Monday, April 3, 2017

When the Chapter Committee Members attend such events as the I.W.G. National Seminar they do so for their own pleasure and education of course but always have in mind that a demonstrator for upcoming events might be found.  That is how we sourced the demonstrators for the past few years and that is where we met Richard Kennedy.  Richard was our demonstrator for the Annual Chapter Seminar and the Master class held in Togher and at Tony Farrell’s workshop over the last weekend, 1st and 2nd April, 2017.

This was no April Fools Day because the 35 people who attended the seminar were treated to a wonderful display of craftsmanship from a consummate woodturner but who is really a top-class artist.  Over the day he took us through three separate items.

The first was a hollow form with a very small opening that he completed using the Simon Hope hollowing-jig.  Richard used a number of different hollowing tools on the jig and showed us clearly the versatility of this great piece of equipment.  It transpires that one or two members are already using the equipment and if anybody is interested in exploring it further contact John Ahern, our Chairman, who has been using it for the last couple of years.  Kieran Higgins has his own version of the equipment that is bigger and stronger and to which he has added various “extras”.

For his next piece Richard hollowed out a small bowl again but on this one he drew in straight lines making different shaped ‘boxes’ on the outside.  Then he textured some of the ‘boxes’ and applied gold leaf to others before finishing the whole lot off with spray-on sanding sealer and spray-on lacquer. 

For the last half-hour of the day Richard mounted a length of ash on the lathe and produced a most-pleasing-shaped candlestick.

Some of the attendance at the Seminar
Richard with his three projects
Richard's finished pieces
There was an open competition, judged by Richard Kennedy.  1st, with a bowl, John O'Shea, 2nd with an ornamental box on a pedestal, David Lee and 3rd with a matching pair of candlesticks, Peter Manning.

We are very grateful to the 37th Cork (Togher) Scout Group for use of the hall.

Richard Kennedy explains why he chose John O'Shea's bowl for 1st place
Competition winners, From left, Peter Manning (3rd), John O'Shea (1st) and David Lee (2nd)
The 3 winning exhibits.  From left: 1st, John O'Shea, 2nd David Lee and 3rdPeter Manning
On the following day at Tony Farrell’s the sheer artistry of Richard Kennedy was even more obvious as he took the 15 members who attended the Master class through the intricacies of turning a small thin-walled bowl, drawing the pattern of a tree on it and then proceeding to cut away much of one side of the bowl.   For this he used a Dremel with a couple of different cutters.  This left the tree on one side of the bowl, which was then textured and outlined.  For outlining it he used a pyrography machine, so that the tree stood out in a sort of silhouette and for texturing most people used the Dremel again and a variety of different burr tips. 

There were dusty Dremels resurrected from workshops where they had hitherto done very little work but that from now on may prove to be very useful indeed. 

At the end of the workshop every participant took home what can only be considered a work of art.  One unfortunate left his “masterpiece” loose on the back seat of his car where something heavy fell on it and broke it irretrievably into several pieces.

Special mention has to be made of Tony Farrell who proved once again to be the perfect host.  Thanks too to Alice and her team for the catering.  The beautiful lunch served – as we have come to expect there – was probably worth at least as much, if it had been served in a restaurant, as the whole day cost.

We were Richard Kennedy’s first Master class but I know it won’t be his last.  He is a really good instructor, his skills and his imagination are second to none and those of us who interacted with him over the couple of days are very proud to regard him as a friend.  Thank you Richard.

There is much to be seen in the Internet about Richard and the following links will get you there. or Richard Kennedy WoodArt.

Twitter - @bolethegallery

For those holidaying in Scotland – or even the North of England – a visit to beautiful Knapdale in Argyll is strongly recommended.

Busy at the Master Class

The attendees at the Master Class.

Monday, March 6, 2017

We in the Cork Chapter are hugely proud of our member, Gerard Hennessy, who has had one of his pieces, Deliverance, selected by the jury for inclusion in the 2017 American Association of Woodturners AAW member exhibition, Waves of Grain. 

The  jurors were Michael Wilkerson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Kansas City Art Institute's sculpture program; professional artist and turner Hayley Smith and collector and turner Mark Wollschlager.  Using a blind jurying process, they selected 18 out of the 60 pieces submitted, evaluating them in four key areas:  aesthetic appeal, originality, interpretation of the theme, and craftsmanship.

The exhibition will premiere at the 2017 AAW International Woodturning Symposium, June 22-25, then travel to the AAW Gallery of Wood Art for display September 10-December 31.

