Trip to Provo
08 May 2013
I am busy trying to get everything done before travelling to Provo, USA next week. It is always fun to travel but as with everything, there is always a knock on. I will enjoy meeting up with people at the symposium and seeing what they have been making and catching up with stories, events, life and such like. I think this camaraderie and yearning for knowledge and a common goal to create is wonderful. There are some real characters that have me in stitches with their stories. But I am sure people the world over know such folk.
One of the things that I value is the vast amount of knowledge and experiences people have. Whilst we all create things on the lathe and sometimes off it too, people might be working on similar things, but often have different working approaches and by tackling things differently, one gets a different perspective on something. This richness is echoed everywhere and in various media formats, so someone somewhere can access some form or other. Yes, people can have differing views, approaches and experiences and this variety makes for a more interesting and varied environment, and one that is thriving.
People have often discussed whether we have seen the woodturning peak number-wise and such like, and whilst it is hard to pin down, most indicators show that the numbers are increasing, but they way people interact and access information is changing too. There is no doubt we are part of a rich and diverse group of people with access to various types of media in order to learn and share. I am glad that there is this rich diversity and love being part of it as well as doing my best to share and help in whatever way I can.
I will keep a photo record of what I see at Provo and will share this with you upon my return.
MarkContact Mark Baker
30 April 2013
I have mentioned before that many are so wary of making mistakes that there is a risk of compromising a design or look of a piece due to not giving oneself permission to make mistakes. Experimentation is the key to development and the muck ups and such like along the way add to our library of knowledge on what we can do, why things occur and how to avoid the same mistake from happening again.
When trying out new things there is always a risk of something not going to plan. Of course, always wear appropriate PPE and take steps to minimise risk of any personal injury by whatever means. But making mistakes is part and parcel of what we do – especially when it comes to adjustments of design or the use of texture and colour on our work. I even made a mistake in a demo on Saturday – much to the delight of the audience – and found a way around it and salvaged the project well. All was explained as to what happened and also why it happened and what options I had as far as correcting it were concerned. Some came up afterwards and said that it was very helpful to have something analysed like that. I wish it hadn’t occurred, but it did provide some ammo for a wicked line in ribbing from the Sandon group.
Anyway, here are some triumphs and failures of mine for you to look at. I will show more in future blogs to illustrate what I have been up to.
Images, from top to bottom:
1. A new finish used and my learning how to create the specific effect I wanted resulted in my having to back-track many times to get the effect I wanted
2. After reworking the finish this is the end result after the numerous attempts and adjustments to the procedure
3. Aged bronze was the effect I was trying to master
4. A close-up of the bowl without the lid
5. The lid & inside of the bowl (PHOTOGRAPHS BY GMC/MARK BAKER)Contact Mark Baker
A trip to Guernsey
22 April 2013
I was fortunate enough this weekend to have been asked to demonstrate in Guernsey at the Sarnia WoodturningGroup. I had not been there before and although it was literally a flying visit - out late Friday afternoon back Sunday morning – I had an absolute blast.
The group is small but very enthusiastic and I have to say has one of the most delightful senses of humour that I have come across. The demo - all day - Saturday covered many aspects of technique and design and the display of work from the club members was a real treat to see. I am liaising wit some of the members there and no doubt you will see some of the work in the future issues.
I love it when a club has fun and when we all went out for a meal in the evening, it even more so came to the fore. Often we were unable to see for laughing so much when I was regaled with tales of ormers and the gathering process that is called ormering . An ormer it seems is a mollusc similar to an abalone which is highly prized but tricky to get and the process of gathering it is highly regulated as are the times it can be gathered. The hand gestures and tales had us in fits of laughter as well as many other stories. I have been told that I should try my hand in it, but since it involves standing chest high in freezing water from January to March with much turning over of rocks and requires a tricky hand technique and use of a special hook to remove them from their position, that I think I would make a fool of myself if I tried. Apparently the process of turning over the rocks involves a lot of effort by all accounts, and results in a lot of grunts and straining noises and a barrage of noise that carries over the water and sounds much like the mating call of seals and walruses. I suspect this is a fun spectator event too. I think I will pass on this one!
