More Green Woodworking – Bowl Turning with a Pole Lathe

Tutor: Chris Helliwell

Lunch: Price includes a hearty lunch.

All Levels

Typically for a max of 4 people.

Full Day

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Chris Helliwell specialises in the ancient art of bodging, green (unseasoned) wood working techniques.

The turning of wooden bowls on a foot-powered pole lathe is a craft that has been in use since the Vikings and earlier. This traditional craft fell out of favour with the Industrial Revolution and actually died out with the death of the ‘last bowl turner in England’ in 1958! Since then it has been revived and now you can spend the day helping to keep it alive.

Ideally some prior experience of woodturning is helpful but not essential. Join Chris for the day using a pole lathe and a set of bowl turning tools and find out how to create your own bowls from green unseasoned wood. The techniques are tricky to master but extremely rewarding.

Please note that a good general level of health and physical fitness is required for pole lathe workshops but turning bowls is particularly strenuous so expect a high energy workout. As the workshop is fairly energetic, turning outdoors is preferable – this workshop will take place beneath our shelter. If it rains we will be dry but you might like to wear layers that you can remove depending on the temperature.

Please note there is a £5 material charge payable on the day.

Click on the title below to find a list of what you’ll need to bring with you if anything.

What to expect

Time at ArtisOn is designed to take you away from it all and provide the environment, the time and the guidance you need to create. You can expect a warm welcome, skilled and friendly tutors plus the chance to meet like-minded people keen to share ideas and experiences. You can even leave us to clear up the mess! There will usually be two workshops going on and we encourage everyone to mingle and be nosey about what the other workshop is up to.

Arrive in time to meet other participants over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits before beginning your session at the appointed time. There will be a mid-morning break for refreshments and a chance to talk over progress with others. Lunch is usually around 12:45 for about 45 mins – you can expect a homemade 2 course lunch. The main course will be delicious but don’t overdo it as the puds are usually worth waiting for! There will be a further afternoon break with the most wonderful cakes from Roots & Fruits Home Bakery, a North Yorkshire micro-bakery producing handmade bread and cakes. All food and refreshments are included in the price of the workshop.

Finish time is given as a target – there are occasions when the session may overrun so do let us know if you need to be away promptly.

We aim for your day to be a real treat… of course you could always learn a new skill in a shed or a draughty village hall with a curly sandwich, but we want you to have more fun than that! So we make it a day being looked after, with good food, good company and great inspiration!

What you’ll need to bring with you

Just yourself, all materials and tools will be provided. Please wear clothes that you don't mind getting messed up.

“It was a very relaxing yet energetic day - just what I needed!”

– Derek

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