April 2018 – Seminar

Our seminar which was held on Saturday the 14th of April was well attended by our members and friends from other chapters, the highlight of the day was the demonstrations given by two well known turners, Pat Carroll and Charlie Ryan. Pat and Charlie, who have their own unique styles gave demonstrations that both informed and impressed. Pat was first in the spotlight with three very artistic pieces, each with a different technique. The first piece was a vase, turned from a blank of chestnut, (any plain timber will do as this has a painted finish) and was about 300mm long x 150 in diameter, this he turned to a classical design, tapering downwards, curved in at the bottom, and a small foot about 70mm in diameter. Pat drilled a 20mm hole down the centre then used a hollowing tool to take out the inside, leaving a thin wall.  This piece was then swapped on the lathe for a similar one, already painted, the inside copper and the outside lacquered black, ready for a decorated finish, then with masking tape Pat created panels around the vase to frame the decorative painting he was about to do.  Using Jo Sonja’s luminescence acrylic paint, Pat dabbed on different colours onto the panels and with an air brush spread the wet paint, allowing the colours to mix and blend into each other to great effect, the picture I have included show this so much better than I can describe.

The second piece Pat showed us was what I would call a piece of contemporary art in the form of a bowl, turned from an ash blank of around 280mm in diameter. Pat started on the bottom forming a bowl of around half the diameter leaving a wide rim and, in this rim, gouged out some random groves. The grooved rim was then blackened and the piece was reversed in the lathe to allow Pat to work on the top face of the bowl, first hollowing out the centre then going to work on the rim this time using an Arbortech wheel and giving it free rein. Pat tided up the cuts with a blow lamp burning off the loose fibres then blackened and lacquered it. The inside and bottom of the bowl were finished with a clear lacquer a beautiful piece of work.

The third and final piece was a square bowl and again I am going to rely on the photo to best describe what was a very difficult turning as can be seen, the corners are fragile and take a delicate touch to achieve. Thank you, Pat for a very impressive and entertaining demonstration we will all be looking forward to seeing you again.

At this point we stopped for lunch and a very satisfying lunch it was thanks to Tom Gibson and Shay Clarke who provided chicken, chips, salads and all the trimmings, thank you both for a job well done.

Charlie Ryan stepped up to the lathe to give the demonstration in the afternoon session and he started this by showing us a jig he had bought for turning spheres. This is easy to set up and does the job in minutes, unfortunately I don’t know where he bought this at the moment but I will find out and get it posted on the web.

Charlie then showed us how he uses this jig to make owl figures, which are made in three pieces the sphere being the head. He also uses a doughnut chuck to drill and circle the eyes, the eyes he used were teddy bear eyes, I think these can be got from the dolls hospital in the Powerscourt town centre in William St. The other two pieces of the figure consists of the body and a hat. Charlie finished the afternoon session by turning a child’s piggy bank, this from a piece of branch wood with the bark retained. The body is hollowed out, a coin slot is cut in the top and the rear end is slotted in, this can be treaded of course to make it more secure. This is then turned on its back and with a template Charlie marked and drilled for the legs, two very good pieces, I am including photos to show the full details. I have to admire these guys who give these demonstrations, they have to stand up before a critical and wisecracking audience and any mishaps or mistakes are recorded and they are never let forget. Thanks again to both Charlie and Pat for an entertaining day.

There were some great pieces entered in the open competition, the first prize going to Jim Hynes, 2nd Seamus O’ Reilly 3rd Jack O’ Rourke.  In the chapter monthly competition advanced section, the same names but in different order 1st Seamus O’ Reilly 2nd Jim Hynes 3rd Jack O’ Rourke. In the novice the first was Jim Cassin 2nd was Shay Clarke and 3rd Sean Murry.

It was a good day, we had a raffle with some good prizes and a good bit of craic, a big thanks to the committee members who organised it and to all the members who supported it.

I hope to meet you all again next month, until then work safe.

Pat Gannon