November visit with Stuart Mortimer

Dennis returned to Grateley, England with his new (woodturner) wife, Kay, to spend a week with his mentor, Stuart Mortimer.  It was the Mortimer goblet with the twisted stem that first lured Dennis into the mysteries of the woodturning craft.   Stuart has continued to invent, refine, and hone the skills of working with spiral hollow forms.  He has both enlarged and reduced the size of his work, and expanded his investigations with spiral turning into other materials–pewter and precious metals.  Stuart set up two lathes in his workshop for Dennis and Kay to practice making spiral hollow forms.skepticalscotsman

The photo illustrates Stuart’s response to some bad noises coming from the Liggett lathes.  While Dennis and Kay turned, hollowed, carved, and sanded, Stuart worked on several of his own projects:  a huge goblet, two burl bowls for a local fundraiser, and photos for a magazine interview.  Neighborhood woodturners came by to pick up turning blanks, and to get help with things like refinishing a guitar.

The shop was filled with forms in various stages of completion.  Kay took several photos of the various ‘still life’ opportunities in the shop, pictured below after some photoshopping.   Looking at Stuart Mortimer’s hollow forms in various stages is something like studying the drawings and studies that lead to paintings by Picasso or Matisse.  The forms have their own charm, in addition to the promise of the final product.


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