Again, another long time between posts sorry, still on dial-up at home so internet stuff has to wait for my town days and there just isn’t enough hours in town days any more!!
As usual, I’m always struggling to keep up with email, apologies to any I haven’t replied to yet, I’ll get there! And my old coal fired home computer is having hernias so even email for the next few weeks could be dodgy:( If anything was urgent please drop me a reminder or even better, give me call:)
So I was in Australia last time I wrote, I had a great time in West Aust at a collaborative gathering in Bunbury of about 30 woodworkers organized by Rob Jones and his dedicated team of helpers, especially Nancy Launer, thank you all for your hard work, hope I can come to another one sometime. Was great to catch up with folks I hadn’t seen for years.
As well as the Collab, Mark Sangar from UK and I did a demonstration for the local Perth Woodturners in lieu of a WAWA demo which sadly had to be cancelled. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as Mark and I did, the local boys tested Marks skill with a prime piece of WA wood which really should have had a Rockwell rating and the same effect on a tool edge as a lump of concrete, luckily I’ve demoed in Oz before and organized my own woodJ:) Mark did real good, I’m sure the beads of sweat were only due to the hot day!
Then it was down to Manjimup for me and another demo attended by various clubs in the SW area, thanks to all who travelled so far to attend the demo. Also to the organizers and especially Adrian who cooked up some yummy vegetarian food for me:)
Next stop Busselton for a coupla days R&R and catch up with friends from way back, Charlie & Laleen Broadbent. Charlie is a retired forestry worker and has an incredible knowledge of the local flora and fauna and best of all it was wildflower season, which I have heard so much about but had never seen, it was hard to walk more than 10m/hr, so many gorgeous flowers and stuff to see and photograph.
We also went to the coast to watch the whales cruising past and hang out with the Bob-Tailed Goannas, crazy lookin’ beasts!!
The coast line around that area is fantastic, beautiful beaches, great surf, oh yeah, the odd Great White or two but that’s part of the raw beauty:) Even found a beach with some Pohutukawas planted along the back of the beach, after 10 weeks on the road it made me very homesick!
Then I got a weekend to catch up with my cousin and her family and help Rob and Nilesh with some yard work that organizing collab had kept them from. The weather was awesome, hot and dry, was just thinking, I could live here, then the flies started up, just a few pesky little buggers but enough to make me realize I probably couldn’t take ‘fly season’ they just don’t give up!!
Then it was off to steamy Queensland for the workshop at Ross’s which I already mentioned, then a brief catch up with Richard before I headed down to Melbourne to visit with friends Steve & Ruth who took me on a quick tour of the Melbourne Art Gallery and then we entered Nirvana, otherwise know as Readings, Steve & Ruth’s book/music store in downtown Melbourne. Could of browsed there all day, got some great books for me and my grandson and also managed to order a book I’ve been hunting for a while ‘A Pirate of Exquisite Mind’ The life and times of William Dampier, Buccaneer, explorer and philosopher . Great book, amazing man!!
Highlight of the day had to be being barred from entry to a pub, which apparently has an amazing rooftop beer garden with views of the city, cos I was wearing jandles!! Our plea to be allowed one beer and a quick look at the view fell on deaf cauliflower ears and gave the bouncer, who had the IQ of a marble the perfect opportunity to flex his dumb muscle and behave downright obnoxiously, one place I won’t go back to, jandles or no jandles, and wouldn’t recommend anyone else go there either!! I don’t wanna sound mean but he was seriously not nice:(
After that we went for an overnight stay at Steve & Ruth’s beach house on the coast near Lorne, another awesome coast. Sadly this area was hit hard by terrible forest fires some years back but has risen from the ashes. A fabulous lunch at a local winery, and some very nice wine, on the way back to Melbourne completed a wonderful weekend, thanks Steve & Ruth:)
Early Nov and finally back home, so good to be back and catch up with family and friends but sooooo much work to catch up on my house and property, took weeks just to get the grass back under control!
