I was born and raised in Yorkshire and began woodturning after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At that time I worked in heavy industry and continued there until I realised that this job involved far too many risks for someone with sensory problems so I began looking for something new and challenging to occupy my time. I have always been active and for some reason fascinated by fast moving machinery (mainly motorbikes and drag cars). I had up to that point preferred metalwork to woodwork (on the basis that if you made a mistake with wood you couldn’t weld it back together!) My first attempt at woodturning was a bowl, turned on a 19th century engineering lathe using a couple of homemade tools (highly dangerous and not to be encouraged!); that’s when I realised I had found a craft that I not only enjoyed immensely, but one for which I had natural ability. I hurriedly purchased “proper” tools and made much better progress. After a while I needed an outlet for my work and started to attend local craft fairs, selling work in order to fund more trips to the wood suppliers for timber to play with. I also joined the local Woodturning Club and began to expand my aptitude and design skills, gaining confidence with experience. I subsequently gained NVQ 3 in Woodturning and in 2002 achieved City & Guilds 7307 teaching certificate. In 2004 I was honoured to be accepted on to the Register of Professional Turners. I have been a tutor at John Boddy’s Wood & Tool Store for several years, until they closed. I have demonstrated at various clubs and wood suppliers nationally.
I have a purpose built workshop at home where I teach, usually on a one to one basis, beginners and intermediate levels. All teaching incorporates Health and Safety instruction and advice on safe practice. I also undertake commissions including private, architectural and commercial pieces and have work exhibited Nationally.
Covid 19 almost put a stop on teaching and demonstrating,( it is now  starting to make a comeback) thankfully I had the production/commission side to take in the slack, I now work with six joinery companies and three staircase companies
Although I am happy to work with moist types of timber, I have always been drawn to timber with interesting grain patterns and inclusions of bark, faults, and even the odd nail etc. (the sort of stuff that many would condemn to the log basket). I can often be found rummaging in log piles looking for that special piece of timber which can, and often does, produce a wonderful and unique piece of work.
Most of the time I have an idea in mind when I embark on a project; but occasionally the piece of timber I am working has other ideas entirely and I end up going down a completely different track – it’s all about putting the right shavings on the floor! I always look to work with mother nature in whatever piece I produce, she has infinitely more experience than I.
ALL my timber is sourced either locally (often damaged or fallen trees etc.) or from reputable timber merchants who in turn obtain wood from managed, renewable sources.
I have always had a very positive attitude to life and believe that boundaries are there to be pushed. So what if I have no feeling in my hands or my legs don’t want to work – it won’t stop me doing what I love to do; If I can’t do it one way I WILL find an alternative. What started out as a hobby has become a passion and a way of life and I love to share both my creativity and my knowledge with anyone who will listen.