‘Wood-be’ experts hone skills

Demonstrator Ronald Kanne (right) with club member Michael Reddin.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG280617-213TW.
Demonstrator Ronald Kanne (right) with club member Michael Reddin. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG280617-213TW.

Timber enthusiasts branched out last month as they welcomed a professional to their neck of the woods.

The Fenland Woodturners Club learnt how to mould and shape wet wood into an ornamental piece when a professional from Holland gave a demonstration.

Spalding Wood Turners Club welcomes professional craftsman Ronald Kanne (right) from Holland for a demonstration night.  Photo: SG280617-212TW.

Spalding Wood Turners Club welcomes professional craftsman Ronald Kanne (right) from Holland for a demonstration night. Photo: SG280617-212TW.

Ronald Kanne showed the group of 38 wood lovers how to create an artistic piece by hollowing out a wet block of timber.

Michael Reddin, Fenland Woodturners Club secretary, said: “He did a hollow form that closes.

“He took a wet log and turned it round and hollowed it out and the natural growing process lets the ends come in and it closes up.

“He put a hollow in the top and the sides and it looked a bit funny when he did it but the natural stress of the wood made it close and the two sides came in together.

Competition joint winner Robert Pues is presented with his award by club chairman Alan Bycraft.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
SG280617-214TW.

Competition joint winner Robert Pues is presented with his award by club chairman Alan Bycraft. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG280617-214TW.

Despite enjoying learning how to create the hollow form decorative piece Michael prefers creating more practical objects himself.

“I’m not into turning wet wood. It’s very messy because the water comes out when it spins.

“I do a range of stuff and turn most things. Mostly flowers, vases and bowls because I prefer practical things to ornamental,” he added.

The club hold demonstrations every month and have seen professionals use a number of different methods to create beautiful objects from just a chunk of hardwood.

Added to the bimonthly guests a meeting is held on the second Wednesday of every other month.

The gathering sees members showing their work and receiving help on how to improve.

They also encourage people to bring along failed pieces just as much as successful projects so other members can share their knowledge.

Michael continued: “The next meeting is a club meeting which will be on the second Wednesday of the month and obviously we will have the wood turner lathe and have a chit chat.

“We encourage people to bring in pieces. We have what we call a show table and bring in stuff even if it has gone wrong.

“By doing that someone will go along and say you should’ve done this or that and help them because it’s all about gaining experience from other wood turners.

“We meet once a month and on alternate months we have a professional demonstrator come in to teach skills and give members ideas to help progress their wood-turning.

“Other weekends we have club meetings where we encourage people to demonstrate and help where ever we need to improve their skills.”

Not only do the group host professional guests and hold meetings but there are multiple competitions each year.

Last year the turning competition saw two victors who were forced to share their trophy, each displaying it in their homes for half a year.

Both Robert Pues and James Davey succeeded in reaching the highest level of points, with Robert only receiving his reward at their last meeting.

The club saw over 70 members three years ago and now 40 timber turners regularly attend events and learn how to improve their craft with membership costing just £35 a year.

Visit www.fenlandwoodturnersclub.co.uk/ for further details.