I was introduced to woodturning when my wife gave me a Christmas present (that has continued ever since) of a weekend lesson in woodturning at the workshops of two professional turners in Somerset.
For a number of years I worked from home until the opportunity arose to take on a studio/workshop at a new Craft Centre at Andover in 2003. I worked there for nearly 15 years but now have a purpose-built studio/workshop at home.
Some years ago I experimented with pen turning and it is now my main area of expertise, with my ‘Pens of Distinction’ range. In the past few years two British pen designers have asked me to assess new designs that they are planning to introduce to the Penmakers of the World.
The pens (fountain, rollerball, ballpoint) and pencils I make are made predominately from wood, my favourites being English Yew, Olivewood (which I import directly from Bethlehem in the Holy Land) and American Black Ash Burr. The nature of wood means each pen is unique and cannot be replicated.
Currently I have some Special Editions available, which are made from (1) Oak from the Bell Tower of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and (2) Black Oak from Norfolk dating from the year 3,300 BC.
I also use some acrylics and combinations of wood and acrylic (termed hybrids).
My pens can be purchased from my shop and website, as well as at a number of quality craft and gift fairs throughout the area.
I also teach the craft of pen-making and demonstrate at wood turning clubs, art societies and at other interested groups. For the past two years I have mentored an Indian businessman in Kerala, South West India, to learn the craft and set up a new pen company there.
In 1993 I started Test Valley Turners, a club for turners, of which I am the chairman. I am also the National Co-ordinator for the Young Turners Training & Development Programme on behalf of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain and the worshipful Company of Turners (based in the City of London).