Somehow while I wasn’t paying close attention my calendar seems to have filled itself to the brim. So much so that for the last few days I’ve been teaching 3 polelathe courses and demonstrating at a show at the Weald & Downland Museum – not that I am complaining – it’s just been a little hectic. Now I have a few days to recover, but also a list of urgent jobs to do, and to prepare for the New Forest Show.
As a rule I’ve not been doing much teaching, preferring to concentrate upon demonstrating and making turned items for sale. Jonny was the original Tutor at the museum and he started me off a few years ago. I’ve not seen him very often and knew he was not well but recently he’s become very ill – so I’ve only just taken the courses on and have had to shoehorn them into my calendar. The first course on Saturday was a one day introduction to Polelathe Turning and Greenwood working – or is it Green Woodworking I’m never quite sure. All of the students (five on this course) did very well and left having made a simple turned item on the polelathe. Enjoyable, but I always find teaching hard work and still a show and 2 more courses to go.
The Rare Breeds show on Sunday is the largest show of the museum calendar and this year it attracted well over 5,000 visitors. Avery busy day. It was good to be able to spend the day turning after running the course on Saturday and I was able to start early having spent Saturday Evening setting up my demonstration.
For a one-day show it’s very busy with animals and visitors arriving early -another reason why I setup the evening before. to avoid the chaos.
Though by the evening peace and quiet returns. No rest for me yet as I will be back on Monday and Tuesday for two more polelathe courses.
The weather on Monday was a scorcher! I knew that I would have 6 students from London Metrolpolitan University on Monday and Tuesday, but no more. In the event it turned out that they are all students on various furniture restoration courses from what was the London School of Furnishing, until it was rebranded. Greenwood working with froe, axe, drawknife and the polelathe was a new and different skill from their more typical maquetry courses!
We had a lot of fun, and despite the sweltering weather everyone managed to make a turned item – with a clear predilection for clubs, bats and mallets…….hmmmm.
I was warned that the Tuesday course would be a lot more competitive. Perhaps the hot weather calmed things down but after an energetic start they all settled into a good pace. The museum was very quiet for most of the day with the polelathe course as the main attraction for visitors. Even the ducks seemed very interested in our progress.
The enthusiasm even extended to a quick try in the sawpit with Simon banished into the pit as bottom dog and Adeline getting to try being Top Dog.
The museum has a set of lathes, most of which were built some years ago to a traditional design and are only used for teaching, so they don’t benefit from regular use and they could do with a little tweaking up over the next few months. We used 5 of the museum lathes and one of mine for the course.
We did well in the afternoon and one again the theme of clubs, mallets and beaters seemed prevalent
though we also had spurtles, a honey drizzler and even a mushroom. No doubt the good weather helped but everyone seemed to have a good time on the courses – though it was hard work doing so many courses and a show in close succession.