Friday, January 6, 2017

There was much interest in my offer to give away old woodturning magazines. Thank you. One member was quick off the mark and I shall give them to him. He will bring any he doesn't want to the next workshop at Pádraigh Mac an Fheallaigh's for anybody else who wants some.
I have taken down the original post.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Cork Chapter of the I.W.G. held its AGM on Saturday, 3rd December 2016.

Donal Ryan with the finished item
To start the proceedings we had Donal Ryan from the Limerick Chapter doing a demonstration.  Donal chose to do a shallow, lidded, bowl, in ash, with an ebonised finial.  Donal is a very accomplished turner and has won many competitions around the country and has featured among the winners in the National competitions.  His finished product seen here is sufficient testimony to his skill and competence.  Thank you Donal for a wonderful demonstration that kept the members in wrapt attention for the two and a half hours.
Only the finial left to do

After the demonstration we held our usual Christmas ‘party’.  The temptations provided by the wives/girlfriends – maybe husbands/boyfriends too – proved too strong for many of us with a sweet tooth, leaving us with no option but to climb a few trees in the following days to try to get back in shape.

Peter Manning's beautifully turned Crib.
We had a great array of turned items on display.  This was not a competition and each member was asked to bring in three items.  We had a great display that included bowls, lamps, candlesticks and even a 12 piece crib that was wholly turned on the lathe without carving of any kind, yet each ‘character’, including winged angels, were easily identifiable.
Some of the members' completed work on display.
Some more of the members' completed work on display
We had a full agenda that included all the usual items that are included in every A.G.M. and we quickly got through the usual minutes and reports. 

There was no change at the top table and John Ahern continues as Chairman with Mick Bouchier as Hon. Secretary and John O’Shea as Hon. Treasurer.  Michael Pattwell is again the Vice-Chairman and P.R.O.

Gerard Hennessy opted to give more of his time to Health & Safety issues (Helped by Jerry Twomey) and he handed over the job of Competition Secretary to David Lee.  The competitions sub-committee was enlarged to include Brendan Griffin, Séamus Healy and Michael Pattwell.

Joe Kennedy continues as Librarian.

Kieran Higgins opted out of the committee as he lives away down in West Cork and it is difficult to attend meetings and his place was taken by Stephen Pearson.

The meeting approved a new set of rules for the monthly competitions.  In fact they aren’t much different from the old ones but needed to be reviewed.  Anybody who wants a copy can get one from the Hon. Secretary or the P.R.O.  It was also agreed that a small token prize would be awarded to each category winner.

The Chapter accepted a proposal from the floor that a motion should be submitted for the A.G.M. of the Irish Woodturners Guild providing that each Chapter should be entitled to nominate a representative of that Chapter to be a full committee member of the I.W.G. with full voting rights on all issues.

We have arranged for our Annual Seminar and Master-class to be held at Togher Scout Hall and Tony Farrell’s workshop on the 1st & 2nd April next and we look forward to seeing Scottish turner, Richard Kennedy, do his stuff.  A brochure and booking form should be available shortly for those interested in attending.

A list of the workshops scheduled for 2017 is now available from the Hon. Secretary.

Based on points awarded from competitions during the year Joe Kennedy was the clear winner and he was presented with the Chairman’s “Woodturner of the Year” award for 2016.  Well done Joe.
Joe Kennedy, "Woodturner of the Year, 2016" receives his award from Chairman, John Ahern.

Monday, November 14, 2016

12 Nov. 2016

We had two of our own turners demonstrating for the November workshop in Togher.  There was a good attendance of almost 40 members.

Before getting on with the business of the day we had a minutes silence in memory of our much esteemed past Chairman, Michael Box, who passed away over the weekend and whose funeral takes place from St. James’ Church, Mallow on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016.
Rest in peace, Michael.  We shall miss your gracious presence in the front row at future workshops.

Brian Goulding opened the demonstrations.  He first made a ring holder from spalted beech.  He made the little spindle first, suggesting it was easier when making the little recess to fit it into in the bowl to bring the spindle to the bowl.  In fact in Brian’s expert hands it fitted perfectly first time.  He also cautioned us that we should consider making the upright spindle suitable to hold a lady’s ring, rather than a larger man’s ring,  as these items are mainly appreciated by the ladies in our lives.  Brian went on to finish the little bowl and had the whole project completed to perfection in very little time.

