One of the many enjoyable aspects of being a professional woodturner, is that of visiting woodturning clubs to provide demonstrations of the type of turning that I do. A couple of weeks ago I was at High Peak Woodturners, in Stockport, for an evening demo and last Thursday I was at Herefordshire Woodturners, again for an evening. Such events can be a bit tiring, especially as I tend to try to get the most out of the day in the workshop, then drive to the venue, start my demo at about 7:30 and carry on through until about 10:00…then drive home.

This season, for short demonstrations, I am concentrating on the methods of scorching, what timbers work well and which don’t, and the reasons for that. We then look at the different techniques that I use for embellishing the pieces once the scorching has been completed and cleaned off. One of the issues with this type of demo is the restricted time available, so I rarely set out to finish any particular piece, rather, I work each piece to the point that an area of scorching and subsequent embellishment can be completed, then pass the pieces around for people to see the effect and feel the textures created.

As a rule, I bring the pieces home and finish them off a day or two later, so this is the most recent batch…..

…a set of three scorched pieces, from left to right….

  • spalted beech, beaded and coated with verdigris wax, then a cabochon of yew added
  • a laburnum weed-pot, lightly scorched then the open grain filled with copper gilt cream
  • a tall, end-grain pot in oak, with lime wax and a cabochon of yew as a focal point.

Such evening demos usually result in me arriving back home well after midnight, but I thoroughly enjoy giving the demos and it’s good to pass knowledge on to the newer members at the clubs.


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