Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The first ever bursary from the Crafts Council of Ireland has been won by a woodturner, Liam Flynn. The purpose of the bursary is to release recipients from their usual commitments so they can invest in the creative development of their craft.

You can see some of Liam's work on his website.

Read the full article in the Limerick Post: Top honour for Limerick woodturner

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Who influences your work?

Luann Udell made an interesting observation on her blog today titled 'Influence'.

She makes the point that 2-D artists will often declare that they work in the style of a well known artist. Craft workers seldom do this.

It made me wonder why this is so.

Could it be that more artists have had a formal arts education and have been exposed to thinking in depth about their work and have practiced analysing and talking or writing about it?

Or could it be that the art world is better developed, and is written about by art critics and art historians? This must give artists a strong incentive to declare their influences before the critics do so.

Perhaps if crafts publications paid as much attention to concepts and design as they do to technique, things might be different.

Sanding advise

I just found this article about power sanding on the Sandpaper Blog: Sanding Slow when Woodturning. Good advise I think. Maybe I need a new sander though. I use a power drill and although it has variable speed controlled by the pressure on the trigger, it is really hard to maintain a slow speed.

Who would have thought there would ever be a blog about sandpaper!

I have recently been turning a few salad bowls, and have been experimenting with sanding technique. One thing that I find really annoying is having to step back a few grits when I discover a deep scratch mark that I missed. So I have been alternating from power sanding and hand sanding.

For example, I might start by power sanding at 100 grit, then hand sand at 120. I will then stop the lathe and inspect the surface to make sure all the swirly sanding marks from the power sanding have been replaced by concentric circles made by the handsanding. Then I will power sand at 150 grit, stop the lathe and check that all the concentric circle marks have been replaced by swirly marks. And so it continues.

Let me know if you try this technique.