Thursday 28 May 2015
Early in 1989, a seminar was held at Avoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove in the West Midlands, hosted by Reg Sherwin. Among the attendees were a group of five, including Graham Lovett who is the current president of WMWT. Over lunch, the group discussed the idea of forming a woodturning group. As the five were mainly from the Birmingham and Dudley area of the West Midlands it was to focus its activities in Birmingham. One of the five volunteered to be the contact/chairman and so the seed was sown from which the West Midlands Woodturners was born.
The club meets for a full day on the third Sunday of the month. The meetings alternate between a demonstration by a professional turner and hands-on days. At all meetings, there is a Chairman's Challenge with three groups, novice, intermediate and advanced. The challenge pieces are announced for the full year to give members plenty of time to plan. This has proved a popular part of the meetings with around 20 entries each month. There is also a display of general work each month where members are encouraged to show recent finished pieces and work in progress.
A recent innovation has been the decision to set up the camera/projection equipment at a hands-on meetings. The club's present membership of around 60 has a wide range of experience, from the absolute beginner to members who have won competitions organised by the Society of Ornamental Turners and the Worshipful Company of Turners.
Several members have had work selected for the AWGB touring exhibitions and one of the club's younger members is hoping to turn professional and be accepted onto the Register of Professional Turners (RPT).
For the future, the aim is to continue to increase membership and help and encourage members, visitors and the public to try new things and develop new skills in the field of woodturning and its related disciplines. The club plans to continue its attendance at outside shows to promote WMWT and the art of woodturning on a broad front with seven outside days planned, so far, for 2015. New members and visitors are always welcome and there is no charge for the first two visits - one demo and one hands-on. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided free of charge throughout the day. The club usually meet on the third Sunday of each month, but visitors are requested to check the website to confirm dates and times. See details below.
Contact: John Hooper
Club meetings: Water Orton Primary School, Vicarage Lane, Water Orton B46 1SE
Tel: 01213 548 464
(PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF JOHN HOOPER)
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