Brian Goulding with his ring holder
Brian then made a candlestick from beech.  He pointed out that in items like candlesticks and lamps care has to be taken to get the proportions right.  The candlestick he made was in a teardrop shape with a cove between the main part and the base.  He suggested that the measurement from the base to the narrow part below the “belly” of the teardrop should be the same as from the cove to the widest part of the item. 

Sanding has to be at a minimum at out venue and accordingly Brian had completed and finished examples already made for passing around.

Brian smiles.  Happy with his candlestick.
Both items were made in less than an hour, which caused a few people to talk about how little time time we might spend in making an item and how much more time we spend sanding and polishing.

After the break Paddy Lynch demonstrated a beautiful cake-stand made from poplar (tulipwood).  It was in four parts; being the main plate on top, a support under it into which an upright spindle was fitted, the spindle itself and the base.  Paddy, as usual, completed the whole project with great dexterity and precision and all the time keeping up a humorous commentary that sometimes focussed on some hapless observer who happened to catch his eye but also receiving some accurate repartee with great hilarity.  Again Paddy had brought a couple of completed cake-stands (as well as a few sets of the “makings”) to pass around – and to sell (in fairness at very reasonable prices) if anybody wanted to buy them.
Paddy Lynch with his cake stand.

During the break the winners of the monthly competition were announced by Leo O’Donoghue, whose gavel and sounding block made at the last workshop were the subjects.  In “Advanced”, Charley McCarthy was first, Jim O’Donovan was second and Hugh Garrett was third.  In “Intermediate” the winner was P.J. O’Brien with Joe Kennedy second.  There were no entries in “Beginners”.
"Advanced"  winners - in order from left

Intermediate winners - in order from left
Saturday, the 3rd December, is the date for our A.G.M.  Members who want to have an input into the affairs of the Chapter are urged to let their names go forward for election.  Every officership and membership of the committee is open for new blood. 

In line with our Chapter policy of encouraging new/young Irish demonstrators the day will open with a two-hour demonstration by Donal Ryan from the Limerick Chapter.  Donal has made quite a name for himself and, by no means a one-trick pony, he really has made a mark with his thin hollow forms topped with really delicate finials.  He will start at 10.00 a.m. and the venue is the usual Togher venue in the old school across from the R.C. Church.

After the demonstration the A.G.M. will take place and this will be followed by our little Christmas party – bring your own, but enough to share.
1922 - 2016

The members of the Cork Chapter were particularly saddened to hear of the recent death, at age 94, of our oldest member and friend, Michael Box.

Michael lived at Two Pot House, outside Mallow, Co. Cork where he hosted many Chapter Workshops over many years.  Following the death of his wife some years ago he continued to reside in the family home outside Mallow where he was lovingly cared for by his daughter, Jackie, to whom we now offer our sincere condolences.

He was from Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds area in England and despite many years living in Ireland he never lost his accent.  He served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy before relocating to this country.  England’s loss was Ireland’s gain.

He was a talented turner in both metal and wood.

In an interview he gave to John Ahern for the Cork Chapter Newsletter Michael explained that he had no history of working with timber but was a mechanical engineer and toolmaker by trade.  When he retired over 30 years ago he took up woodturning because, as he said himself, “Unlike metalturning, woodturning is a much more skilled and difficult discipline because when the metal lathe is set up it will do the work itself.  In woodturning you have to do all the shaping by hand and by eye.”  At the beginning he attended a course in Craft Supplies under Chris Stott.

Michael’s work was very artistic and he preferred faceplate work.  He was heavily influence by Greek artwork and liked especially one-off pieces that included twist work.  Air-dried ash, yew and sycamore, sourced locally, were his favourite woods.

For his artistic work he designed and built a home-made router jig that is quite unique, was very versatile and that he used to great effect for his intricately designed pieces.

Though his health had declined with the passing of years Michael attended the Chapter monthly workshops up to quite recently where he occupied a front seat, making sure he took everything in.

Rest easy, Michael Box.  You will be greatly missed.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Members of the Cork Chapter at The National Seminar in Maynooth, 22nd & 23rd October, 2016.
From left: Michael Pattwell, John Ahern & Paddy Lynch

From left: David Lee, Charley McCarthy & Hugh Garrett

From left: Leslie Clarke (Kerry Chapter Secretary), Pat Moloney, Seamus Healy & Jerry Twomey

From left: Jim O'Donovan, David Lee & Charley McCarthy

From left: Gerard Hennessy & Joe Kennedy