August 2019


For our August meeting we were privileged to watch a demonstration by one of the founder members of the Woodturners Guild of Ireland, Liam O’Reilly. Liam began with an informal lecture, first the history of woodturning in Ireland and then his own personal history of his life as a woodturner, Sculptor. Later in the day he showed some pictures of his commissions of outdoor sculptures and I suggest you look at his website and marvel at the man’s artistry.

But back to the demonstration of the day, Liam produced a piece of bog oak, about 250mmin diameter and 200mm deep which he mounted on the lathe intending to turn a thin walled bowl, he then proceeded to cut out the core, explaining as he worked the different systems available for coring. With the core out Liam worked the outer shape tapering down in a fine curve to a bead at the base. Liam decorated the upper face of the bowl with five fine groves then reset the piece to work the inside. The blank Liam was working was fresh, well as fresh as bog oak can be, so he kept wetting it as he worked to prevent cracking, but as he reduced the wall thickness, some fine cracks did appear, these were dealt with by sealing them with super glue. The atmosphere in the hall was tense as we watched Liam reduce the wall size almost to paper thickness and a collective sigh of relief went up when he stopped the lathe and gave a satisfied nod. The photos I am including hardly do justice to this fine artistic piece.

At this point we stopped to enjoy a barbequed lunch and we must say a big thanks to John Wade     for the excellent fare he served up, the pictures show the lads enjoying the result of his expertise.

Liam restarted the afternoon session with one of his hollow forms, using oak burrs, demonstrating his technique and skill at this form of woodturning. First shaping the outside and showing us how to get the best from the burr blank in line and design, he drilled a 30mm hole on the top and through this he would hollow out the inside, then with a small chainsaw Liam cut a window in one side through which the hollowing process could be seen. The end result was another beautiful artistic piece of woodturning. Thank you, Liam, for showing how plain blocks of wood can, with skill and a little bit of magic be turned into such lovely pieces of art.

Pat Gannon.

The result of the monthly competition was as follows, 1st Pat Gannon 2nd Seamus O’ Reilly 3rd Tom Gibson.  In the novice section 1st Cahill Ryan 2nd Shay Clarke.

That’s all for this month, see you all at the next meeting, till then work safe.