Steve is a good old friend of Blackcountry woodturners we last had the pleasure of his company in September 2016.
Steve has not been too well of late but fulfilled his promise to the club to come and entertain us once again, for this we are very grateful, and very happy to have you back.
Steve’s project for the evening was a dried flower vase, starting with a flat piece of pine approx. 6 inches wide by 12 inches long, the intention was to keep the lower portion of the vase rectangular, this section of the piece would later be textured, sprayed black and then rubbed back, to again expose the natural wood, this then contrasting with the turned foot and vase neck.
Steve identified that this was one of his own creations unique to him, that he had been making for some time; he identified how the piece would usually be made with square stock but the rectangular style added another dimension to the overall finished product.
Steve initially mounted the stock into the lathe and proceeded to turn the opening of the vase then beginning to shape the neck area.
Steve very carefully described and demonstrated the” Pommel cut” that adjoins the main body to the neck area, he demonstrated how to approach the cut with both a bowl gouge and skew chisel, stating that without doubt this was the hardest cut on the project to get correct but if done well helps to set the piece off, Steve then went on to complete the final shaping of the neck to the main body area.
Having completed the top half of the vase and rough shaping of the foot, he turned the piece round to complete the foot detail as this gave better tool access.
Steve then progressed to texturing the main body of the piece using an electronic hand held grinder with Arbourtech cutting wheel attachment, texturing all four of the flat sides, once complete, the texturing and corners were sanded smoother to remove the raised and torn out grain, this was then covered with a light spray of sanding sealer and over sprayed with chestnut ebonising lacquer, then when dry rubbed back the high points exposing the natural wood.
The piece was then finished off with the addition of three box wood buttons, fitted into three pre drilled holes in the main body.
The evening drew to a close with the audience giving Steve a wholehearted round of applause for a fine evening of entertainment.
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
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.
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
This venue is also
used by the AWGB for hosting training days and weekends.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
This lively professional turner will be appearing at BlackCountry Woodturners base at Dudley College’s Broadway venue on 19th October 2019 between 9.30-5pm and anyone who wants to see a top turner is welcome to come along.
The cost is just £10 and includes tea,coffee and biscuits. Sandwiches or cobs will be on sale for lunchtime.
This was Blackcountry Woodturners third event at the lovely Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust building.
This time we were at the “Made in the Blackcountry” weekend craft event, along with other local people displaying and chatting about their particular type of crafts on display, and what lovely people we met too.
The weekend started with several members turning out of their beds and arriving on site at about 08:30am, for the grand set up to begin, by 10:00am we were ready to go, with lathe demo area and splendid craft display all ready for the visiting public to enjoy.
The morning foot traffic was a little slow but picked up as the day progressed, during the day it was great to see a fair number of our club members turn out in support of club and we all enjoyed a good old chinwag between ourselves.
The lathe was kept busy all day, entertaining the public, who as usual were very interested in watching what was being made, and asking loads of questions, the children especially enjoyed the demonstrations and went away with a free spinning top.
The first day concluded at 4pm and we all went home for a well-earned rest….
On Sunday we arrived at around 9am and prepared the tables for the 10am opening.
Thanks go to Steve & Rob Hackett plus Roger Cheshire , Kim Harris, Mel Adams and Roger Sherwood-Howells for making and giving away children’s spinning tops and other projects throughout the weekend, and also to all the club members that turned out to support us over the weekend….….well done all of you.
Again the public footfall was quiet to begin with but picked up throughout the day, again the lathe was in full swing keeping the adults and children entertained.
Blackcountry Woodturners welcomed back professional Woodturner Robert Till for the evening. Robert last demonstrated at the club in October 2018.
For our evening’s
entertainment Robert identified that he would be demonstrating how to
make a “spindle Turned” finely shaped candle stick by using the
“Reverse Turn” or “Inside Out” method, and during the
process he would be showing in detail how the piece would be
constructed highlighting how best to proportion / balance the project
out to the eye as it went along.
