Mary Stevens Hospice -Summer Fayre.

Saturday 31st August 2019

The Summer fayre is the second of three events this year that Blackcountry Woodturners will be attending raising funds to help support the children’s hospice, this has been Blackcountry Woodturners selected charity for some years now.

We turned up on site at the Hospice grounds at 09:00 and were allocated our spot on the main field, it then took just over an hour and several cups of tea, to get things all set up ready for the grand opening at 11am, we were just one of many stalls supporting this great cause.

The event opened at 11am and things got underway, the crowds soon built up and were entertained by not only the stall holders but also the great entertainers and events that were staged throughout the day. The weather held until around lunchtime but then the heavens opened for a short while but quickly blew over and thing soon got back into swing.

From the clubs prospective again the stall looked great, with plenty of members work on sale, plus many items on the charity table. The public gave many complementary remarks and the lathe demonstrations were as always a great success, enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

Many thanks go to Steve & Rob Hacket, Roger Cheshire, Roger Sherwood Howells, Arthur Mills, Mell Adams, Ron Lunn and Ian Brown for turning out giving their time and talents to support the social event.

Special thanks go to Roger Cheshire who organised and oversaw the raffle of the skittles game made by him earlier in the year; lots of tickets were sold with the eventual lucky winner being a family from the Stourbridge area.

At the end of the day we managed to raise the sum of £157.80p which Mell handed over to the event organisers who were very supportive and grateful for the clubs attendance.

Thanks again to those that turned out and/or donated items for the charity table, a great day was had with a good pot of money going to Mary Stevens fund.

Our next Mary Stevens event will be the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7th December 10am to 3pm please visit us and help in supporting a great cause.

Max Carey Woodturning Institute.

Thursday 12th September 2019

The Max Carey woodturning institute is a very well established and respected woodturning teaching venue based in Portishead, Bristol and is a fully equipped, multi lathed, and tooled workshop, delivering a selection of woodturning courses from beginner through to advanced woodturners.

This venue is also used by the AWGB for hosting training days and weekends.

Blackcountry Woodturners were very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to hold a professional Tuition day at the venue, hosted by Stuart Bradfield, institute manager and renowned Professional Woodturner Jay Heryet.

The aim of the day was the preparation, making, and individual decoration /texturing of a 250mm x 50mm Sycamore platter.

At 07:15hrs the crew of 11 Blackcountry members all met for breakfast at a local hotel in Portishead, some having travelled the night before and the remainder travelling that morning, after a good chat, several bacon butties and cups of tea we made for the Max Carey Centre arriving at 08:30am.

We were al welcomed by Stuart and Jay, when having had the day’s induction and safety briefing we were all ready to go, chosen sycamore blanks in hand and lathe stations chosen.

Jay started the day with an introduction of the days aims, emphasising that enjoyment and learning were the key elements, she then gave a demonstration on ways to mount the blanks, design features, general shaping and tooling processes, implanting ideas and suggestions for us all to try as the day progressed.

We all then retired to our chosen lathes and set to work making our own individual platters, using and practising techniques illustrated by Jay.

As we all worked on our individual projects, both Jay and Stuart moved around the workshop, talking to each of us and putting us right by demonstration on identified areas in need of individual attention, plus encouraging us to look at form, shape and consideration and development of the finer detail touches to enhance the piece.

Everyone was so engrossed time just flew by and before we knew it, it was lunchtime, more tea, sandwiches and banter in the rest room, what could be better.

The afternoon started with Jay again demonstrating how to improve a number of tooling areas she had recognised as she had visited and chatted to us all during the morning session.

Jay then moved on to decoration techniques and ideas, showing a number of nice pieces made and adorned by herself, highlighting numerous ways where shape, colour and texture work together to bring the piece to its final conclusion, her point simply being do not be afraid to give anything a go, if you do not try you will not learn and explore the endless possibilities.

