
1717Charlie Hayes
10Peter Pearson

Competition Themes

DateTheme
JanSomething Old
FebSomething New
MarNo Meeting
AprInteractive Remote Demonstration
MaySomething Light
JunSomething Square
JulSomething Bright
AugSomething with Petals
SepSomething Holey
OctSomething with Metal
NovA Sum of the Parts
DecKeith Sherwood Comp