Last night, I presented a bowl turning improvers demonstration from the workshop studio here in Hampshire.
Aided by a host of on-screen graphic overlays, the demonstration clearly illustrated the techniques I use in my bowl turning. This included the correct position of the gouge bevel on the inside of a bowl which is nigh on impossible to illustrate without those images.
There were plenty of questions coming up during the evening, which is great for these types of demonstrations. They need to be interactive for everyone to get the best out of the evening. My wife, Natalja was keeping an eye on the questions in the chat and relayed them to me whenever we stopped.
Here are some screenshots of the recording from Zoom.
All in all, I am very pleased with how the evening went. For a technical demonstration we finished just about on time. Three hours for a paid event is pretty much spot on, I think.
Those who attended received a link to watch back the recording this morning. They also received a link to download a .pdf of supporting notes. Included were many of the graphics shown on screen during the demo which should help in the workshop.
I expect there will be a few more of these remote demonstrations in the future. I’m already planning one on finishing split over two evenings, perhaps . . . but we’ll see!
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With the temperatures rising across the country, the weather was set to be absolutely stunning for my trip down to Yandles for a couple of days demonstrations of the Hampshire Sheen brand of finishes and general turning.
I visit Yandles regularly, or at least I did before COVID! It is one of my favourite places to demonstrate – particularly in their enormous saw mill. The company has been going for donkey’s years and includes a superb selection of timber, turning blanks and an enormous shop of all manner of tools and machines. There is also a gift shop, cafe and craft shop there, too.
Arriving on the afternoon of Thursday 14th to get set-up, I was provided with a Record Power Coronet lathe and a good space in their tool shop.
Nestled amongst machines from Laguna, Charnwood and Record Power, it was a relief to have a breeze blowing over the top of the shelves.
Fleur de Lis Inn
Frustratingly, I was unable to book into my usual haunt for a Yandles trip, The White Hart despite booking months ago, so I settled for the Fleur de Lis pub in a neighbouring village, just a 5 minute drive away.
A nicely laid out 15th century inn, it had recently been taken over by a new manager. The bar area was airy and light whilst the beer garden was a pleasant sun trap!
The room I had was a triple, spanning the width of the building meaning I could have a through draft during the two balmy nights I was staying there.
Friday 15th July
Although not officially part of the open day, I demonstrated in the shop on the Friday. There were a good number of customers looking around and I spent a long time with a newcomer giving him some impartial advice on most things to do with turning.
Saturday was the polar opposite of Friday with 70 craft stalls pitching up in the front car park as if by magic first thing in the morning.
Emma Cook was there demonstrating next to saw mill to seated audiences during the day. In this room, a schedule of demos was underway. Aside from Emma, there were bandsaw demos by Record Power and Larry Chant.
There were also a number of other turning demonstrations going on from clubs and other turners.
Radha Sivyer from Channel 4’s Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker programmes was demonstrating for Arbortech in the wood yard and Planet Tools were outside the shop demonstrating in full sunshine!
On this day too, there were turning taster sessions bookable for visitors, and carving sessions hosted by Stephen Stokes.
In the shop where I was, the queue for the checkouts were long and warm – this was a warmer day for sure.
With a steady stream of customers stopping to watch what I was up to in the shop, I was kept busy until 1pm when I had to up-sticks and move my stuff to where Emma had been demonstrating.
Over in the main demo room, I was to present a finishing masterclass at 2pm.
Despite the heat, there was a full house as I set about my demo using some of the Hampshire Sheen range of finishes.
Wow, it was warm!
During my demonstrations, I like to include as much turning as possible, so some bowl turning technique was included rather than just finishing! Although I run a business making and distributing finishes, demonstrating them can be somewhat repetitive!
Join Martin on Tuesday 2nd August from 7pm (UK) for an in-depth remote demonstration designed for beginners and intermediates to help improve their bowl turning.
Using a permanent 7 camera set-up and a host of custom on-screen graphics to clearly illustrate the cuts and techniques he uses in his own turning, Martin’s presentations are clear, concise and entertaining.
Plus, as a remote demonstration, you are guaranteed the best seat in the house – your own!
Hosted in the popular Zoom environment, this is an ideal opportunity to learn or refine these techniques:
Different Bowl Gouges
Lathe mounting options
Easy bowl shapes
Martin’s easy to follow commentary and teaching style has lead many on to improve their techniques and inspire them to try new things. His relaxed but energetic presentations are popular with clubs for both in-person and remote demonstrations, like this one will be.
Click the Read More button below to book your front row seat.
Back at the tail end of October, I had the pleasure of travelling to Denmark to meet Rene Normann who owns Traedrejerbutikken in Odense. Visit the website at www.traedrejerbutikken.dk.
Whilst in Denmark with Rene, we were exhibiting at the Kreative Dage event in Fredericia on one of the islands, not to far from Odense where Rene’s shop is located.
The flight to Copenhagen was comfortable, on time and packed solid with passengers. From there, I needed to catch a train from the airport to Odense which was delightful. The train was large, comfortable, on time and every passenger had a designated seat. The service was better than here in the UK, I think! We could learn something, I’m sure.
After arriving in Odense, there was a short walk to the comfy hotel that Rene had arranged for me to stay in. Later, we met up for dinner and a drink before retiring for an early start.
Scroll down below the gallery for more . . .
The journey from Odense to Fredericia was about an hour each way and with Rene and I comparing our cultures, the time passed quickly.
Once at the exhibition centre, I was astonished at the size of it. Later, I was told that this event is one of the biggest maker events in Scandinavia. Every craft you can think of had at least one representative attending. There was woodworking, ceramics, lots of fabrics, metal work, resins, beading, sewing, artist supplies and well, just everything!
