The 2018 Craobh Eo Seminar was held on Sat 24th February in the Gateway Hotel, Swinford.

Our chairman Sean Foody opened the seminar and welcomed delegates from around the country to Mayo.

Demonstrators for the day were John Malone (North East Chapter), Pat Walsh (Dublin Chapter) and Kieran Reynolds (Craobh Cuig Deag Chapter).


John Malone is no stranger to Mayo and his first demo consisted of turning a pedestal fruit bowl approx 300 mm diameter and 150 mm high. He marked out the off centre points for the belt weave and used a hot wire to burn the lines on the belt weave. The bowl was shaped and hollowed out as he went along.

His second demo was a dodecahedron (12 sided platonic solid). John showed how to mark it out on a sphere that he had already turned, a time consuming job. He then turned the dodecahedron by rotating it between centres.

The afternoon demo consisted of turning a sphere following a format to arrive at the the perfect shape. A blank is turned down to a cylinder and then carefully marked out from centreline to edge and then on the edge itself. Layers of material are then progressively removed, re positioning from centre of last cutaway layer as you go along. This is repeated on the other side. The sphere is then re positioned for final shaping. More details on John’s methods are to be found on the March 2017 meeting report and 2010 Guest demo on this website.

Plans are afoot to set up a special Chapter to facilitate those who are interested in John’s work. More later.

Its always a pleasure to welcome John and his background in woodturning is unparalleled. He can undertake complex turning and is always too willing to pass on his wealth of experience to all. Thank you John.

Kieran Reynolds demonstrated the doughnut jig and its holding capabilities. Its possibilities are endless and enables off centre turning and holding irregular shapes. He turned an emerging bowl and demonstrated how to turn a sphere using a measurement of .29 of diameter. Items to be held in the doughnut chuck are held securely and nuts tightened using a pincers (as against by hand). Examples of his work using the chuck are shown below. When holding spheres, the bevel is reversed on the front face of the chuck.

These were great examples of thinking outside the box and how to hold irregular shaped pieces which we all want to do from time to time. A lovely demo that will give us lots of ideas. Thanks to Kieran.

Pat Walsh first demo was a decorated bowl. The bowl is turned and brought to a very good finish as any flaws show when sprayed. Coats of sanding sealer (diluted 70/30) are applied and any areas not being coloured are finished with lacquer. Area to be painted is masked off and a white primer is applied. Once dry a fish net stocking (or similar depending on design required) is pulled over the bowl and a black primer applied. This is protected with an acrylic satin lacquer. The centre bowl interior is buffed with Chestnut burnishing cream.

The second demo was a decorated wide rimmed bowl. The same methods as above are used to get the bowl to a finish. The wide rim is sprayed black and then decorated using a reciprocating carver in a “non messy random” fashion. He also applied some water based colours as excess is easy to wipe off before finishing with  and lacquer.

The results were stunning in both cases. During the sessions, Pat showed how to use scrapers and had reground thin parting and carpenters chisels to achieve good finish. He also gave tips on using the carver as well as sharpening the chisels and went through a variety of shapes.

Two great demos and our thanks to Pat for all the tips.


Adjudication by the demonstrators was followed by a critique of each piece by Kieran Reynolds. He pointed out that the standard was high and only fine margins separated the winning entries. Well done to all.


Winner    Ian McDougall            CraobhEo        (Spalted Beech Bowl)

Second    Harry Emerson           Crossborder    (Open Segmented Bowl)

Third       Tony Cody                    South East       (Large Burr Oak Bowl)