With this in our heads we all set off back to our lathes to develop and try our own ideas on decorating the platter, watched over and encouraged by both Jay and Stuart. At the end of the session it was amazing to see the differing texturing and colouring ideas we had all chosen.

At around 4:30pm Stuart and Jay brought the day to a close with a final chat and Q&A session. I am sure both Jay and Stuart enjoyed the day as much as we did.

As a group we showed our appreciation of being invited to the venue and being privileged to have had such good company and instruction, a most memorable and satisfying day.

Some pictures of our Day…..

Evening Demonstration – John Aitken.

Thursday 15th August 2019

This month Blackcountry Woodturners were graced with the return of professional wood turner John Aitken, otherwise known as “The bowler hatted turner”, who last visited us in June 2018.

John is renowned for wearing a bowler hat when woodturning at craft shows, his theory being that “people cannot remember names but they never forget a hat!”

The first part of John’s evening consisted of detailing and demonstrating how he designed a three tier cake stand for his daughter’s wedding, and the production method he used as 50 were necessary to make for the day.

Having educated us on the whys and wherefores necessary, he went on to demonstrate the making of each of the items required to complete the project, this required both platter (Cross Grain) and spindle turning techniques. John as always detailed, demonstrated and discussed tool control, and finishing methods for each piece.

For the second part of his demonstration John educated us in the arts of colouring and paint texturing for use on platters or any other surface for that matter.

Showing various methodologies, he used and demonstrated several iridescent paint colours over the top of a black background, he detailed an interesting method stating that he had developed and used to good effect over a number of years, which consisted of a length of string approx. 18 inches long completely immersed into a tub of gold iridescent paint, when removed the laden string was laid in a random pattern across a section of the platter rim face.

 John then laid a sheet of magazine paper(shiny smooth paper) over the top of the string, placing his hand gently on top compressing the string slightly, John proceeded to pull  one end of the string and kept pulling until it came free, the resulting pattern was impressive, the process if required could then be repeated over additional areas of the rim.

John’s character, humour and sheer enjoyment of demonstrating his skills was again evident to all in attendance making a truly enjoyable evening for all. We hope we can persuade him to return next year to educate us more in the arts and joys of woodturning.

Raffle Prizes

If any member wishes they can bring in a raffle prize at any time and donate it to the club, also if you see a tool which may be useful for turning which you can buy for around £5 or so (a receipt will be needed) then Ian can reimburse you on the night, our aim is to make the raffle as interesting and varied as possible.

Thanks

Mel

Secretary

Blackcountry Woodturners all-day event. 3/11/2018

Blackcountry Woodturners all-day event.

This was the first all-day event that Blackcountry Woodturners have hosted for the past several years.

The Aims…

The aims of the day were to provide some well-earned entertainment for our current members, provide an opportunity to invite woodturners from other West Midlands Clubs, and with the aid of local media publicise Blackcountry Woodturners to the general public. This gave likeminded people the opportunity to visit and view the day’s events, talk to current members, and see what we as a club are all about.

There was also the opportunity for club members to buy and sell their unwanted / unused second hand tools, purchase project wood, and bring in some of their own work to display, and refreshments were provided  to all who attended during the day.

The club had secured the services of professional Woodturner Paul Hannaby from Gloucestershire, Paul agreed to complete three different types of projects throughout the day, ranging from basic through to advanced woodturning techniques.

The day’s summary…

It started at 8am with early bird members arriving to set the rooms out for the day’s events, the main body of people began to arrive just after 9am, first job of the day was a hot drink, biscuit and general chat. The tool sales started in earnest along with the wood project sales. The first project , bowl turning techniques commenced at  9.45am. Paul explaining  how not only to approach such projects but also design considerations, lathe mounting techniques, tool and cutting techniques plus  ways to finish the project dependant on use to which it was to be put.

