20 Minutes With Ed Kelle
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Tegan Foley speaks to woodturner Ed Kelle who loves to share his passion for turning with others. His work also incorporates a variety of media
1.Your recent work has become very sculptural, incorporating a variety of different media; what caused you to explore this particular route?
I had worked in sculpture long before learning to turn. Now I feel comfortable enough to bring both backgrounds together in a more meaningful way.
2. Your work has appeared in a number of exhibitions recently, including the AAW's Teapot exhibit, how does it feel to have your work on show for thousands of people to see?
It is a great honour to be included in showings of such fantastic work. I am always amazed at the innovation and creativity of all the participants.
3. What are your current likes and dislikes within the sphere of turning?
I love the way more turners are incorporating mixed media into
their works. These are exciting times. I dislike the idea that everything must be done on a lathe; we have entire shops full of useful tools to use to our advantage.
4. What direction to you see your work taking?
Well, I like where it is going now, especially from a photographic viewpoint. I see a great potential for turning as a subject in the fine art world. Imagine large photos of turnings on a wall - quite a difference from being on a shelf.
5. If you could only offer one piece of advice to someone starting out turning, what would it be and why?
Don't be afraid to waste wood. Just because you have a piece of a certain dimension, the final product does not have to stay that large. Good design should not be an afterthought.
6. What music and which book are you currently into?
The Social Network soundtrack by Trent Reznor, which is a nice electronic instrumental album. I've just read I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy. He is a photographer now.
7. Tell us about the piece you are currently working on
A few pieces which will be scorched. I hope to see some interesting warping and cracking develop but nature can have its own ideas in store.
8. What special tools do you use to produce the textured effects on your work?
I recently received an NSK rotary carver as a gift that powers carbide bits and diamond cutoff wheels. I also use a Dremel engraver.
9. Which turners do you most admire, and why?
Richard Raffan. I love his pure turnings; they are the best forms I've ever seen. And Keith Holt, for taking off-centre and multi-axis work to another level.
10. What do you think the best single development in turning has been?
Variable-speed lathes. It is such a pleasure to tweak the speed slightly and remove vibration.
11. What do you see yourself doing in five years' time?
I hope to be travelling more as a demonstrator. I am also becoming more interested in writing, both for articles and possibly branching into books and publishing.
12. What do you see as the biggest thing that has hindered the development of woodturning in general?
Honestly, I see no hindrances but unlimited potential, thanks to the explosion of the internet. We have many resources available that give the opportunity to share ideas and make friends all around the world. That has been a huge driving force behind my development so far.
13. What is your biggest regret?
I’m not one to dwell on the past; I move on and look to the future with hope.
14. What are your other interests besides turning?
I play hockey. You can't beat the feeling of being on the ice. I also cycle and love photography.
15. What three pieces of equipment in your workshop could you not do without?
Outside of my lathes, that would be my grinder, my bandsaw and my NSK rotary carver.