Bryan was a practical lad, able to mend almost anything by instinct. Meccano everywhere creating tower cranes or bridges for his 00 railway. He also loved woodwork and his parents subscribed him to Practical Woodworking. One day they started a course on woodturning. This caught Bryan’s imagination and at about 11 years old, he bought a Black and Decker drill-powered small lathe. Timber did sometimes pirouette majestically around his father’s workshop. But he started to get the hang of it and made some useful items, one of the first being a lamp-standard for his parents.
By his late teens he had progressed to a Coronet lathe powered by an old electric motor he found in his uncles shed. Now he could turn bowls and repair furniture. Marriage, work and children came along and turning took a back seat. But the lathe was still set up in his workshop which he built himself using a Kity K5 Combi when he was about 25. He still has that machine working perfectly.
Now in his 50’s he decided to get turning properly again. But Bryan always likes a challenge, and just turning bowls and spindles was too quick, too easy. Relatives did not want any more! He saw some segmented turning and that fired his imagination again. The possibilities are endless and you don’t need large chunks of wood. He bought books by Dennis Keeling and practised, initially with closed segments, stave work, later liking the challenge of open-segmented work. He joined the North Devon Woodturners Club, which he chaired for 2 years. Some of his open-segmented work won club prizes.
Having reached semi-retirement Bryan is back at the lathe when he gets the chance creating more complex challenges to get his brain working and get the response ‘how did you make that?’.