On completion we all took a 15 minute well-earned refreshment break then at 11.30am Paul began project 2, Box making with texturing and colouring instruction. Paul began by demonstrating a number of market available texturing tools, how to use them and varying types of effect that each are capable of achieving, he also demonstrated various ways of colour embellishing the patterns to bring out best effect. Paul then went on to produce a small decorative oriental lidded box.

At 1pm we had a 40 minute break for lunch, socialising, raffle draw and more purchasing of tools and wood.

The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with the “Off Centre” platter with decorative and air brushed coloured rim.  This was a detailed advanced project well received by all present, with many questions being asked as the project unfolded. Paul explained and showed in detail the techniques, both turning and decorative, to complete the project from start to finish. The challenge now for us all to go away and give it a go…

The event concluded at around 4.30pm with everyone going home having enjoyed their day, learned a little or lot as the case maybe and hopefully inspired to have a go at new projects.

A big thank you must go to all the club members who brought in their own pieces of work to make up a fantastic display for all to see, providing project inspiration for us all.

 

 

 

 

Hands On Evening -Thursday 16th August 2018

Augusts meeting was another hands on event, we had the welcome return of Keith Drew to the club who had been persuaded to come and demonstrate the technique of making a shell pattern form.

Project set up on the lathe

Keith picked this technique up from a demonstration he attended some time ago, and over time has developed his own way of completing the project, the very simple explanation being that the blank is set up inside a pre made and marked up template, this is then used on centre to make the central decoration then off set against the pre-determined marks to form the final shell like fin decoration. The final product looks great when all finished, and can be utilised as an ornament on it’s own, or incorperated into another project, it is quite a complex piece and provides a challenge to the more advanced turner.

Keith set up his demo, showed us the way it should be done then under Keith’s         Guidance several members had a go, definitely more tricky than Keith made it look, this was a very interesting first half to the evening, something unusual and much enjoyed by those in attendance. We would all like to thank Keith for giving up his time to educate us all.

 

The evening then provided additional inputs from Wolfgang on the lathe Goblet Turning, and by Bob Mercer showing us all the correct way to strip and clean a chuck…….

Members work displayed during the evening

Hands On Evening –Thursday 19th July 2018

The July monthly meeting was another hands on event, there were 4 lathes for use by members in attendance.

The main theme of this evening was “Off Centre Turning Methods”

A different approach to “Off Centre” Turning, came about from the Coventry UKIws show, to which some of our members attended, watching a demonstration by David Lowe who detailed the technique of putting a bead in place of the traditional square tenon on the bottom of the bowl, the bead then allowed the piece to be re positioned within the jaws of the chuck and off set within reason, without the need to have all the fancy off set jigs, once the piece was off set in the jaws the face was then trued up, decorated with colour, then the bowl section formed,  finally the bowl was completed with the addition of a small column pedestal foot  being  made and fitted over the original “Bead Tenon”

The technique was demonstrated on lathe 2 by Steve Hacket creating some good interaction by the watching members.

Roger Cheshire and Bob Mercer on Lathes 3 & 4 then had a go at the same method, in discussion with members going through the process step by step.  Roger using the same style as demonstrated by Steve , with Bob re visiting the technique and experimented with a slightly different approach to the bead method in discussion with members during the process.

Wolfgang demonstrated on lathe 1, off centre spindle turning, on how to make a club foot leg, using another style of off centre method to create the project. Due to time constraints he could not quite finish the whole project before the end of the evening but he clearly demonstrated to watching members the technique, for them to have a go at in their own workshops.

Again another very full evening that just flashed by fully enjoyed by all present…..

The table of members work was very impressive this month with some great pieces of work on display……

Here are some pictures from the evening

Kim Harris very large spalted bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cup of “T” time

 

 

 

 

Members work 1

Members Work 2

 

 

 

Superb table made by Wolfgang

 

Saturday 14th July 2018 Ashwood Nurseries – Open Garden Day.

Once again Blackcountry woodturners were kindly invited to join John Massey at his summer “Open Garden” day at Ashwood Nurseries, an event for which the club has proudly supported for many years.

