Playing catch-up!

Published by Les on

I’ve been a little preoccupied just lately and I must admit that I’ve let the blog take a back seat for a few weeks, so it’s time to play catch-up and I’ll start with a round up of what we’ve been up to over the last few weeks.

Each summer for the last few years we’ve got used to the “summer season” of exhibitions at regional galleries and we’ve been really lucky to have our work shown in a few galleries that we really value. This year has seen a new gallery open at Dyffryn Ardudwy, near Harlech. Called Oriel Tŷ Meirion, the gallery already has a few successful exhibitions under its belt and we’re delighted to have been invited to include a few pieces in the current exhibition, entitled “The Flora and Fauna of Snowdonia”, and whilst most of the artwork is of depictions of the subject matter, my work is a little different, because it’s made of the subject matter.

For the show, we entered 4 pieces, Meini Hirion, a set of three yew standing stones,

….”Plat Llwyfen ac Agat”, a display platter in elm, with an agate centrepiece,

…and two of my ash canker bowls, called “Cancr Onnen”

The opening night went well and was well attended….and it was quite a buzz to see that three of our four pieces had been given window space.


Our next exhibition will be at an old favourite, Plas Brondanw. In the past we’ve got into this gallery as a member of the Helfa Gelf annual art trail event, but this year we were delighted to be invited to exhibit as a part of their open exhibition. We have submitted 6 pieces and certainly don’t expect to get all of them into the exhibition, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed that a few of them will.

Here’s what we’ve submitted…

….a scorched oak bowl from severely decayed oak

A much larger scorched oak bowl which had deep radial cracks and ring cracks, so needed remedial work to keep it in one piece. I chose to use some big copper boat rivets and then rubbed a little copper-gilt cream into the scorched beads to reflect that of the rivets.

Next came a piece which holds very special meaning, it’s the “Alchemists’ Jar” which I made in memory of Bryn, a friend and fellow wood turner, who passed away several months ago. This is a very large piece, which the image doesn’t really convey, and was made out of a piece of Bryn’s timber.

….next, another of the ash canker bowls cut from the same ash branch as the two bowls sent to Oriel Ty Meirion…

…another oak bow; this one is huge and was made from a trunk-junction of a huge mature oak tree which was infected with fungal decay caused by beefsteak fungus. As a result of the decay, the tree had come crashing down to the ground, blocking a public footpath through the garden of a friend who lives in Cheshire and I was lucky enough to be invited to take my pick of the pieces of the trunk. This bowl was cut from green timber and allowed to crack as it dried, then the major rim-cracks were clenched with huge copper staples that I made.

…and finally, an oak burr display platter with scorched bead details.


Since the two submissions were made I’ve been busy with teaching, but the other day I just wanted to get back on the lathe and make something just for fun, so here it is, a two-piece, dry-vase made of local ash taken from a storm-fall tree in the fields behind my workshop, but with a very special piece of African Blackwood for a neck.

One of the great difficulties with this sort of vase, is getting a good, clean join between the two pieces of timber, but both the ash and the blackwood cut particularly well and I was really pleased with the result; the joint was just about perfect.


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