He identified that
the project was a “spindle turned piece using all the standard
basic cuts that Woodturners of all levels would be able to have a go
at, and that the project if made at home could be made as simple or
as detailed that the maker wished by adopting his demonstrated
To start off with
Robert detailed how he constructed two pieces of identical square
stock and glued them together but introducing a paper seal between
the two mating glued wooden edges, this technique later allows the
joint to be broken without damage to the timber.
The blank was mounted onto the lathe and Robert detailed how to mark up the blank for initial turning which in this instance would be the inside shape of the candlestick, as when the shape was formed the blank would be split open and turned round 180 degrees then glued back together again to form the internal shape.
For the next 40
minutes or so Robert turned the initial shape where throughout he
demonstrated the cutting stages, tool techniques, and logical step by
step process needed to achieve the first stage shaping process.
Robert then identified how to split the wood in preparation for the
re gluing process.
Robert then re mounted a pre prepared blank that had been stage 2 glued up giving the internal shaped detail, the blank now ready for the external shape to be applied.
For the main part of the remainder of the evening Robert demonstrated the step by step process in achieving the outer refined shape, going into great detail around the eye line balance and shape proportion, illustrating this clearly by “tweaking” the shape as he went along.
His detailed explanation of the process was clearly enjoyed by those present and created some very lively and probing conversation around techniques, methodology and finishing processes.
For the final part
of the demonstration Robert made the base to complement the
candlestick, we were all amazed that he managed to squeeze it all
into two and a half hours and had a cup of tea and biscuits in the
Another wonderful evening’s entertainment provided by Robert, well enjoyed by all and we look forward to his next visit with us in 2020.
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.
For many years Blackcountry Woodturners have supported and raised funds for the Mary Stevens Hospice foundation.
For the past few months, in the background Melvin, club secretary, has been working hard with the hospice event organisers to secure the clubs attendance in support of several forthcoming charity events, the first being the “Easter Egg Hunt” This was the first time that the club had displayed and demonstrated within the grounds of the hospice in support of one of their own events.
On a really sunny Saturday morning we arrived at the Hospice in Stourbridge at around 8:45am to be met by Louise, event organiser, who showed us to our allotted area on the main events field.
Within a few minutes Melvin, Roger C and Ian were joined by Rob, Steve, Roger S and Arthur, our set up was to include a charity table, lathe demonstration area and member’s sales table.
We all got to work and by just after 10am we had everything set up and ready to go…having consumed several cups of tea along the way.
The event opened at 10:30 with a mass influx of very excited children and adults, the Easter egg hunt began in earnest and we all enjoyed the fun watching the children and adults making their way around the field seeking out all the clues for those elusive Easter eggs
Throughout the morning and early afternoon we had a steady stream of visitors to the stall with many visitors interested in what the club did, where we were located and how products on display were made.
Visitors enjoyed watching Rob and Roger C giving demonstrations on the lathe.
Steve, Roger S and Arthur did a sterling job on the charity table selling many items made and donated by club members for the event, a number of sales were also made from the members display table, combined sales all helping to raise much needed funds for the Hospice.
The Easter event came to an end just after 1:30pm, a good time having been had by all.
Having eventually packed everything away, we were all proud to have raised £50.40 for the Hospice which was handed over to the event organiser Louise on leaving.
