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.
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
The dates are Wednesday 7th February, Wednesday 7th March and Wednesday 4th April.
At the February Drop-In Session we will 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 Session will offer the opportunity to try out some different hollowing tools. We will have the BWA hollowing tools and hopefully some brought along by BWA members
The content of the April Drop-In Session will be advised at a later date. If you have any suggestions please let Keith Mosley or David Blundell know.
We hope to run some basic "Hints and Tips" activities on the BWA club lathes within the Drop-In Sessions. These will mainly be for beginners and are likely to cover "spindle turning - using a skew and methods for turning beads and coves" and "Basic Hollowing Methods for bowls, goblets and boxes (rather than hollow forms)"
Further details will be given in the BWA Newsletter. The next edition will follow the forthcoming BWA Committee meeting.
These Drop-In Sessions will be on trial for 3 months. If successful they will probably become a permanent part of the programme
A fun-filled evening of frolics and merry japes.
The numbers were a little disappointing, but everyone who came along had a good time.
The Christmas Turning Competition As well as a 'super raffle', the annual prizegiving, the Christmas 'bran-tub and some nibbles we also had the usual Christmas Turning Competition. This years subject was a spinning top with the winners laurels going to the top that span for the longest. David Blundell developed a guide to turning a suitable 'top' based on something Martin Saban Smith had on his website. Rob Legge produced some blanks of a suitable size (well done Rob!) And three of the clubs lathe were available and in-use pretty much all evening.
Though there was no requirement to turn a 'pretty' top, almost everybody followed Dave's instructions. You can see a picture to the right of the members who turned a top. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the finished tops or of the finale of the competition when all the tops were spun together.
The winner was Frazer Broomby, though it was a close run thing with a couple of other tops collapsing only just before Frazer's.. So well done Frazer.
The BWA Annual Prizegiving This marks the culmination of the BWA competition year. The Turner of the Year competition result is based on an accumulation of points from the position gained each month's competition. Both the Open and Themed Competition placings count towards the 'Turner of the Year' for each skill category. The overall BWA Turner of the Year is the turner who gains the most points overall across the three categories.
Also at the Prizegiving BWA turners will select a single item they think will most appeal to the other BWA members and enter it into the Keith Sherwood trophy. Each club member will then vote for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd items they would like to take home with them. This is not really about turning ability or finishing, but rather what most appeals aesthetically.
In previous years we have voted for items based on skills categories and tried to apply a weighting to give an equal chance to all levels of skill. But this has proven very difficult to apply so this year the committee decided to have a single 'all-in' category and allow a vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place with 4 points for first, 2 points for second and 1 point for third
The winner, by a clear margin, of the 2017 Keith Sherwood Trophy was Charlie Hayes with a beautiful Pierced Box. Second and third were quite close, with Peter Osbourn just pipping Harvey Grimwood
The BWA Turner of the Year The Turner of the Year in each category recieves a shield; the overall BWA Turner of the Year recieves a cup. All the prizes are presented by BWA President, Brian Attewell.
In the Beginners Category, Stephen Evans and Jack Johnson, both relatively new turners to the BWA had a close fought battle to head the beginners category. Stephen took the Beginner's Trophy with consistent high scoring items over the complete year. Jack matched this until presure of work meant he did not manage to enter any items in the last couple of months of the competition. Malcolm Cleaver and Keith Mosley made late runs at the end of the year but could not catch the leaders. Rob Legge also produce some consistently high standard items and was in the running until family commitments and a new job put paid to his challenge.
The BWA Beginners Section is very strong with 16 turners entering at least 1 item in the Monthly Competitions.
The Advanced Category was even closer. Chris Cox led right up until the November meeting when Colin Burge, making a late surge, managed to pip Chris by 2 points.
The Master's Category was much more clear cut with Peter Osborn producing a string of stunning items, but significantly Peter entered something for every month. The other BWA Masters Harvey Grimwwod, Tony Taylor, Terry Stephens, Jason taylor, Richard Maynard and Charlie Hayes also produced work of extremely high quality but simply could not match the quantity of Peter's work.
The current spreadsheet scores will remain on the website until just after the January 2018 Club Meeting when the scoring for the 2018 Turner of the Year Competition will begin.
Record Power DML24X Lathe The BWA has received a donation of a Record Power lathe and a set of basic turning tools from Mr Peter Lewin. They had belonged to his father who had recently passed away. His specific request was that the lathe should go to a BWA members who was just starting their turning journey.
To that end the BWA Committee decided to hold a simple draw for the lathe and tools with the name of the winner being pulled from a hat. The daw was held at the Christmas Special. The name drawn was Shirley Hays. To date Shirley's turning has been done on a miniture lathe, turning furniture for the Doll's houses she builds. (Shirley's doll's houses are stunning showing incredible detail).
With her new lathe, Shirley will be able to turn more adventurous items and hopefully will be entering the BWA competitions during 2018.
Brian Attewell, David Blundell and Keith Mosley harvested some Walnut Blanks from the garden of Mr Tony Dawson in the Bulbrook area of Bracknell. The tree was of a reasonable size and had already been cut down so the team only needed to trim the logs to a suitable size to fit into the trailers available.
The wood was taken to Rob Legge's house in Eversley where it will be stored until it can be processed into blanks.
The blanks will be sold at the BWA Auction in June
Why is it we often seem to collect our wood on the coldest day of the year?