Last weekend was a busy one with Adrian Lloyd visiting me here at Steward Wood. Ade has been turning bowls on the pole lathe for a little while and wanted to get some different perspectives on the process. He also wanted to turn a couple of porringers and a plate. He had a very nice axe, hand forged by a Swedish smith who’s name I have forgotten. Here he is roughing out the first blank for a standard bowl. We took it in turns to turn the bowl so that I could see how he approaches the different areas and suggest ways which I find work well for me.
A nice pile of shavings later and it was time to snap the core from the base of the bowl.
Then it was on to the porringers and again we turned one together to go over the different angles to shape the handles and cut the rim. Ade did a grand job having only attempted one porringer previously. The next day he set about turning one by himself. Here he is shaping the back.
Then the blank was turned around and the top of the handles were formed and the rim was turned. This is tricky at first and there were a couple of tense moments when the tool dug in and took chunks out of the rim. But it’s all good practice and valuable to learn how to correct it when it all goes wrong. Ade persevered with determination and a Zen-like calm and a good helping of light-hearted humour.
The smile when it was time to snap the core said it all.
Ade had brought with him a bag full of bowl turning hook tools forged by various people including Ben Orford, Dave Budd and Nick Westerman. They were all very different and I was keen to try them out. I noticed that compared to the tools I make myself, few of them had much of a swan neck or crank behind the hook. I find the addition of a crank makes it much easier to cut the rim and hollow the inside of the bowl without such a risk of snagging the tool and ruining the rim. Here is one of Nick Westerman’s tools, beautifully made as always. You can see Ade’s bag in the background full of more hooks.
We sat in the sun after lunch and carved the handles of the porringers. Being a keen spoon carver Ade had no trouble…unlike me who somehow managed to stick my carving knife in to my thumb! Being a gentleman, Ade was polite enough to suppress his laughter.
A nice trio of turned wooden bowls.
Before he set off back to Hertfordshire, Ade and I turned a little plate. The only large diameter timber I had was some very green ash. We tried it but the blank warped and split just as we had started to turn it so we used some more sycamore instead.
It was a great weekend which ended all too soon. Ade is a top bloke who is really passionate about traditional crafts and I look forward to meeting up with him at the bodger’s ball in May. Cheers Ade.