My career started as an apprentice trained Carpenter in the early 1960s; this is where my initial introduction to woodturning started. I was asked if I could restore a barn full of broken Windsor chairs for a pub refurbishment, not being one to refuse a challenge, I accepted. I turned with carpenters wood chisels and gouges, not knowing any different at the time and did a more than admirable job, according to my boss.
At age 22, now fully qualified, I became allergic to several different types of timber; this forced me to have a change of career. I’d always fancied being a Farmer but not having the money I started working on a Dairy farm. Long hours and hard work. My boss at the time asked if I would like to go to Agricultural Collage to gain some qualifications (who would refuse), four City and Guilds followed. I went on to manage large dairy herds in both Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.
20 happy years followed as a dairy farmer, until redundancy loomed Another window of opportunity opened, warehousing. Starting as a Temp in a large warehouse in Peterborough, I worked my way over the next 17 years to be a manager within the place. Happiness short working hours (only 8 not 24/7 as in farming) and good pay, but all good things come to an end, redundancy reared it’s head again.
I was asked if I would like any alternative training. Woodturning had been my hobby for the last 6 years so I asked if I could take a course in woodturning. It was accepted so I spent an interesting week with Melvyn Firmager on his hollow form course. This really changed me and my methods of turning and my design thoughts, a difficult week but one I will never forget. A second chance of further training followed so a quick phone call placed me on Melvyn’s Masterclass. This set me on the road to becoming a professional woodturner. I find a lot of inspiration from my time at Nut Tree Farm with Melvyn, this can be seen in some of my work.
Finally redundant in January 2006 I registered as self employed and started on what will now be my final career. I have had several excellent commissions, the best making Torah Scrolls for a Goldsmith, these to be used by the Jewish community. They range from 36ins to 43ins overall length, these are very challenging as they are made in seven separate pieces. I undertake commissions and give tuition on a one to one basis; I have a fully equipped workshop with two lathes.