Sunday, October 26, 2014

We had about 40 people at our October event in Tony Farrell’s wonderful workshop on Saturday, 25th October last.  Our guest turner was the popular and gregarious Liam O’Neill whose name is for many years almost synonymous with woodturning in Ireland.  Liam didn’t disappoint.

He started the demonstration with a simple bowl.  There was scarcely a member present who hasn’t made several bowls of different sizes and shapes over the years but by the time Liam was finished everybody present agreed that they had learned something.  Our guest is, perhaps, one of the best demonstrators in Ireland today.  During the whole day he never took up a tool without explaining why he had shaped into what it was and telling us why he was using it.  He never presented a tool to the wood without explaining at what angle he was doing it, from what he position he was starting and where he expected to finish the cut.  Because Tony has a superb dust extraction system Liam was able to go right through the finishing process; he introduced the products he was using and outlined their benefits and shortcomings, including how to overcome the latter. 

Interspersed with interesting slide-shows of some of Liam’s “big” projects, including building a concrete lathe and chainsaw turning, he went on to demonstrate a beautifully designed bowl with a wide rim that was undercut and then on to his piéce de résistance, a lovely box, made from redwood burr with an ebony lip on both the main box and the cover.

It was a most satisfactory day and all members present, including some visitors from our neighbouring Kerry Chapter, went home well satisfied with their day.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the scrumptious lunch Tony, Alice and their team of helpers served up.  The lunch alone was worth more than the cost of the workshop.  Tony is famous for his cooked leg of ham and he didn’t disappoint.  The dessert could be chosen from a wide variety of home-cooked goodies and I’m afraid many diets were set aside and doctors’ orders for some of us widely ignored.  Thank you Tony, Alice and team.  Have you guessed yet why some of us NEVER miss a workshop in Waterfall?

In anticipation of Liam’s box – he had done a similar one at the National Seminar in Sligo – the competition for the month was a box.  The winners were:  Beginners:  1st - Pat Dromey, 2nd - Christy Fitzgerald and 3rd - Rita Murphy.  Intermediate:  1st - Jim O'Donovan and 2nd - Hugh Garrett.  Advanced:  1st - Peter Manning, 2nd - Ger Hennessy and 3rd - Dave Lee. 
Chapter Chairman, John Ahern, shares the joke as he introduces Liam O'Neill
Liam makes his point.

Finished cherry bowl.

Competition winners for October.

Peter Manning with his winning box.

Liam's box in redwood burr and ebony.

The cake with the I.W.G. emblem.

Some of the desserts served at the workshop.

I.W.G. President, Willie Creighton (front row, second from left) , came all the way from Mayo to be with us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We can now offer one or two places on Liam O'Neill's demonstration at Tony Farrell's workshop in Waterfall on the 25th October at 10.30 a.m. to non Cork Chapter members.  If you are interested contact Mick Bouchier at
Any members who have reserved a place but now find that a you cannot attend please notify Mick as soon as possible so that we can offer the place to somebody else.