North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild



 August 2013



Visit to Robert O'Connor's Studio, Gorey



Seamus Cassidy continues to add certificates of achievement to his Showroom Gallery following his success at this year’s RDS National Crafts Competition. Seamus won the RDS Award of Excellence (Reserve) in the Woodturning category for his art exhibit entitled ‘Jugular’; a contemporary hollow vessel in bleached Ash and contrasting Burr Elm, with a steam bent handle, and mounted on a glass base. Also, to his credit, he was awarded the IWG Prize. Winning pieces will be further exhibited in the Mid-AntrimMuseum, Ballymena, from September. Congratulations Seamus on your triumph.  


We were privileged to be invited to the Woodturning Studio in Gorey, where we travelled on mass to be welcomed by Robert O’Connor. 



 Robert O'Connor's Studio, Gorey



Robert's initial demonstration piece was a table lamp turned from a log of Robinia 7” x 12”.  Mounting the log between centres, a 3” base was retained with its natural edge, while the balance was shaped into a lamp.  Using an Arbortech, the natural edge was decorated with a series of groves while retaining its natural contour features.  Using a drilling auger through the tailstock – drill the centre 7mm to halfway, drilling 0.5” per occasion and withdrawing auger each time.  Reverse mount lamp and continue to drill the other half.  Drill 25mm recess in base to house electric wire safety clip, and drill 7mm in side of base to meet the recess.  Open the top hole from 7mm to 7.5mm to accommodate screw in light fitting.  Finish with sanding sealer followed by a wax polish.  


tn_Robert O'Connor's Robina lamp

Robert O'Connor's Robina lamp


His second project was a decorated Cherry bowl turned and carved from a previously roughed out blank.  Using a spindle gouge on the outside, a series of 6 beads spanning the depth of the bowl were formed in one continuous cut.  Next, using the arbortech, 6 spiral groves were cut around the outside.  The groves were cleaned up with an arbortech planer.  A spigot was cut on the base and reverse chucked.  Again with the arbortech, the rim was shaped with 6 curved groves matching into the side spirals.  The outside and rim were scorched and cleaned before applying green Vergigris – a special effects wax – similar to Liming Wax.  This was followed by a finger application of gold gilding cream to highlight the black/green high points.  A small central bowl was formed and the inside finished using the three mop Beal Polishing System, before using the vacuum chuck to remove the spigot. 


tn_carved Cherry bowl - Robert O'Conno

 Carved Cherry bowl - Robert O'Connor


Next project was a 20” x 3” spalted Sycamore platter with an inside decorated central shield.  This piece was faceplate mounted to shape the back, and after reverse chucking the top was shaped with a central raised shield.  A 1.5” Ash button, stained red, was fitted as a central focal point.  A Woodoc finish was applied by brush. 



tn_Sycamore Platter - Robert O'Connor

 Sycamore Platter - Robert O'Connor