Here are the winners and entries for the August online competition. Due to the Corona Virus restrictions there was no meeting this month so the competition was again held online.

Pat Walsh was back again as our guest judge. 

It’s me again this month. Possibly a bad time of year for volunteers. Anyway, I’m happy to do this at any time. I do wish however that Dublin Chapter members would make the job more difficult by submitting more entries. 

Only two entries in the beginners section. John O’Neill shows us a small bowl laminated from several pieces of wood. No description is provided so one can only guess what the woods used are. It has a rim that “falls away” and that adds a bit of interest. John only provided one photo and I would like to have seen a side view and a view of the underside.

Renee Kennedy’s entry is a pen made with two unspecified woods. The contracts between the colours of the two woods and the elements of the pen kit make this a very attractive piece.
It is difficult to decide a preference between these two pieces. I would have liked a couple more images of one of the entries, so I am going to opt for Renee Kennedy's pen for first.

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Four entries in the Experienced section.

I’ll start with Brendan Kelly’s entry. I’m not sure what to call it, but it is an interesting piece. I was puzzled as to how all the pieces were attached, and it was only on zooming on the images I seen that they were suspended. It is an eye-catching piece and the spalting in the wood adds even more interest.  

Next, we have a bowl in spalted beech from Sean Earls. In his notes Sean says the wood was so spalted and severely damaged that using any of the turning tools was like turning with a kango hammer. It is a lovely attractive piece of wood and was certainly worth the effort to use. It has an attractive shape and the rounded rim adds interest.

A small platter is Vinnie Whelan’s entry this month. Vinnie thinks it is Birch, but from the images it looks like Beech to me. Both images supplied are overhead so one cannot see the side view shape. For interest a small Teak insert has been added as contrast. A good-looking piece and it would serve well as a wall hanging or a centrepiece.

Finally, Pat Costigan submits a female form. It looks to be in Beech and is about seven and a half inches tall. It looks to be well finished seems to invite handling – no innuendo intended or to be inferred!!!.

I have to give a preference or a first – a difficult decision as its like comparing apples and oranges. I am kind of torn between Sean Earl’s bowl and Brendan Kelly’s interesting piece. Sean’s for the effort involved in tackling such an obviously difficult piece of wood and Brendan’s for the originality and interest of the piece. As I have done previously, I have opted for the cowards way out and declare Sean Earls bowl and Brendan’s piece joint first. 

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There were Seven entries in the Advanced section.

We have several entries in the advanced section with a wide variety and interest. Brendan Phelan enters a smartphone amplifier. The wood is not specified. It is perched on two front legs that give it a look reminiscent of a sitting dog. As always with Brendan’s pieces it looks to be well turned and finished.

Cecil Barron has two entries this month. First up he is exposing his romantic side with a wedding goblet in Lilac. It seems to be turned and shaped to best display the lovely colour and contrast in the wood and the result is a beautiful piece. Zooming in on the image indicates that the captive rings have a good shape and the finish overall is top class.

The second entry from Cecil is a Small Ash Bowl. It seems to be charred on the outside to accentuate and highlight the grain pattern. It is difficult to be certain, but there seems to have been some sort of treatment to the inside also.

Joe O’Neill has entered his version of American turner Keith Goshell’s manhole cover box. Pressing the edge of the cover opens the box. The woods are not specified. It’s an interesting looking piece and I would have liked to see images of the inside of the box and possibly the underside of the lid.

In the week of the All Ireland Hurling Final, Michael Fay’s entry is very apt. His Sliotar is made from Red Deal, and my mind boggles as to how this was made. The finish here is flawless and adds to the conundrum of how – turned, carved or both. The finish seems nearly too good to have been carved. This is definitely a piece for a demonstration by Michael when we eventually resume chapter meetings.

Paddy Finn submits a Vase with Tulips. The tulips are branchwood from a Red Robin tree and the vase is Cherry. Together they are an attractive ensemble particularly with the contrast of the bark on the tulips.

Tommy Hartnett is getting festive in advance of Christmas. He apologises that it might be a bit early, but I have been making snowmen tealights and Christmas trees now for several weeks – so it’s never too early. The two pieces are attractive and contrasting in that one is just wood, while the other is coloured and hides the wood. Both look to be finished well and will I’m sure look great hung on or around the tree at Christmas.

Finally, a dyed sycamore vase is Tony Hartney’s entry. As anyone who has dyed wood knows, quality of finish on the wood is imperative as any blemish will be magnified and highlighted when the dye is put on. Zooming closely on this piece shows that the finish is impeccable and the colour really adds to the attractiveness of the piece. On top of all that shape is appealing with the narrow base accentuated by the slight return curve.

Where do I start with these in order to come up with a preference or a first place? There are several candidates and I have revisited these a bit closer. In the end I have opted for joint first with Michael Fay’s Sliotar and Tony Hartney’s coloured Vase sharing the spoils. To explain somewhat – the Sliotar for the apparent complexity and quality of the piece, and the coloured vase for the appealing shape and the obvious quality of the turning and finishing.

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And finally the Artistic section had five entries

Lets start with Brendan Kelly’s entry. A small box (5 inches tall) made from Beech. The beads in the centre have been coloured with blue, red and green water-based dye and inside the box is a small sphere which he had made some time ago and didn’t know what to do with it. It really is an attractive piece, and unusual shape but as a complete piece it works. 

Cecil Barron again has two entries. First are some ducks in a variety of woods. These are well finished and attractive little creatures. The second entry is most unusual in that it contains no wood at all – it is made of copper and brass and is a striking piece. As this is the Artistic section, I presume this is permissible.

Colum Murphy’spiece is a large Yew Bowl with Bark Inclusion. Colum has provided plenty of pictures of the piece from all angles. It is a beautiful piece of wood and Colum certainly has done it justice. This is pure woodturning showing the wood in its full glory. Colum has done a great job in selecting the shape of the bowl to show the features of the wood, and as well as that the finish looks almost impeccable. 

Tommy Hartnett gives us a miniature Beech Bowl, about 4 inches in diameter with a natural edge. It is a nice little piece.

Tony Hartney submits a striking looking bowl bade from plywood segments – eighteen segments per ring. Segments have been coloured to make a very pleasing design on the piece. I presume the segments were coloured before assembly. This piece really impresses me in several areas, its shape, its colouring and the quality of the finish – anyone who has turned ply knows the problems it poses.

Again, in this section I have opted for a joint first. If I was able to see the pieces in the flesh, I probably would have been able to pick a single piece, but judging from images complicates the process. I have opted for the pieces from Colum Murphy and Tony Hartnett. Colum’s Yew bowl for the woodturning and exceptional piece created from a piece of wood that many would have rejected, and Tony’s ply Bowl for its striking appearance and quality of workmanship.

                                          Click any image to scroll through full slide show.

In Conclusion . . . 
Again, this month I would encourage more members to enter pieces – make the job of judging more difficult. Thanks again to Brendan for all the work he is doing to keep the chapter active and members involved. Hopefully we will all see each other in person in the not-too-distant future.


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