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My visit to the Wizardry in Wood Exhibition

I have just returned from London to visit the Wizardry in wood exhibition which has had a great influence on my outlook on turning.

The first thing that was evident was the upper class surroundings and the evidence of money in the south. The Exhibition was held in the Carpenters Hall in the City of London. The door was manned by a very upper-class doorman and the exhibition was patrolled by similar personnel. The building was impressive with the wood panelled walls providing a fitting backdrop for the exhibits.

The turners were also impressive with names such as Gabor Lacko, Joey Richardson, Ray Key, Reg Hawthorn, Stuart Mortimer, Les Thorne and many more too many to mention all. My humble name has been added to the record with the acceptance of my candlestick as one to grace the banqueting table. My photograph and CV will go into a leather bound book of the candle sticks and kept as part of the history of turning and the Worshipful Company of Turners.

The impression I got from the exhibition is that a more artistic approach to the items we produce will be the future of turning. The professional turners will always make a living from the run of the mill bowls and quick to make items but the high value items will be the artistic ornamental items. The standard of the competition entries was high and as expected the only success I had was with my candlestick. I spent some time talking to the exhibitors and found them friendly and open with ideas and methods. One turner admitted that his style evolved from a mistake when he went through the bottom of a bowl.

The Pole lathe was being demonstrated along with other historic reproduction lathes and some rose engine lathes were on show but not being demonstrated. These are the lathes which are used to produce the ornamental turning work.

The turned items from the Mary Rose ship were interesting and good documentation and explanation for each item was very helpful.

I could go on about what I saw but it would take too long and may become boring.

I have included some photographs of the exhibition and will leave you to judge the items. I did not agree with the judgment on all the items but many were far better than mine and did not get an award. This was an experience not to be missed and I will try again in two years time when the exhibition will be held again and hope for better luck or judgment.

John Ruickbie

(Candlestick maker)


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:06
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