Ashwood: John’s Garden Open Day

John is the owner of Ashwood Nurseries, and has his private, landscaped garden right next to it. He holds open days 3 or 4 times a year, and usually with a good attendance from the general public. The Black Country Woodturners generally participate with a stall on the summer open day, and so we did again this year.

Ashwoods-1A large open tent was erected, with various stalls inside, including a small lathe for demonstrations, and a charity table right next to it. We had about 10 club members in attendance, so there was plenty of variety.

The weather threatened with rain all day long, but it never did actually rain, so were quite lucky in this regard. However, the garden is right on the banks of the river Stour, and in consequence there were plenty of tiny little midges around, not enough to drive people away, but certainly enough to be a nuisance for us at the stalls.

John’s garden has a huge variety of plant species that you would otherwise only find in a botanical garden, but let me tell you, we could almost match it with the variety of work on show!

Unfortunately, sales were quite low, only the charity table produced some good results. The author of this article didn’t sell anything, and it was very similar for most other club members.

Ashwoods-2On the other hand, our demonstrations on the little lathe gathered quite a bit of interest, and we may even see some new club members coming from this event.

Here you can see Melvin putting the finishing touches on a 8″ cherry bowl, and yours truly proceeded to make a yo-yo and a bud vase, which promptly sold from the charity table for ¬£5.

All in all, a nice day out for the club, and well received by the attending public.

 

 

 

Sally Burnett

Sally came to see us on the 16th of June, for an evening demo. She hails from Stoke-on-Trent, and her website is well worth a visit.

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Sally’s demo focused heavily on design and decoration. ¬†During the first half, she turned a shallow bowl or wide-rimmed dish from a maple blank, and in the process stopped many times to show the various samples she had brought along, with the aim of pointing out how small differences in shape can dramatically alter the overall balance and appearance of a dish.

She then proceeded in the second half to move on to decorations. This was a session where many of the club members did get involved in trying out the various techniques shown by her. It started out with stippling, where a thin stick (could be anything from a knitting needle to a tooth pick or skewer) is used to produce small dots of acrylic paint on a surface. Once dry, these provide colour, but more importantly they also provide texture. The opposite texture can be achieved with a small Dremel or Proxxon tool and a rotating bit, making small dimples. Both the dimples and the stipples can be varied in size between 1mm and 10mm, depending on tool used and how they are applied.

IMAG0092Obviously the same tools and techniques can also produce other shapes.

As Sally has a strong background in design, it is not surprising that she normally will use some piece of waste material to try out various ideas, usually in the form of small squares sat next to each other.

Sally then went on to pyrography. She explained the use of various different tips for shading and lines. All in all the variety was high, too much to describe in all detail here. All the more reason to attend the demos in person. Overall, the motto was “anything goes”. Nothing is sacred, any colour, any tool can be useful, and people should just experiment to find out what they liked best.