Here are the winners and entries for the January 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.

Another day, another dollar. Another year, but God only knows what 2021 has in store for us. We certainly didn’t predict most of 2020. One thing that hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm and the quality of our members turning. There were a nice few entries this month, but as always I would encourage more of you to submit something.
Entries to the competitions have a number of benefits, firstly they allow the turner to practice, while enjoying that time in the workshop complete with the smell of shavings and the touch of the wood. There is also that sense of pride when you look at the finished piece with the satisfaction of knowing that you created something that may be useful, decorative or both. However don’t forget that entries also provide inspiration to the rest of our members as they read the articles and see the photos. It can be a way to feel in touch with some of our friends and fellow woodturners at a time when we don’t get to see them for a chat and a laugh at chapter meetings. When I receive entries to review, and prepare to put some text together for these articles, I do so, imagining the faces, voices and mannerisms of the various turners who submitted the entry. While I would certainly prefer to have that time together at monthly meetings, I take some pleasure from this interim solution.


In the beginners category this month we have two entries. Mick Johnston has turned a box from a piece of apple wood. I really like the transition across three textures and colours. It certainly keeps that natural feeling. Any time I think of turning a box, I always seem to think about the lid. Does it fit in or on the box? Is it going to get too loose or to tight as the wood shape settles? Will I achieve my favourite ‘vacuum’ effect when someone removes the lid? And of course, how well will the grain align between the body and the lid? All that before thinking of finials and other decoration.
John O’Neill has taken the time to turn a lovely clock, titled ‘Red Sky at Night’. This piece has a number of points to take note of. John as combined, off-center turning with inlays and colouring. Each time I looked at this piece, something new revealed itself. 


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The experienced entries came from Brendan Kelly, Sean Earls and John Doran. What a load of bowls.
Its not often you see Leyland Cypress (Leylandii) or as Brendan reminds me, “The Gardeners Nightmare”. However this bowl displays fantastic patterns and Brendan’s application of colour and gloss finish seems to enhance the natural lines, rather than cover them. I would welcome a few tips on how he achieved this finish.

John Doran has turned a lovely salad bowl. This bowl, turned from beech would look great on any dining table.

Well, OK. Sean Earls entries are not quite bowls, but very nice platters. These three beech brothers, all have great spalting. Sean tells me, that this is his first attempt at platters and I think the result is excellent. I notice also that he has taken the opportunity to experiment with alternative edging and slopes.


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Seven entries by six turners. The first up in the advanced category is Paddy Finn. This poker (for want of an accurate description) is a tail of two woods, Zebrano for the handle and Walnut for the shaft. I really like the finish on this piece, both the shine and the curves.

Frank Maguire has turned three eggs in eggcups. The Flexcutknife used for scale, almost suggests that they were carved. Now, that would be an achievement. All the eggs are different, as are the cups. Again, there is experimenting of shapes and in my opinion, the eggs look edible. 

Brendan Phelan has turned a really interesting tiered Fruit Bowl. The wood is Monkey Puzzle and I think it looks great. Each time I look at this piece, I am fascinated by the pattern on the lower section.

Jonathan Wigham has nailed this bowl after 10 years…… I better explain: Jonathan tells me that this piece of Cherry was in his shed for about ten years. There was a nail in it, however he recently found that the nail wasn’t as big as it looked and that he could cut it out. … In the end, a result worth waiting for.

Michael Fay has turned two Christmas trees. Made from Sycamore with Acrylic ink, Olive Ash and Pink Ivory, I suspect that Michael's precision comes through and that the diameters, spacing and curves are identical to the eye. One thing I note about the colouring is that the grain still shows through. I particularly like this as it somehow manages to bring out the tree, from the Christmas Tree.


Cecil Barron has sent in two entries, which are very welcome. Both are bowls and both are very different. The first is a beautifully warm piece of Cherry from Cecil’s garden and the second is Elm. While the Elm bowl would be no good for soup, this tree really could tell a story.


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Our Artistic section was well represented with seven entries. Cecil has turned a beautiful platter; 18 inches of Burmese Teak with a distressed, waxed finish.

James Gallagher is making the best of a bad situation and he stresses that he was not the culprit for the broken glass. This lovely piece is made from oak. He has managed to get a local glass workshop to smooth off the stem.

Brendan Phelan presents us with a natural edge bowl. The wood is Laburnum and he has used green acrylic inserts.  
Brendan Kelly presents us with a Bowl turned from Beech crotch. I think this fine piece of wood (and turning) is just as presentable from bottom as from top.

Tony Hartney has taken his life in his hands in my opinion. Tony says he didn’t realize how rotten and decayed this piece of Cherry was until he started turning it. Well, I’m glad he survived to see the final product.
Colum Murphy has turned a beautifully warm, natural edge piece of Olive Wood. I hope Colum doesn’t mind fingerprints, because I suspect this piece will be picked up a lot for inspection.

Finally for this round, I am back to Cecil Barron. This time he has turned a fantastic Wall hanging; dimensions 29 inches by 8 inches and made from Elm and Silver. Cecil says it was a bit scary to turn due to the imbalance. I bet!


Click any image to scroll through full slide show.

So that’s it for this lot. Yet again a great variety and fine examples of turning.
Stay in, Stay Safe and Stay Turning!

Mark.

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