Yet another great success here are details of the main demonstrators at the AWGB’s thirteenth International Seminar at Loughborough University in August 2011. The line up consisted of five talented presenters from beyond our shores, only one of whom has presented for us in the past. They were supported by a further five British presenters, all stars in their own right. There is no doubt, as is always the case, that the ten presenters provided a vast array of techniques and designs that gave inspiration to all those who attended.
To see pictures of all the Instant Gallery exhibits click HERE
Thumbnail sketches of the presenters are given below.
Nick first became involved with woodturning back in 1996. He discovered the art of woodturning and the joy of making three dimensional tactile objects. His early background of Art School and ceramics helps him create texture and colour on turned wood objects. This today is still the direction and passion of his work. His work is varied, ranging from spindle production to highly decorated turnings. He teaches and has demonstrated across the UK at many clubs. He has travelled to regional, national and international symposiums in America, South Africa and Ireland. In his presentations Nick will introduce the audience to methods aimed at helping improve finishing techniques, allowing the achievement of better results. Working with the wood and finishing products to achieve the best possible finish when creating decorated work using colour or texture, he works with a simple approach and has a strong emphasis on design and aesthetics. The projects will explore surface manipulation/decoration and colour.
My interest in turning began in 1980 after a boatbuilding venture with my husband introduced me to woodworking. Unschooled in the ‘wood arts’, I was drawn to the lathe because turning presented an array of creative possibilities, but within the safe confines of one machine with certain limits. Boatbuilding also gave me another medium epoxy, which I use extensively as both a decorative and a structural element. Epoxy has allowed me to create many new forms and effects, and to test those limits usually placed on lathe work.In the past decade, my work has evolved through several stages, from platters to sculptural forms to vessel forms all using, to some degree, my technique of cutting and reassembly. Although nature has long been an inspiration, I have recently become interested in using design principles to bring a more classic, cultured look to my vessels. Inspiration for the black and white work began with a book of vintage and contemporary handbags. I felt the bold designs and strong geometrical elements would work well in a turned vessel, using line, contrast and texture to create the compositions. Although similar in format, each vessel is different and named to reflect the ‘personality’ I see in it.
A professional turner since 1986, Paul specialises in ornamental and rose engine work but he is also a very capable plain turner. Much of his work is physically quite small but can be very elaborate and intricate, sometimes taking months to complete. The chess sets which he is noted for being a prime example. He also undertakes restoration of almost any treen, for private clients and the antiques trade, from16th century rose engine boxes and challises, to furniture parts, up to 1930’s Art Deco clock cases.Working mostly to private commission in the U.K and Europe, his work is not to be found in galleries.
I am motivated as a craftsman to find the link between the search for truth and beauty in what I make and that search in the soul/spiritual reality. This affects my work in two ways: Firstly I seek to work my wood with a respect for it, and the tree that it came from, that relects my realisation that we are both living beings sharing the same life-space. This goes beyond ecology into the more metaphysical areas of shared meaning in life. It would be daft toassume that as co-citizens of Earth we do not share a purpose. The question is what is that purpose and how can my working with the wood effect that purpose. Secondly I seek that my work should have some positive affect in the lives of others. This can be as simple as making things which others can truly enjoy, or as complex as seeking to suit my instrumental sculptures to the therapeutic applications that many of my customers buy them for. The Sounding Bowls have been used as many things by many people. For some they are a graceful addition to an art collection. For others they are a route into making music that had been sought, and not found with other instruments. Some of my customers are professional music therapists and ind their Sounding Bowls open up doors in their work that no other instrument does. Some of my customers use their Sounding Bowls for meditation, allowing the sound, the notes, the wood and the shape to open doors of spirit that mandalas and mantras might open for others. To my mind the search for truth in how I work is not different from the search that my works should bring some good into the world.
