Besides belonging to the AWGB, I am also a member of The Society of Ornamental Turners (SOT). Unlike plain turning where the wood turns on the lathe and the tool making the cut is held free-hand, on an ornamental lathe the wood is mostly stationary whilst the tool or cutter, powered by an overhead drive, revolves at speed making the cuts. These machines are mostly Victorian, wonderfully intricate and complicated collectors’ pieces and take a very long time (years and years) to master. It helps to be an engineer. Here is a picture of one.
My first piece. A yew tazza, made in 3 parts using Curvilinear Apparatus, ebonised using car paint.
In 2015 I was awarded a bursary by The Worshipful Company of Turners to learn Ornamental Turning with expert John Edwards. It takes a long time to set up these old lathes for every operation, and if you make one wrong cut or calculation the object is usually ruined. You can’t make it into something else as on a plain lathe. Here are a few things I have made
This is a slender turning featured in the Ornamental Turners Bulletin it is 4 feet high (125cm). The stem is 3mm thick and it’s one piece of wood (old broom handle).
Boxwood and False Ivory lidded boxes, made using a Spherical Slide rest and Horizontal Cutting Frame.
This bowl won The H.E.Twentyman Competition and a Silver Medal at Wizardry in Wood 2016, A Worshipful Company of Turners Competition.
Natural-edged yew bowl ornamented using a Horizontal Cutting Frame.
A Lignum Vitae beaded tazza: beads made with a drilling spindle,won The A.V.Reed Medal for Ornamental Turning of Exceptional Quality.
These are some of the more interesting things I make. I have of course turned table and chair legs, stair spindles, standard and table lamps and lots of bowls and many things in everyday use.
I keep finding new and exciting things to do which provide fresh challenges and problems to solve, it’s as good as Omega 3 for the brain cells! You never know what you are going to discover next!