My name is Eric Anning and I have had the honour of being voted in as Club President at the 2018 AGM. I have been a member of Plymouth Woodturners since it’s beginning and can remember the time back in early 1999 when half a dozen of us met around my dining room table to discuss the possibility of setting up a local woodturning club. We decided to take the plunge and, as they say, the rest is history. In the mean time I have been Chairman (for the first 4 years), then Treasurer (for 4 years), but have successfully avoided being the Secretary despite continuing to serve on the management committee and regularly attending club events. How time flies!
I have been interested in woodwork and crafts for as long as I can remember and, as a lot of other folk of a certain age tell me, “did a bit of turning” at school. Times change and sadly many folk have missed out on that introduction to the joy of working with this fabulous material called wood. My current woodturning journey started in late 1997 when, encouraged by my wife, I bought a lathe, grinder, some basic tools and enrolled in a series of evening classes run by a local professional, Tobias Kaye. My woodturning “education” has continued ever since – Plymouth Woodturners is a terrific source of learning, be it from watching demonstrations by and talking to professional turners, using our libraries or just asking fellow members “how do you do that?” I can’t say I turn wood every day but I can usually be found in the workshop at some time most weeks. A few years back I completed the AWGB Demonstrator course and occasionally try to demonstrate turning techniques at our club evenings or when the club is represented at a local craft fair.
Woodturning is a great pastime whether as an amateur or professional, although the emphasis is obviously different. So if you want to dip your toe in the water to see if woodturning is for you or are just at at the start of your woodturning journey or are a seasoned turner I’m sure you will find Plymouth Woodturners a friendly and helpful club in which to nurture your craft. Whatever you turn will be useful or artistic or possibly both – let your imagination loose.
There are few rules in woodturning – work safely, protect yourself and others, keep your tools and your mind sharp but above all enjoy the experience.