Over the years since then, I have had the pleasure of learning from some of the excellent turners who are pushing the boundaries in taking woodturning from a traditional craft to a modern art form. Their use of texture and colour is very much the inspiration for my own work and I really enjoy developing new techniques to enhance my pieces.
The design for a lot of my work is planned out in advance these days, particularly when undertaking commissions for customers. However, there is still great pleasure to be had in putting a piece of wood on the lathe and simply seeing what appears when you start to turn it. Simply making the shavings fly is extremely therapeutic, particularly after a hard day. As an added bonus, you can finish with something useful or beautiful to look at, made from a natural material that is such a delight to work with.
Having spent my career as an electronics engineer, I discovered woodturning almost by accident when my son wanted to make a clock for a school project in the shape of R2D2, the little robot from the Star wars films. This was the perfect excuse to buy a lathe.
The first year or two were spent learning from my mistakes before taking lessons from Jamie Walwyn, an experienced turner and excellent teacher.
After that, my turning improved enough for me to enter national and international turning competitions where I had some success against stiff opposition.
Have Lathe - Will Travel