Demonstrating on Rene’s stand, I was treated to his own brand of lathe which was superb to use. Solidly built with a powerful and quiet motor, I set to work turning and demonstrating woodturning and the use of the Hampshire Sheen finishes.
I spoke to many of the visitors who could speak superb English so communication was largely not a problem at all. There were so many questions asked about me, the products and turning in general that at times, there was more talking than turning being done. Everyone was extremely polite and perhaps a little surprised to have a foreigner demonstrating at the show.
One very special moment was when Frederick and Benny arrived at the stand wearing their Woodturning360 membership pins. They had travelled across the country to visit the show, meet me and pick up some Hampshire Sheen supplies from Rene.
It was such a pleasure to meet them both in person having seen them in our club Zoom meetings for the last few months.
Yes, that was very special indeed.
As a country with very little COVID-19 present in the community (and a relatively small population), masks indoors were not mandatory so that was a very pleasant relief from the restrictions we were (are!) under here in the UK. Hand sanitiser was everywhere to be seen. Most stall holders had some with them, it was at the entry and exit points, too. Plus, wherever we went in the evenings, sanitiser was readily available, and I am sure I also saw it on many street corners, too. Top work, Denmark!
All in all, it was an absolute treat and a pleasure to travel to Denmark to demonstrate for Denmark, meet some of the country’s turners and of course, spread the word about Hampshire Sheen.
Way back in 2019, I was invited to attend the 2020 Wizardry in Wood event as a ‘turner in residence’, meaning I would be present demonstrating turning – a bit of an honour to be invited if you ask me! But, we all know what happened in 2020 so I won’t dwell on that any further. This article includes photos I have taken, plus those of Matt Held from Kansas, USA.
In addition there will be exhibitions of 400 years of turning in music, turning in magic and pre-historic turning, as well as curated talks on specialist turning subjects. There will be almost continuous demonstrations of plain turning by Paul Hannaby, Martin Saban-Smith and Pete Moncrieff-Jury, ornamental turning by Jean Claude Charpignon,Bob Wade and Tony Cliffe, and pole lathe turning by a team from the pole lathe turners. All entries to the Company’s 2021 Competitions will be displayed. The AWGB will display its travelling exhibition, and the Register of Professional Turners‘ stand will include a retrospective of the work of Master Turner Ray Key.
(from the Turners Company website)
Wizardry in Wood 2021, the quadrennial exhibition of the finest contemporary woodturning, returns with its fifth showcase in October 2021. Presented by the Worshipful Company of Turners, the 2021 exhibition (postponed from 2020) will feature some of the most skilled leading UK and international contemporary turners.
Fast forward to 2021 and the event was rescheduled for this week.
Arriving at Carpenters Hall on Tuesday 12th in good time to settle down before the evening opening by the Lord Mayor of London and other dignitaries, I took some time to look around the exhibition. Some of the best turners in the country are invited to exhibit and sell their work at the prestigious event every four years. You’ll see from the gallery below that the quality and excellence of the work by these turners is beyond exemplary.
Using a lathe and accessories supplied by Axminster Tools and Machinery, the resident turners were challenged by having to keep the shavings and dust to a minimum, so I opted to turn some of my delicate sea urchin ornaments.
To smarten up for the evening, I donned a shirt and tie but made sure it was all neatly tucked into my ‘trademark’ leather waistcoat. Safety first and all that!
The opening event on Tuesday was attended by the Masters, Clerks and members of the other livery companies of London. I had the pleasure of talking to the Master of the Fletchers Company and (I think) the Clerk of the Company of Needle Makers.
The standard of work in the competitions (the gallery above) was superb. The variety of items turned, techniques employed and sheer imagination of the turners who entered was very inspirational indeed.
Below are more of my own photos of the competition entries plus some taken by Matt Held who travelled from Kansas to the event and then had lessons with myself, Les Thorne, Mick Hanbury and Phil Irons whilst he was here.
After such an inspirational few days, meeting up with guests and exhibitors some of whom I had never met, I am now back at the workshop and work has returned to normal.
With all this inspiration flying around my head, it is difficult to decide where to go and what to try without blatantly copying something – but that’s one of the great things about the turning I do – coming up with something new or a personal twist on a theme seen elsewhere.
The last time I presented a Hampshire Sheen Excellence in Finishing Course was during the Covid lockdown in mid 2020 after the in-person courses had to be cancelled. A newly revised and improved course is back for two free online presentations this October.
These two Zoom events will be the most comprehensive Hampshire Sheen finishing courses I’ve ever presented. There will be a lot more detail on each of the products used than before using on screen illustrations and I will share with you my tips and tricks for getting the best of out of the products on different species of wood.
Primarily, we will be looking at the recommended (and in some cases, advanced) methods of using the core products in the Hampshire Sheen Range: Gloss Finishing Wax, Microcrystalline Wax, Cellulose Sanding Sealer, Embellishing Waxes as well as the Danish Oil and brand new Citrus Burnishing Oil and where and when to use each of them.
We will also look at finishing techniques over the Intrinsic Colour Collection which will also include applying and polishing the Hampshire Sheen lacquers.
By the time the course finishes, you will be equipped with the knowledge to apply the finishes to bring the best out of your turned items, and be in the perfect position to get fanatical about finishing!
Those who stay for the whole course will receive a personal Certificate of Excellence different to the Extraordinary Course on YouTube last year, and different again from the in-person ones from before that!
The are two online courses to choose from that will be hosted in a Zoom meeting:
Saturday 9th October 10am – 2pm (UK); Tuesday 19th October 6pm – 10pm (UK).
Please allow 4 hours to complete the course and there are a maximum of 500 seats available on each (though it is unlikely to sell out).
If you have any queries about the course, please contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible, and if you want to how others have enjoyed my online presentations, see below. All times are UK.