We’ve had an amazing summer this year, this week we had our first serious rain since xmas, I could hear the ground slurping!! And best thing is I can have fires again:) Main effort over summer was tidying up property and buildings to sell, giving my workshop a big spring clean and starting to pack my STUFF for the big move. 3 huge trailer loads to the dump, 2 to the scrap yard and 2 big bonfires so far and still some to go! Have had the place on the market since xmas, a few tire kickers but no sale yet, property market is still very depressed here:( but place is looking and feeling so good now I don’t mind staying here a bit longer.
March was CollaboratioNZ time again, a fabulous event, weather couldn’t have been better, 8 days of fun, sun and creative mayhem, a huge thanks to the committee and helpers for all their hard work and all the wonderful makers that came from far and wide to share their skills and knowledge:)
Been full on in the workshop too, a large boat piece for an exhibition at the Whangarei Art Museum of Collab participants. Wood clad in copper plates, drilled and hammered 2000+ little copper nails!
Yeah I know, where’s the pics, as usual 2 all nighters and was applying the patina on the last morning for delivery to the museum in the afternoon, working to the deadline is great but doesn’t leave room for pics. Will take some and post at first opportunity:)
Here is pics of piece I just finished, ‘Huwai (cockle) Vessel’
Nope didn’t get those pics shot last nite either:( Will post more pics next time in town.
Biggest news in my life this year is the arrival of Jay Findlay Lammers, my daughter Carly and husband James’s first baby, he is so cute and I made him a bassinet, flat stuff!! Ok a coupla little turned bits too, was a fun project but not the instant gratification us woodturners are used to!! Lots of pics I could post here, haha!!
Days are getting shorter and a little chillier here now, gotta wear socks with my jandles:( on chilly mornings so almost time to fly Nth for the winter:) Heading away early June.
First stop is Wilmington, Nth Carolina for a demo and hands on class for the Wilmington Area Woodturners.
Then on to Augines, France to teach a 3-day master class at Jean-Francois Escoulen’s new School and attend the first French Collaboration organized by Alain Mailland and the hard working AFTAB team, I guess we may eat a little cheese and drink a little wine as well, I do love France:)
Then it’s back to the US for a 2-week class at Arrowmont, one of my favouritest places to teach, it’s great to see the progress students can achieve in a solid 2-week period. Sadly my usual assistant Keith Bundy will not be able to make it this time but I am honoured to have the assistance of Clay Foster. Clay & Jennifer made he trip down under for our collab and a little R&R around Northland:)
We have the numbers for the class to run but there’s still some spaces available, if you want a coupla weeks of fun and exploration of the endless possibilities in woodturning sign on upJ There will be no projects and no rules. You’ll get to play with whatever you want. Clay and I will try and cover all bases, if we haven’t done it before we’ll make it up as we goJ I’m also thinking of dusting off the old mini-golf trophies and getting the putter challenge going again, it was a lot of fun last time with the best putter award going to Mark St Ledger with a putter Tiger Woods would be proud of to have in is bag!!!
After Arrowmont it’s on to San Diego and Orange County for demos/workshops and the A 2 day Surface Class at the Beatrice Wood School in ……. Where Kevin Wallace is director. And then maybe on to Portland, OR for the Frogwood Collaborative gathering held at Dale Larson’s place, was so much fun last time:)
Home again mid-August for a month before heading to Europe for the Magma Open Doors which is having a break in Austria this year and being held in Switzerland. Then I have yet another collaborative gathering to attend in Kona, Hawaii organized by Tai Lake and Cliff Johns with help from many. I can smell that good Kona coffee already:)
And maybe a demo/workshop or two while I’m there, still tying down details for this trip
Oh oh, looks like I wrote a novel, that’s the trouble with too long between posts:(
Again, many, many thanks to all those who invited me, arranged work for me, hosted me and welcomed me into their homes and families on my travels:)
Ka kite ano