Blackcountry Woodturners look forward to raising more funds for the Hospice at the summer and winter events later in the year.
has demonstrated at the club on several occasions and we look forward
to each of his visits, this occasion was no different.
objective of the evening’s demonstration was to show the audience a
number of different colouring techniques to enhance a turned project
and profile a texturing technique used by him on many occasions using
an arbour cutting wheel.
processes would be demonstrated via use of an air brush and several
ways of using / applying Jo Sonja iridescent paints to produce
various pattern structures and effects.
brought with him a good array of his own finished work highlighting
the various finishes that could be achieved by these methods.
started off by mounting a part finished Olive Ash bowl onto the
lathe, a few final cuts were made to the outside to true the piece up
and complete the dimensional shape.
then used the Arbourtech texturing wheel to score groves randomly
around the outside and round the top Rim of the bowl, highlighting
that he believed the best effects using this technique were random
patterns as opposed to formal or repetitive patterns.
outside was then sanded back to 320 grit in preparation for the first
Black colour coat, the part turned inner bowl was then waxed to stop
any pain residue on the inside; Keith stating that this was merely a
protective coat and would later be turned away.
satin paint spray was then applied all over the outside of the piece
ensuring that the paint entered all cut channels. Having demonstrated
the process, he produced a like piece that he had made earlier which
had fully dried and was ready to process further.
sanded back the black paint to the outer wood leaving the black
groves clearly visible; this effect on its own could be a striking
finish, the next objective was to apply a series of chestnut spirit
then invited the colour application to be completed by a member of
the audience, Ian volunteered then over the next ten minutes under
Keith’s guidance, Purple, Red and yellow stain was randomly sprayed
across the whole of the outer surface.
then went on to take a few cuts from the inside of the bowl to
highlight the colour contrast against the grain in full, this really
made the outer pattern stand out and cleaned up a small amount of
audience discussion it was agreed that this project had achieved its
objective and no need to apply a finish to the piece, this created
time to demonstrate his other finishing methods.
moved onto the Jo Sonja Paint products which created a good audience
participation discussion with a good flow of questions, answers and
amusing stories floating across the room.
the first application demonstration a part finished tea light,
mounted on the lathe, was again pre sprayed in satin black paint,
providing the ideal sub base for application of the Jo Sonja colours.
donned his trusty rubber glove Keith, by using his fingers rubbed a
thin covering of the Gold iridescent paint over the whole outer
surface, he then chose blue and green and in the same manner put on
top of the gold layer randomly placed colour patches onto the
his own innovative way, he assured that the next bit of the
demonstration he had practiced to a fine art and had taken many years
to perfect, he was laughing whilst he said it. He then ripped off
sheet of cling film and slapped it across the surface applied
pressure onto the film and twisted his hand back and forth on
completion removing the Clingfilm to reveal an amazingly good blended
pattern, he went on to state that when fully dried he would apply of
gloss lacquer which would make the colours pop even more.
provided a great stopping point for tea and the opportunity for
members to have a look at the first two items.
the second part of his demo Keith continued with the Jo Sonja paint
began by mounting a pre formed 12” platter, centre hollowed with a
3-4” border all round and the piece sprayed black stating that for
this piece again dabs of iridescent paint would be placed on the
surface but the paint would be spread by blowing compressed air from
the air gun, merging the colours together forming a “cloud like”
pattern. Again he invited members of the audience to come and have
ago at making the final product, when all the paint had been applied
a layer of Clingfilm was dabbed over the surface giving the final
cloud style impression.
then moved on to demonstrate the application of paint by spinning
colours onto the surface of two projects. Both methods would be
applied to part finished black sprayed tea lights mounted onto the
the first style he applied a rim of gold paint around the inner cut
out part where the candle would sit, to stop paint flying over the
audience and walls a plastic cake lid was placed over the tea light
and chuck area then started the lathe up at quite a fast speed. He
let this run for a few seconds then revealed the radiating striped
pattern around the outer edge of piece, this gave a striking thin
lined pattern that could be repeated in as many colours that you
wished but Keith advised that two or three were usually sufficient.
repeated the process on anther tea light but on this occasion, having
applied a slightly thicker coat of paint, spun the lathe at a much
slower rate, again after a few seconds stopped the lathe to reveal
pattern with much more build up around the inner edge and thicker
lines shooting off around the surface.
had a packed evening of information and fun we just ran out of time,
the evenings events coming to a close with a warm thank to Keith for
giving us a wonderful last few hours.