The 20th Anniversary of the Craobh Eo Woodturners Seminar was hosted at the Gateway Hotel on Saturday 24th February 2024. There were around 80 attendees representing Chapters from all across the Country and included members of the Irish Woodturners Guild National Executive.

CraobhEo Chairman, Tom Jordan opened the seminar and welcomed delegates from around the country. Demonstrators for the day were Pat Horgan (Limerick Chapter) and Graham Griffiths (Shannonside Chapter).


CraobhEo 20th Anniversary Seminar

The event commenced with a Welcome Address from our Chairman Tom Jordan who warmly welcomed all the attendees, especially Jim Devine who has attended every seminar in the last 20 years. Tom then set out the programme of the day introducing the two demonstrators – Pat Horgan and Graham Griffiths. Tom then handed over the stage to our special guest speaker Laurence Gaughan from the HSE in Castlebar who gave the Keynote Speech.

The key theme of Laurence’s speech was men’s health. Laurence started by highlighting a booklet titled the Man Manual which set out 3 key areas: Men’s General Health, Men’s Emotional Health and Men’s Physical Health. He postured that men do not speak ‘face to face’ but speak ‘shoulder to shoulder.’ Laurence also highlighted that though many men are online with their electronic devices they are offline with their emotional needs. Laurence proposed that through groups like the Men’s Sheds and the Woodturning Chapters the opportunity should be provided for men to talk to each other in a more meaningful manner.

At this point Laurence did acknowledge that there were women in the audience, he however highlighted that many of the issues he raised were primarily issues that targeted male behaviours.

Laurance asked the audience to raise their hands if they had had a health check in the last 12 months, he was pleasantly surprised by the response. He raised the analogy to the NCT car test, every year we must have a vehicle tested to ensure safety and continued performance but we do not apply the same logic to our health.

After Laurance had finished his speech Tom Jordan presented Laurence with an exquisite Lidded Box turned by our Chapter Secretary Louise Wilde.

The main auditorium was set out with Trade Stands comprising of Stanley Raitt Woodturning Supplies, The Hut Woodturning Supplies and Wood Merchant Martin Lodge. This provided the attendees with an opportunity to buy a range of goods from top end machinery to finishing products and new turning blanks. There was a roaring trade at the break times.

The assembled delegates were fed an excellent 3 course lunch by the Gateway Hotel and had the opportunity to connect with their fellow woodturners and old friends.  In the afternoon there was a fundraising raffle and the Craobh Eo Committee would like to thank all those that contributed prizes.

Overall, the 20th Anniversary Craobh Eo Woodturners Seminar was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by those that attended. The Craobh Eo Committee would like to thank all those who planned, helped out and gave their time to the event and of course to those that attended as after all, the seminar would not continue to be held without our loyal supporters.


Of course, the main purpose of the Seminar was to watch the two demonstrators show the craft of woodturning to the assembled audience. We were delighted to invite two of the foremost turners in Ireland to the 20th Anniversary Seminar: Pat Horgan and Graham Griffiths.

Pat Horgan Demos

Pat Horgan is member of the Limerick and District Chapter and demonstrates there regularly. He has been turning since 2008, completing masterclasses with Richard Raffan, Mike Mahoney, Ray Key, Glen Lucas and Phil Irons.

Pat enjoys making bowls, platters and lidded bowls. He also enjoys the friendship of other woodturners and sharing knowledge.

In the first Demonstration Pat turned a Garlic Holder comprising of a sycamore base and beech cover with a walnut knob. The Garlic Holder is used to store garlic out of the light to prevent it sprouting whilst allowing air circulation to prevent it rotting.

Pat started by preparing the base which consisted of a small raised convex platform in the centre and a decorated plate for the lid to sit upon. He then went on to produce the lid or dome, this consisted of a hollowed out piece with six air holes drilled at the base. To finish the piece Pat turned a small walnut knob that was glued into the dome. Pat finished the pieces with sanding sealer and wax, producing a food safe finish.

For Pat’s second demonstration he produced a toothpick holder. This was an elegant little box that when the lid was lifted a central tube presenting toothpick through a small opening in the tube. This was made with sycamore and a sapele knob. Pat commenced by making the outside box by turning the rough shape, drilling a large hole through it and then turning and decorating the finished box. He then turned the inner tube section to a basic shape at the base and a finished shape on the top. A large hole was drilled and a second base separately produced. These were then glued together before turning the finished shape for the insert of the box. A hole was then carved into the side of the inner tube section with a sanding block. A sapele knob was turned and glued into the inner section to complete the piece. Again, Pat finished the piece with a combination of sanding sealer and wax.


Graham Griffiths Demos

Graham Griffiths, a County Cavan based turner is a member of the Shannonside Chapter. He has been turning since 2010 and has demonstrated for his local chapter and for Craobh Eo.

Graham has been a prize winning presence at Craobh Eo seminars for some years.

In the other room Graham demonstrated how to make an inlaid clock from mahogany and ash. Graham started by truing up the mahogany clock blank and creating a recess for the mechanism to fit in. He then turned the piece around and created the clock face. This consisted of a number of beads and coves being formed to prepare the face for the inlays. He then fitted the mechanism to mark out the positions for the inlays to be spaced on the hours. Graham then drilled holes for the inlays and glued in the pre-prepared ash discs. The face was then re-turned and finished with sanding sealer and the mechanism reinstalled.

Graham’s second demonstration consisted of him producing a bowl that appeared to be emerging from another bowl. Graham selected a piece of wet ash approximately 200mm by 100mm. Graham turned the outside of the bowl and formed a tenon leaving sufficient wood for a rounded base to be formed when the bowl was completed. The piece was then reversed and the bowl hollowed to leave wall thickness and rim of 30mm. Graham then cut a 15mm by 15mm rim in the top of the bowl forming what would become the inner bowl in the finished piece. He then mounted the blank in a jam chuck at a 30mm offset to facilitate cutting the outer bowl rim. Graham then proceeded to cut the now highly off-centre piece forming the outer bowl. After some careful carving and sharpening up of edges with a parting tool the emerging twin bowl creation was completed.



​One of the main highlights of the annual Craobh Eo Seminar is the Turning Competition, this year there were three categories: Open, Segmented and People’s Choice. The Demonstrators judged the pieces for the first two categories and everyone got a vote for the People’s Choice.


Open 1st Place    –   Steve Twydell

Open 2nd Place   –   Louise Wilde

Open 3rd Place    –   Steve Twydell

Segmented           –   Colm Brennan

People’s Choice   –   John Flynn