Woodturners show off their artistic skills
“Wow, it’s incredible!” Mike Walker exclaimed when he first saw wood turning.
That was 25 years ago when he decided to give wood turning a go, and has since gone on to perfect his hobby.
Mike explained that you never knew what was inside a piece of wood until you started working on it.
In some pieces mould left its mark etched in the wood, which became an interesting feature of a piece, in this case, a bowl.
But mould was also something that woodturners had to be protected from and a dust mask and a fan in the visor kept the face clear of the mould spores.
Another bowl made from totara burr that came out of the Feilding River had small black pits in the golden wood.
“That’s where the tree was healing itself when it was cut,” Mike explained.
The further you delve and see the results, the more fascinating woodturning is, said Mike. All beginners ask where can they find wood.
“Anywhere,” is his reply. “Before you know it you will have more wood than you can poke a stick at.”
At the club’s open day on Sunday, eight clubs from Taupo¯ to Wellington, including Manawatu¯ will compete in different competitions throughout the day.
“Our Guild invites anyone interested in any form of woodwork to come along and have a look at what can be made from wood.”
The woodturning competition is organised by the Dannevirke club this year, and everything is done by eye.
“The turners do not know what the item will be until shortly before the competition starts. Normally it is a two piece item like a cup and saucer. The teams have six members so three will make a cup and three will make a saucer.
“Once the first item is made the second and third member has to make their item as close to the first one as possible in shape and size without the aid of any measuring equipment.”
Adding to the pressure — or fun, says Mike — each team must have a couple of novice turners.
There are two main competitions — a scroll in which members must cut a shape from a pattern which must be followed as close as possible, and is timed, and “table” where each club puts up 10 pieces of their finest work to be judged.
“This instantly creates a gallery of some of New Zealand’s finest works of art which will be judged in six categories. This year’s judge is well known Auckland woodturner Dick Veitch.”
Mike said there will be everything at the open day that a woodturner needed for their project, plus all the technical advice.
Cash prizes for competition winners will be given by the National Association of Woodworkers NZ Inc.
The open day is the largest annual woodworking show in the North Island and attracts some of New Zealand’s top specialist woodworking suppliers, from Auckland and as far south as O¯ amaru and every where in between.
+The Manawatu¯ Woodworkers Guild open day is Sunday, Arena 5, Barber and Bell Halls, Waldergrave St, Palmerston North showgrounds. 9am-3pm. Gold coin entry and raffles.
MIKE Walker’s curiosity turned into a 25-year hobby working with wood.