One of the sad aspects of this type of visit is there is not much time to look around and explore. I was treated to a quick tour of some of the wonderful sites by Beverely and I got up at 6am every moring to go for as long a walk as possible just to see what was about. I have to say the sights are a real treat and I am looking forward to going back for a holiday at some stage.
Have fun turning this week and let me know what you are up to.
SARNIA WOODTURNERS (South West)
Secretary: Wendy Hockey, Guernsey
Tel: 01481 246463
Meetings: Second Wednesday of the month at 6.30pm
Venue: RAFA Club, Fosse Andre, St. Peter Port, Guernsey
(PHOTOGRAPHS BY GMC/MARK BAKER)Contact Mark Baker
A wet weekend
12 April 2013
I have not been home for a couple of weeks – I was at the Yandles show and also Woodbury Woodturners last weekend - so I was hoping to do some nice things like go out this weekend and what is happening but rain. Rain is forecast for Saturday but it is apparently going to be OK, but late afternoon I make my way back into work ready for the Monday, so Sunday is a bit of a wipe out as far as planning anything major for.
Ho hum. We may end up with some warmer and more settled weather soon. At this rate I will get to the Utah Symposium next month before we have even seen any real sunshine, and that will place us in the middle of May! Maybe we will have a late summer this year; if not I am planning on making a boat. Actually, I have always wanted to try making a dugout canoe.
I am working on a new series of pieces at the moment which I will reveal in due course. I regularly receive requests for information from people concerning regarding this or that technique and such like, using connected with what they are reading about in the magazine or books. This thirst for knowledge is quite amazing and I love seeing peoples’ work and love it when someone finds something being a shape, concept or idea they love and develop it much further over time. Many turners will revisit an idea over many years, changing, adapting and refining something until they get closer to their perceived goal.
Have fun this weekend and I will catch up with you next week.
Now where is my waterproof coat?
MarkContact Mark Baker
A busy Bank Holiday weekend
03 April 2013
I trust you all had a good Easter? I mentioned in my other blog that I had friends coming to stay and that all went well. One of the days we went to London. We opted to do the London Eye but wanted to do that at night. While on the way to sort out ticket availability there was a street cooked food market nearby. Oh my, what a delicious mix of food there was available! The queue for the Eye was over two hours so we decided to go back later and opted for some of the delicious food we saw – more than one dish in fact. There were too many choices to make as to what we fancied so we did a buy plenty and put it all in the centre of the table. This was followed by a trip to the V&A museum which saw me swiftly hive off to the sculpture, architecture, metal and ceramics and far eastern exhibits. This is always a treat but one could spend a week in there and still only scratch the surface.
After this we went to various places and then back to the Eye. This was a very interesting experience. I have been on it during the daytime, but the night time was so much better with all the lights in the city and such like. For those that know me, I hate heights and being in a glass bubble suspended at heaven knows what height is not my idea of fun, but it was a wonderful sight. The we went into Chinatown and bought loads of supplies to take home.
The weekend would not have been right for our guests without showing them the delights of the East Anglian coastline so we went on trips out to various locations and of course I am never that far from water or seeing things in wood, so we looked at loads of the timber-framed houses and went to the sea too to look at the boats at various locations. To say the weather was bitterly cold was an understatement, but we survived with plenty of coffee-shop breaks and such like. We truly have wonderful countryside on our doorstep and at times it is often overlooked. My friends were delighted with what they saw and will no doubt come back to see more of the delightful sights we have to offer in this country.
So no turning, last weekend, but enjoyable nonetheless.
(PHOTOGRAPHS BY GMC/MARK BAKER)Contact Mark Baker