Wednesday afternoons at 2.30pm was with Mr Jennings (Jake). It was one of the few classes that I actually enjoyed in Secondary School. I could handle all the other classes but this one I actually looked forward to. I was in the process of turning a fruit bowl for mum, Jake had given me a nice big lump of Mahogany and last week I mounted it on a face plate ready for turning this week.
Isn’t it strange how all these memories come back after all this time? I am talking about 1960 here and I can smell that Mahogany, and the glue pot bubbling away in the corner (no such thing as PVA in those days!).
That was the last time I had anything to do with a lathe until last year, a gap of over fifty-five years! In the middle of last year, for some reason, I got the bug again; I saw an ad in Gumtree and ‘Bob’s your mothers’ brother’, I was the proud owner of a wood lathe. It was second-hand, cheap and nasty but it got me fired up and I’m on to my third lathe now: still cheap but not so nasty!
Of course, as soon as I acquired the lathe I had to make something with it and driving home I passed a trailer full of firewood sitting outside a neighbour’s house so I stopped, knocked and asked; they said yes (I did offer to pay them for it, but they refused.) and I arrived home with the lathe and a couple of lumps of hard Eucalypt (don’t ask me which one, I haven’t a clue) in the car.
As soon as I could I had the lathe set up on the back verandah and I was into it, chips and sawdust flying everywhere! I made two bowls from that first piece of firewood. one of them I still have, the other I gave to the people who allowed me to take their firewood in the first place.
Since then I have been busy creating and designing almost every day of the week (and the Boss is getting mightily sick of the mess on the back verandah!), once a month packing it all into my little car and taking it all to The Farms Market at Kilalea to sell. I don’t make a fortune but my name is getting to be known, as is my work.
Last month a young lady came up to the stall, picked up a bowl and said “I want to buy this please!” She had been at the market the previous month with her mother, who had remarked on the bowl, and she had come back just to buy the bowl for her mother! I managed to sell her another item as well so it turned out well for both of us.
I have been attending the market for close to a year now and while I have always managed to cover the rent each month, it is now starting to pay off. I also have an online presence but probably because my expertise in SEO is non-existent, I haven’t had any joy from that avenue just yet.
If you have an interest in wood-turning, make contact with me, drop me a comment, even if it’s to say you have no interest! If you would like to know more about turning, say so! If I can help I will.