Life is quite different for me since lockdown, because l care for my father who is approaching his ninety third birthday, I have been in isolation for several weeks. In normal times I travel most days to my workshop, but now I am at home improving my cookery skills and caring for my elderly parent.
My business side at the present is just a few orders from the galleries who are selling online. Together with my woodturning creative work I usually run wood turning tuition courses at my workshop and I also give demonstrations to various craft associations across the country. All this has been cancelled but on the positive side there is some good news!
In April 2019 l exhibited at the British Craft Trade Show in Harrogate, which l have exhibited with over the last fifteen years or so. On one of the evenings the organisers arrange a sponsored awards event. Over the years I have attended this prize giving, but in latter years decided not to go. However, last year I was persuaded to attend. So, to my surprise with my free glass of white wine in my hand, my name was called out. I had won the original design functional award sponsored by the Platform Gallery in Lancashire, this came with a plaque and an eight-week exhibition, from January, February to March 2020, at the Platform Gallery. Having professionally wood turned for 38 years I had now won a prize!
In August l exhibited with the Sussex Artist Association and won another prize, a £300 cheque plus a spectacular glass trophy and plaque.
This followed in August with not a prize but an accolade. The Association of Wood Turners of Great Britain wanted to commemorate the late Ray Key who was well known worldwide for his wonderful creative turned forms. They approached me, and other turners around the world, to create an exhibition using 123 turned pieces. The exhibition was held in Gloucester, with sales going towards the publication of a book, depicting the work on show and to Ray Key’s wife. The show was a great success for me, and the others involved with all 123 pieces being sold.
I do miss creating my individual work, meeting the public and of course, selling my pieces. However, I look forward to attending the Guild shows again with a chance to display my new work and maybe a glass of Pimm’s on the lawn at Michelham Priory.