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.
Yandles Show is one of the premier events of the Woodturning Year and is well worth a visit
Yandles invite a number of woodturning tool and materials suppliers to demonstrate and sell their wares. All the major suppliers will be on hand; Record Power, Chestnut, Robert Sorby, Hampshire Sheen, Ashley Iles. And this year special guests Rockler Tools from the USA, who appear to be the rough equivalent of Axminster. Significant discounts are to be had.
Coupled with this there will be a number of professional woodturners demonstrating and some local woodturning, carving and marquetry clubs showing some of their work. Alongside this will be a section on other crafts.
Then there is the Yandles shop (have a look on line ) and an extensive selection of timber in their woodyard. There are significant discounts available on the timber.
Note: according to the Yandles website they appear to be moving to only having one show per year (the September Show).
The World Cup is over for another four years. So we will try and run another BWA Workshop at Rob Legge's place.
The current plan is to run the workshop we had originally planned for July. So the topic will be turning a simple box or turning a simple bowl.
We will use a fairly basic method to turn these items. No short cuts and no fancy tools. Ideally you should bring your own blanks, though we will have some blanks prepared.
The BWA Club lathes will be available, but you will need to bring your own tools. A basic set of a roughing gouge (box turning only), a bowl gouge (or spindle gouge), a skew chisel (bowl turning only) and a parting tool are the minimum requirement. Additional tools might be a point tool and/or texturing tool for any embellishment and a scraper to refine the inside of the bowl.
Tea and Coffee will be provided but you will need to bring your own lunch. Further details will be available in the BWA Newsletter and a calling notice.
So it's all change compared to what was being forecast on the previous edition of the website.
We do now have a club turner to demonstrate: Richard Maynard will be our demonstrator. Richard, one of BWA's master turners has been involved with the club for a number of years and has acted as a mentor to number BWA members through the BWA Workshops.
The planned practical evening will be held over to the October Club Night (see below for more detail)
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!!
Traditionally the October Club Night is when BWA holds its AGM. In the past this has taken up much of the evening. This year we hope to change this by trying to condense the AGM business to 30 minutes over coffee.
We plan to run the rest of the evening 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 we hope all BWA turners will bring along three of their recently turned pieces. These pieces might something you are proud of having turned or perhaps something that went wrong and you need some advice on how to avoid a similar problem in the future. The idea is to generate some discussion.
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 September Club Night and in the next edition of the newsletter
The competition theme is "Jack O'Lantern". If you Google Jack O'Lantern you will find it is the traditional carved pumpkin, originally a mainly American tradition but now increasingly popular here in the UK. But we want you to turn something in wood, but it doesn't have to be a face.
It's that time of year again. The SAW Open day is a great event in its own right. A couple of Professional Turners will demonstrate and various vendors will be selling their wares. And its worth going along just for the wood sale. See the poster alongside for more details.
As part of the Open Day, SAW run their main club turners competition; you may find some inspiration by looking at the competitions table. Alongside this there will be an inter-club competition which BWA will be taking part in.
The inter-club competition requires each club to enter 10 items each turned by a different turner. The first year we were unplaced and last year we were "highly commended", so this year we are looking for a podium spot.
So BWA needs to find ten pieces by ten different turners to wow the judges. We would like to see some of your turned pieces at the October Club Night (see above for more details). And please understand the selection will be based on having a spread of items and will be chosen based on what we believe will appeal to this year's judges.
Each club competing will also have a demonstration stand in the hall. So get along to Mytchett to enjoy the show and support BWA.
This year we plan to invite partners along to the Christmas Social evening. This was the norm in previous years.
So we hope, by giving advanced notice, you can have a plan in place so that your partners can come along and enjoy the fun on this special evening. All who attend will be eligible to vote for the best turned piece in the Keith Sherwood trophy and hopefully one or two partners might have a go at the Christmas Turning Competition.
Further details in the next edition of the website and a future newsletter.
Our demonstrator for the August Club Night was Jason Smith. Jason had not previously been to BWA.
We were slightly concerned at having two woodturners who use colour following one after another, but in the event they were quite different
Stuart Furini's work was very brash and in your face with lots of colour and lots of texture. (Have you seen the article on Stuart in Octobers issue of Woodturning?).
Jason was much more subtle in his use of colour and texturing and introduced some new materials showing how they can be used to enhance the turning.
Jason Jason made the point that most of what he turns ends up for sale in the various galleries he supports. Because of this he is very concerned about the finish he achieves and part of his demo explained how he manages to get such a fine finish.
However while his use of colour on the turned pieces was quite subtle, the same could not be said for his woodturning smock!!
A few weeks ago the club was approached by Billy Farrelly, a Tree Surgeon in the Ashford area (of Middx not Kent) offering some Monkey Puzzle Tree blanks.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree or Araucaria Araucana to give it's scientific name is a native of Chile, though it has been grown in the UK as an attractive 'feature' tree for many years.
It is fairly unique in that its branches appear as an almost perfect ring of 5 - 8 branches, which produces a very attractive bowl or hollow form. See the picture alongside for some examples.
If you Google for some examples use Norfolk Island Pine, which is the same family but found on the Pacific Islands and is the name used in the US and, particularly, in Hawaii.
The blanks are quite big and heavy, and will start off very unbalanced, so will probably need to be turned on a large more stable lathe. We should have some to look at the September Club Night.