North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild



June 2012


We were delighted to welcome Christine Van Brussel to the Northeast in June and to record this as an historic occasion in the annals of the N/E Chapter, as she became the first female woodturner to demonstrate for our Chapter.  


tn_Christine Van Brussel

Christine Van Brussel


Christine operates from her studio in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow, where she specializes in producing designer ceramics and teaching the craft and skills of pottery making and woodturning.  Her project on the day was a decorated cake stand, turned in three parts – top, base and centre stand turned from slightly spalted Beech.  Starting with the top face mounted on a glue block with paper in between – a bowl gouge with a short steep bevel was used to flatten the surface, and using a half moon scraper at 45 degrees to apply a finishing sheer cut.  A fingernail spindle gouge was used to create a recess to house the centre piece spigot.  The top was now removed from the glue block and remounted in the chuck via the recess.  The bowl gouge was used with secure bevel contact to level the face and avoid tear out.  If there is concern about tear out then use a cabinet scraper and hand scrape with the grain.  A beading tool was used to decorate the rim before sanding and applying Woodoc oil by means of a soap dispenser.  Decoration was applied by first defining the selected areas for decoration and shallow drilling a series of 8 mm holes interspersed with 4 mm holes.  Next grey car filler was dispensed into a night light holder, and on top of this a generous scraping of blue chalk powder – mix well with a lollipop stick and then add the hardener and infill the drilled holes.  The initial oiling of the surface should prevent the colour from leeching into the grain.  When dry, hand sand the filler and re-oil surface.    


tn_Spalted Beech cake stand - Christine Van Brussel

Spalted Beech cake stand - Christine Van Brussel


The base was prepared using the same procedure as for the top. The centre stand was spindle turned from a piece of 4” x 2.75” to a design which was inspired from the book ‘Classic Forms’ written by Stuart E. Dyas.  A 12 mm spigot was turned at each end and leaving a wide shoulder at the top for extra support.  Placing a dark board behind the turning proved to be a useful technique to define the profile of the turning.  Thank you Christine for sharing a host of techniques with us, and in the process creating a very elegant and decorative cake stand.


tn_Christine Van Brussel display

Christine Van Brussel display


Thanks to Seamus Cassidy for providing the critique for the following items:-


Eggcup with chicken hatching from egg – Elm with Yew inserts – Cecil Barron

tn_Eggcup - chicken in egg - Elm with Yew inserts - Cecil Barron



Garden furniture – Pair of Ladybirds – Deal – Bob Dier


Kitchen Chair – Ash with Oak bow & wedges and Poplar seat – James Halligan.

tn_Kitchen Chair - Ash, Oak bow & wedges,Poplar seat - James Halligan