In the advanced section, Joe O’Neill presents a selection of pens. The variety of colours, styles and profiles give us a great reminder of the options available when turning pens. This entry could be a reminder that when lockdown is over, Joe will be running another pen masterclass, or else, it might be preparation for an imminent autobiography. What a read that would be!
John Duff, presents a very nice trio of candle sticks. If you haven’t tried your hand at turning a set like this, it is a well worthwhile exercise. Proportioning the height is the easy bit, however turning equally matched profiles at different lengths takes practice. Paddy Finn is hanging with the birds. Any bird would be happy to call this home. It’s a great combination of woods, interesting grain patterns and warm colouration. Last month, I joked that if the lockdown continued, we might end up cutting the legs off chairs so that we didn’t run out of turning stock. Well Cecil Barron has gone a step further, five miniature turnings made from bone. These pieces remind me of something from an archaeological museum. I bet he didn’t resort to the 2 inch roughing gouge.
Brendan Phelan has turned an urn. This piece combines a classical shape with contrasting wood colours while highlighting the interesting grain patterns. The inset centre of the lid as an alternative to a finial gives this piece a far more practical look, rather than simply ornamental. This month’s entry from Jonathon Wigham joins his previous entries in the section ‘beautiful woods’. Whether Jonathon spends hours choosing his raw material or simply has an eye for picking out interesting cuts, the result is a stunning pattern. Over the last couple of months reviewing the competition entries, one of my take away tips has been to let the wood do the talking, concentrate on the finish rather than lots of fancy details. It is at this point that I am glad that I am typing my report rather than speaking it. David Sweeney has turned a dodecohedron lamp. Made from pine and walnut, this piece is one of those feats of engineering that makes the mind boggle.
Michael Fay takes top place this month. When I look at this piece, I jump between the choice of wood, the precision cuts and delicate touch required when there are exposed corners rotating at speed on the lathe. When your eye is drawn to the lid and inside of the box, it is easy to miss that it sits on four toes, rather than two feet.
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