Surrey Association of Woodturners Club Practical Evening


On Friday 14th August, members of the Surrey Association of Woodturners met for their summer practical evening at the Mytchett Centre. Despite the holidays, many of the 142 current members attended and were able to watch Philip Wolsoncroft making a huge pile of shavings as he created a number of large, natural edged burr bowls, Rodney Goodship making a palm gavel and anvil out of oak, Brian Mitchell  showing the skill of turning wooden screw threads for boxes , Colin Rowe making yoyos that worked extremely well and Jim Gaines showing  some of his amazing segmented pieces including a beautifully detailed light house about 2 foot high set on a rock sculpted out of wood and painted.  Jennie Starbuck, who had done a turning demonstration for the whole club in June had set up 2 tables with an exhibition of numerous methods of decorating work including piercing, painting and carving together with the materials and equipment needed to achieve the desired effect.

One focus for the evening was to lead up to the club Open Day which will be held at the Mytchett Centre on Sunday October 25th this year. This is the day the club shows off the year’s creations to family and friends, welcomes turners from other clubs up to 100 miles away and brings the art of woodturning to the general public. At this event two Nationally recognised professional woodturners, this year Sue Harker from North Yorkshire and Les Thorne from Hampshire, come to demonstrate and to judge the work produced by members of the club. To help members achieve their best work at Open Day there were 2 challenging competitions on Friday evening. These were judged by two of our long-standing members John Sherwood and Charlie Cunningham and our chairman, Paul Nesbitt. Members had to turn something out of pine (a notoriously difficult wood to turn well) that showed lots of different turning skills, or a wide rimmed bowl. The high level of expertise shown made judging very difficult and we look forward to an excellent display of competition work in October.

The other focus was the sale of the contents of a deceased member’s workshop. Proceeds from this sale are being donated equally to the club and to a local hospice in Woking.

The Surrey Association of woodturners can be seen demonstrating at a number of venues in the next few months. They will be at Dapdune Wharf (National Trust) on Saturday September 19th, The Rural Life Centre at Tilford on September 19th and 20th and Princes Mead shopping centre on October 10th. At each venue there will be live demonstrations of woodturning, an exhibition of work and items for sale. Details can be found on their website,


surrey association of woodturners, woodturning demonstrations

John Sherwood (left) and Charlie Cunningham (right) looking at one of the entries for the wide rimmed bowl competition.


surrey association of woodturners, woodturning demonstrations

Jim Gaines (demonstrating segmented turning) with some of his amazing creations.