Les Symonds BA RPT
Les left a career in special needs teaching in January 2015, to pursue a life-long interest in working with wood, by developing his hobby of woodturning, which he had commenced just 2 years earlier. He is based in Bala, where he has his principal workshop, plus a smaller, studio workshop at ‘Pren’, his shop and gallery on the High Street, where customers can see a wide range of examples of his work, or speak to Les about private commissions.
Being new to woodturning, Les is keen to experience the wide variety of approaches to the art, as can be seen by the very varied sample of his work photographed here, and on display at Pren, although he clearly favours working with locally sourced timber to make the more organic forms that he produces. Whilst he is content to make functional, utilitarian pieces, Les prefers to work with storm-damaged and weathered timber, incorporating materials such as leather, silver and semi-precious stones into his work.
In the few years that he has been turning, Les’s work has been included in both the on-line gallery and in the printed newsletter of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, and he has had the honour of having four of his more artistic pieces declared ‘Woodturning of the Week’ by an international woodturners’ web-site. His work has been exhibited in galleries and arts centres throughout north Wales.
In March of 2015, upon setting up his business, Les set himself the goal of developing his wood-turning skills to a sufficiently high level to be accepted onto the Register of Professional Turners, and he gained this accolade in February 2016, becoming one of only four registered woodturners working in Wales.
With a first-class honours degree in Education and Training, and with years of experience in adult education, a natural progression of Les’s work is the tutoring and demonstrating that he commenced in 2017.
Les Symonds BA RPT