We both went on a woodturning course. It all started with spoon carving, of which more another time. But I needed some suitable wood for carving, and found a company called Peter Child which sells nice wood for turning and carving. It’s handily situated not far from where Jean’s mum lives, so on a visit to see her we made a detour. What a wonderful shop! And while we were exploring the woodstore, we realised that they run two-day courses in woodturning. So we booked ourselves in.
Here’s Jean doing a practice piece.
On the first day you learn some basic bowl turning techniques, then get straight on to making a bowl. Day two starts with more practice, this time with spindle turning, and you do another simple project of your choice.
As well as a bowl, I made a little cylindrical box with a lid.
Jean’s bowl has a particularly nice grain. Her project was a wooden scoop.
We were delighted with the results of our efforts, but of course they’re really rather crude. In closeup, the camera shows the imperfections in my pillbox rather cruelly.
Still, it’s a matter of practice and patience. We’ve acquired a modest but good quality lathe, rather like the one that our fellow course-attendee, Ron, was using.
Although ours, I hasten to add, hasn’t been enhanced with variable speed. On the course, Jean was assigned to a somewhat noisy old Axminster, while I had a posh Nova DVR (a wee bit out of our budget at a couple of thousand quid).
But in this as in so many crafts, you can have all the gear but no idea. And we’re just starting out, and looking forward to having some fun as well as producing some satisfying pieces.
The first efforts look really really good, I know the camera shows the imperfections but in all honestly thats an excellent first effort after only one weekend. If you want to practice your fine turning consider making spinning tops, about 1 inch diameter, the dowel can be bought cheaply and its a quick throw away exercise, it certainly teaches you patience.