For those that do not know this is the main event of several that “John”  and his superb  team at the nursery put on in support of the nurseries chosen charity, opening his magnificent award winning 3 acre private gardens to the public, this year’s chosen charity being “WINGS” Wombourne Special Needs Support Group.

The day started off at 08:30hrs, with the gathering of members at the Nursery to help set up our event tents, main craft stall, charity table and lathe demonstration area.

They say many hands make light work and this was so the case, the fantastic early turn out soon had our trusty pitch on the meadow lawn ready for business. Once again the display of member’s crafts was a splendid sight to see, with so many varied pieces on display, truly wonderful…

At 10:00 the event opened and by 10:15 the crowds were filtering thick and fast into the gardens, this remained the case right up to the end at 4pm.

As the day wore on countless, visitors came to see us on the lawn, striking up many a good conversation and laughter throughout, several of these visitors over the years now becoming regular customers of our clubs crafts a testament to the consistent quality on show, sales both on the charity table and craft tables were brisk all day.

Throughout the day the public were entertained with various lathe demonstrations, one visitor  asking Rob Hacket if  he could make him a new handle for his garden trowel, which Rob duly did, he left the stall a very happy chappy  …not Rob the visitor.

There were also demos by Steve Hackett, Roger Cheshire, Paul Brown & Roger Sherwood -Howells.

A very special thanks must go to Arthur Mills and the other guys who helped him throughout the day run the charity table their truly sterling efforts raising a fantastic £240.00, an amazing feat…well done everyone.

At the end of the day Mick Murphy club Secretary proudly handed £120.00 to the event organisers to add to the days grand total in support of the very worthy “WINGS” charity,

The remaining £120.00 will be given to Blackcountry Woodturners nominated charity Mary Stevens Hospice in due course.

On the event closure all the gear was packed away and all club members left the nursery hot and tired but having contributed to a really good day.

Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust Summer Fayre Saturday 30th June 2018.

This was the first time the canal trust had held a summer fayre from this particular venue,  and what a lovely place it is too,  The Blackcountry Woodturning club were very happy to accept the invite to put on a stall and demonstrate the art of woodturning throughout the day for the attending public.

The day started off by arriving at the venue for 8.30am, we were greeted by Sarah the organiser who showed us our pitch in the main hall for the day.

We had a great turnout of members early morning, with lots of good natured  banter and laughter as we all got stuck in to unload the van , and set up our stall and lathe presentation area.

When complete the stall looked great with all our members work proudly displayed on show to the attending public, a great credit to the club which brought some very favourable comments from neighbouring craft presenters dotted around the hall.

The public attendance started a little slow but picked up as the day went by, many interesting conversations were struck up with visitors who were genuinely interested in how we made such a variety of items.

                     Thanks go to Mell Adams, Bob Mercer, Andrew DORE , Roger Cheshire and Paul Brown who all took turns on the lathe during the day to entertain the public, with Bob very kindly giving away his demonstration  bowl to a visitor who watched him make the whole thing from start to finish.

I’m sure the club made a few friends along the way, the event came to a close about 4.30pm, with us all having had a very enjoyable day.

Cradley Arts Festival –Saturday 9th June 2018.

The Blackcountry woodturners club took part in the Cradley Heath Arts festival programme on Saturday 9th June 2018, this was the first visit by the club to the event, we along with Cradley Heath  Model Railway club were located at the Cradley Heath Community Centre Reddal Hill Road.

The club was well supported by members who put on an impressive craft and lathe display, including the clubs charity table displaying for sale items donated by members in support of the clubs charity

Visitors were few but those that came were very impressed with the craft work, purchased a few items and enjoyed watching members working on the lathe.

The highlight of the day was the visit to the club by local conservative member of parliament  Rt Hon James Morris who stayed for quite some time chatting to all involved and seemed genuinely interested in the history of the club wishing us well for the future…, he even had ago on the lathe skillfully instructed by club chairman Roger Cheshire.