In August 2011, an early Bronze Age 4000 years old cist (A small chamber made of thin stone slabs) burial was discovered on Dartmoor. Inside were the cremated remains of a female, and, almost uniquely for this period were well preserved grave goods including 4 lathe turned ear studs (labrets).
I recently visited the new Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth. What a fantastic job they have done. I was so taken by the sailor’s boxwood hair combs that it was straight to the workshop to make a couple of examples.
Wassailing is 1000 year old English tradition. Stuart King outlines the simple chronology and and some details of the wassail bowl.
In 1998 I was privileged to visit the Constantin family in Romania to film the making of drop spindles from lime wood (linden) on a primitive bow lathe.
Robin Fawcett demonstrates how to make a spinning top on a pole lathe. An ash log is riven into quarters, using a maul and froe. It’s cut to length with a pull saw and shaped with a side axe, before being put in the pole lathe…
Master production woodturner Gary Rance demonstrates the use of his round skew. This is available to buy from www.garyrance.co.uk.
Yasuhiro entertained delegates at the 2009 AWGB seminar with his unusal (to us in the west) turning techniques and tools. It is always good to experience the craft skills of other cultures from which we can often learn a great deal.
This young woodturner can be found plying his trade in the medina of old Marrakech. With just one tool (a skew chisel) he turns a chess piece on a bow lathe that would have been a familiar sight in ancient Greece or the Pharaohs’ Egypt.
The last of the traditional pole lathe turners who can turn wooden drinking flasks. I filmed Ion Constantin (who was then in his 70s) in Romania in 1998.