July 2016

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We were privileged to have as our guest demonstrator for our July meeting the well known ceramicist and turner Christien Van Bussel. Christien had brought along some of her work, a set of ceramic teawear and some of her turnings, mostly candle holders of different designs and it was one of these candle holders she chose to demonstrate for us. This particular one is made in two pieces, the base a half disk and the candle holder a half spherical cup which holds a spherical candle. The holder which was to be stained black was turned first and cut from a piece of beech, any plain timber can be used and was about 80mm square. Christien had fixed a ring plate on the blank which she mounted onto the chuck and proceeded to hollow out the seating for the candle  and when satisfied with the shape reversed the piece on the lathe and removed the ring. Christien then cut the outer shape checking the thickness as she worked explaining as she went along the cuts and angles she used to get the desired finish. This piece was removed from the lathe, sprayed black and put to one side to dry  while she prepared the second part of the holder, a blank of spalted beech around 200mm in diameter and 80mm thick this Christien had prepared with a recess to be chucked on the lathe.  Marking a centre line around the edge Christien then shaped one side of the disk tapered from the centre to the edge line she had marked, leaving a spigot so the piece could reversed. At this point she showed us some decorating that could be done to the face to enhance the piece, some beading and a little carving although stressing that it should not be overdone as the grain of the wood had its own beauty. Now the disk was reversed and finished in the same manner and both sides dressed with finishing oil to give it a nice sheen. This of course was a disk which had to be cut in half and to do this Christien had a jig prepared allowing her to do this on a bench saw. The holder in now fixed on the half disk along the fine top edge and to accommodate this Christien sanded a small arc off-centre,(one of the photos shows this) and fixed in place with some glue and a panel pin giving us a beautiful well crafted candle holder. Thank you Christien for an entertaining demonstration of your design and skill.

I mentioned last month about a competition for a chess set and board which the guild is running and our chapter is entering and we asked our members to submit a sample pawn to give us some ideas on design and I’m happy to report we had a very good response, Tom Murphy’s entry was judged to be the best, I will keep you up to date on progress on this project.

Now to our monthly competition, the result as follows.  In the novice section  1stFrank Trappe  2nd Shay Clarke  and 3rd Anthony Murphy.  In the senior section  1st went to Jim Hynes  2nd Tom Murphy  and 3rd Chris Hayes.  Well done all and thank you for your entries, keep them coming.