Here are the winners and entries for the February online competition. Due to the Corona Virus restrictions there was no meeting this month so the competition was again held online.
Mark has done a great job running and judging this competition. You can read his analysis below.

As the stretch becomes more noticeable in the evenings, it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines rolling out and a touch of spring in the air. Lets not let down our guard quite yet, but certainly head for the workshops and the gardens to welcome some level of normality. 
Probably to be expected during the winter months, but there was a modest number of entrants in this month’s competition.

The Beginners section had only one entrant, however John O’Neill didn’t disappoint. If it were within my power, I would have promoted this piece into the experienced section where it would hold its own very well. This off center bowl, Oak I suspect, presents a fine finish. It is what I would describe as a sunrise design, with nicely routed rays projecting from the bowl center. 

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The Experienced section sees entries from Brendan Kelly and Sean Earls.

Sean has turned a sushi bowl. There is nothing fishy about this piece. The finish is suitably smooth for a food bowl, however Sean has stuck with a natural finish rather than the more common lacquer finishes of modern sushi bowls. He is somewhat playing to my soft spot for letting the natural wood patterns do the talking.

Brendan Kelly has also turned a bowl and it may even be suitable for miso or one of the other Japanese soups or noodle dishes. While Brendan presents different shapes and patterns each month, there is certainly something recognizable about his turning. Crisp lines, high gloss finish and beautiful colour contrast, while always leaving the grain show off. It’s a little bit like seeing a painting from one of the masters, always recognizable.

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It’s under the table for Joe O’Neill in the Advanced category. I mean the turning is. A nicely finished drop leaf top covers the leg frame with plenty of spindle turning.

Brendan Phelan is up to his games again with another turning from Monkey-puzzle. If Sean Earls was turning a sushi bowl, Brendan appears to be following a more Tibetan theme, with what reminds me of a singing bowl albeit from wood.

Michael Fay has chosen a more Christian theme with a beautiful Cross necklace. As can be expected from Michael, there is a delicacy about this piece. The Cross is made from one piece of Walnut with a 5mm Beech dowel running through the horizontal section. Michael explains that this supports the short grain. The ends are capped with Holly and the center dome, which appears on both sides is Bog Oak. The cross is 90mm x 57mm with a diameter of 9mm tapering in to 7mm. (Thank you Michael for the details.)

Three tasty mushrooms by Paddy Finn. Paddy says his wood stocks are depleting and he is concerned that the furniture will have to go next. Well, if this is a case of the loaves and fishes, he certainly is doing a great job of making the most from limited resources.

Tony Hartney has turned a very appealing bowl, He has coloured and textured, while still leaving the wood to shine through. To me, it looks like a nice piece of Ash, however I’m sure someone, maybe Tony will correct me.

Another bowl by Jonathon Wigham. This time it’s Laburnum. Jonathon tells me that this piece was turned from a fallen tree in a friends back garden. The fate of the wood was to go to the fireplace until Jonathon interceded to turn out this beauty.

The phrase goes, first up, best dressed, however this might not be the case all the time. Cecil Barron has provided the final entrant for the Advanced category and it’s a sewing box. The box is another piece of stunning Laburnum. Included with the box is a thimble, needle holder and thread cutter with sheath. Along with the Laburnum, the woods used for the accessories were Yew and Apple. For me, this piece falls under the heading “Timeless Classic”. An antique before its time.



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Finally for the Artistic section.

Cecil Barron has another entry here. This time a vase stand/ display table. Made from Zebrano, the top section incorporates a revolving centerpiece.

Brendan Phelan has turned this beautiful piece of Ash. I am mesmerized by the grain structure along with the natural bark edges. I would love to have seen the blank as I suspect, it would have been difficult to imagine the final product before mounting on the lathe and putting tool to wood.

Brendan Kelly presents another wonderful piece. This time, it’s a Beech Bowl. At 5 inches diameter, it retains a little natural bark.


Finishing off this months entries is Colum Murphy. This is a very tasty 12” platter. The nicely chosen piece of steamed Beech was Ebonised and coloured with iridescent paints before finishing with two coats of Lacquer. I really like the marbled finish.



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I hope that all of you are staying well and keeping the bright side lit up. It has been a full year since we last had the pleasure of meeting up for demonstrations and workshops. I for one, never imagined it would go on this long. I do think that the arrival of Spring will help lift spirits and really hope that we will be starting to make plans for meeting up in some shape or form later in the year. Fingers crossed, and in the meantime, stay safe!

Mark.

Competition Rules are Available Here.

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