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Pete is a full time turner and collaborates with his wife Mo, an artist and pyrographer and other crafters and artists. Pete has been turning off and on since 1962 but has turned as a full time professional since 2008. He writes a regular article for an international magazine on a variety of subjects aimed at promoting ideas and vision into the craft. Major influences are traditional crafts, oriental art and design and art deco design. He likes to investigate and incorporate use pf other materials with his turning including clay, gemstones, metals and even fabric and to this end is always investigating different traditional uses of the craft in both the artistic, architectural and furniture fields. He worked with students with learning difficulties for many years prior to going fully professional as a tuner and has a Cert Ed. He teaches one to one in his workshop and is available for demonstrations at clubs, trade shows etc. His main avenue for sales is through his website for crafting tools and higher end shows for the artistic work, They, he and his wife, are happy to take commissions though they endeavour to make each piece unique.
I am descended from a family of boat builders on the River Ouse at Bedford, my home town. In 1970 my wife Valerie and I moved to Knutsford, and it was during the 70s that I became interested in woodturning, and made a replica of a spinning-wheel. Not long after I started writing for woodwork magazines, in between the day job as an engineer. I had always wanted to write a book, and eventually I wrote ‘Wheels and Looms’ in 1987, all about spinning-wheels and looms, including a number of designs which went into a reprint. Later I went on to write ‘The Traditional Furniture Making’, ‘Wooden Clock Cases’ and ‘Making Classic Country Chairs’. I have written over 100 articles for various woodwork magazines and others.
After being made redundant in my mid 50’s I became a full time woodturner and writer. I went on to create plans of a variety of spinning-wheels, looms, historic furniture, clock cases, and country chairs. Spinning-wheels though were always what I enjoyed most. I made a 16 spindle Hargreaves spinning-jenny for Quarry Bank Mill (QBM) for the interpretation gallery, where Valerie was textile co-ordinator. I also made a spindle-wheel and other textile items for QBM. One spinning-wheel of mine is in the John Carr Museum. Later I started making great wheels for customers. These were 1000mm diameter, with steam bent wood rims, which taught myself how to do. I stamp my work with my name and town ‘David Bryant, Knutsford’. In between Valerie and I started recording early spinning-wheel makers in the British Isles and we have over 800 records. I have restored many spinning-wheels, and one I did for Jane Austin House and Museum was a wheel by John Planta of Fulneck, Leeds, c.1780-1800. We were consulted on the restoration of two fine table boudoir spinning-wheels for the V&A in London, which are now on display in the European Gallery. Now retired, during covid lockdown I have been working on a small table boudoir spinning-wheels with a 200mm diameter wheel, my interpretation of a John Jameson boudoir table wheel, a York maker c.1780-1800.
I have been working as a woodturner since 1993, having taken early retirement from Chemistry teaching. I was accepted onto the register of Professional Turners in 1997.
I work in a workshop at an attractive organic farm in the village of Iden where I live. There I can enjoy making production pieces, gallery pieces and teaching courses to individuals or couples. I can provide vouchers for woodturning courses for that unusual present and also my gallery work provides a possible gift from very affordable to unusual and special. I usually favour English hardwoods to work with, so Oak, Ash, Elm, Walnut, Sycamore, Sweet Chestnut and Fieldmaple are often used.
I am proud to be a member of the Sussex Guild which is a lively group of talented craft makers.
I am a qualified joiner and cabinet maker and have been woodturning for 35 years. I am a general turner quite happy to carry out commission work or one off pieces as well as gallery work. I offer tuition on a one to one basis in my home workshop which is fully equipped. I have taught and demonstrated in the UK and abroad since 2001. I can supply tool’s and timber. I am based in Darlington, Co. Durham with easy access from the motorway or local road system.
NOW RETIRED AND NOT COMPLETEING DEMONSTRATIONS OR TEACHING.