I was born in 1974 in Mayenne. I’ve always been attracted to wood and all the creative possibilities it offers. Whilst trying to ind my way, I took night classes in sculpture. Eventually I discovered a passion and decided to learn the trade of woodturner. As a result of becoming a member of AFTAB I was able to follow vocational courses with Jean Francois Escoulen, Caquineau Luke, Bonnie Klein, Alain Mailland, Hans Weisslog, Remi Verchot, Michael Hosaluk, Mark Sirri, David Ellsworth, Bin Pho, Jacques Vesery etc. I continue to follow vocational courses each year.
Michael Mocho has been a full-time craftsman since 1976 with extensive experience in furniture design, woodturning, architectural millwork, pattern making, and stringed musical instruments. He operates out of a small workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico producing commissioned furniture, contract woodturning, and decorative containers for the gift market. Michael is an acclaimed and enthusiastic instructor, and has taught at many of the top craft schools in America, both national and regional woodturning symposia, and has presented programmes for over 35 American Association of Woodturners chapters across the USA. He is known for his intricate containers that often combine bent wood with turned, carved, and textured components, which have won numerous awards and are in many private and public collections.
Tracy is on the Register of Professional Turners and has won many awards in National shows over the last twelve years for his innovative turning. He also writes articles for Woodturning magazine. Having established himself as one of the few woodturning professionals to derive his sole livelihood from woodturning, Tracy specialises in green (or wet) woodturning of bowls and hollow forms to produce unique one off pieces. Green wood is used as the wood moves when it is drying and adds character to the piece. Tracy also likes to add texture to his work which is achieved with sandblasting, carving, chainsawing, colouring and the use of the Robert Sorby texturing tool which he invented.
Les is a full time woodturner from Alresford near Winchester in Hampshire. He has been involved in the timber industry all his life becoming a company director in the family sawmill in his early twenties. In the nineties the saw mill shut down giving Les the opportunity to start woodturning, initially working from his father’s woodturning supplies business in Alresford, before renting a unit and setting up a workshop and teaching facility. Les is a production turner making a living from furniture and stair components as well as large scale turnings such as columns. He teaches as well as demonstrating all over the UK , Europe and America. In 2007 he was awarded a bursary from the Worshipful Company of Turners, this gave him the opportunity to spend time developing his texturing and colouring techniques, this can be seen in his current work from the heavily textured and ebonised pieces to the delicate use of colouring by airbrush on the rims of platters and bowls.He quotes “Years of production turning has given me the ability to produce well made forms that are enhanced by the application of colour and texture”
“Klein und Fein” (German for “small and fine”) is my motto. And contrary to popular belief, I believe that it is still possible to create good work by hand. I have never been able to understand why people feel that work created 100 years ago is superior to the work being created by artists today. After all, the equipment we have to work with now is much better than anything that was available to the artisan of years gone by. Unfortunately, most of today’s artists have not been willing to include the one element that is obvious in the work of yesterday, time. In my opinion, one has only to be willing to spend the required amount of time to produce a truly exquisite piece. I have always been intrigued by the seemingly unlimited diversity of shapes that can be achieved on the lathe. As a designer, I am always seeking out new possibilities and challenges. My work is always expanding by transforming these possibilities into reality.
John Wessel is a retired airline pilot with an engineering background and he lives on a small farm in the Western Cape of South Africa. He did sheet pewter classes with his mother at the age of ten. At school his favourite subjects were industrial art, woodwork and metal work, taking every opportunity to work on the wood lathe that he could. He was 15 years old when he first started woodturning . In 2007 he attended the AWGB Seminar at Loughborough and saw Simon Hope doing cast pewter work on bag pipes. Now at 63 he is putting all this together to create pieces with a difference. Attendees to the seminar will no doubt be inspired by this man’s approach to going just that little bit further to make a difference.
In addition to the front rank presenters we also like to allocate single slots to new faces who have exhibited a talent for woodturning, and who may wish to put a toe in the great ocean of demonstrating. These individuals, probably four on this occasion, are selected by the Seminar Organising Committee, from amongst the first 100 or so delegates to sign up for the full Seminar experience. Likely people are approached by the SOC, not the other way round, and if they are agreeable a small financial incentive is arranged.