North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild

Sep 2015


John Malone, North West Chapter, travelled from Bridgend, Co. Donegal, for a full day’s turning. John’s style of turning incorporates the traditional and the contemporary, which he links with his unique insight into the science of   laying out and marking out his work-piece, that combine to produce mind boggling artistic results.  


His first project was a Bowl Weave.  A 7” blank was brought to a round mounted between centres and marked out to show the base as the south pole, the rim as the north pole, and the centre of the sphere shaped body as the equator, and the perimeters of the sphere as the tropics.  A circle was drawn on the north pole 1” in from the outer edge and divided into 6 equal sections, and numbered clockwise 1-6 starting at 12 o’clock.  While the south pole was similarly marked and numbered anticlockwise starting at 6 o’clock.  Numbers 1&1 were mounted diagonally between centres, and the first two cuts were made with the parting tool to a fixed depth cutting at both tropics.  Now the sphere shaped body of the bowl is turned with peeling cuts away from the equator to the tropics.  The lathe is stopped, and the first diagonal line is drawn on the sphere section joining point 1 south tropic to point 1 north tropic.  Repeat the above procedure for each of the 5 remaining off centre pairs of points. 



tn_John Malone marks out a sphere weave design P1030976

John Malone marks out a sphere weave design


Remount on points 1 & 1, and using a point tool cut a light v cut on the diagonal line.  Next, burn into the v cut with a heavy wire.  Repeat this process for the other 5 mounting points.  Mount between centre points to shape base and rim.  Apply spirit dye to central chequered diamonds to enhance the design.  Cut spigot at south pole for chucking to turn inside of bowl.  The above description comes with a reproduction warning due to the complexity and amount of marking out required, and your reproduction may not turn out as expected. 


John demonstrated his unique method for cutting the perfect sphere by marking an initial series of points to enable a series of flats to be turned.  These flats were subdivided to facilitate turning on a series of different planes – a complex procedure but effective. 


His third project was a variation of the Bowl Weave which he presented to Imelda Connolly.  Thanks John for sharing your techniques and a very informative session. 




Thanks to Pat Walsh for his critique on the following exhibits:-



tn_Burr Beech platter John Conneff P1030981

Burr Beech platter – John Conneff. 



tn_Ash eggcups James Halligan P1030978

Ash eggcup stand & Oak cheeseboard – James Halligan. 



tn_Laburnum garden owl Bob Dier P1030983

Laburnum garden owl – Bob Dier. 



tn_Elm bowl and plate Eamonn McKelvey P1030977

Elm bowl & plate Eamonn McKelvey. 




tn_Oak platter Cecil Barron P1030984

Oak 14” platter – Cecil Barron. 





tn_Laburnum vase Cecil Barron P1030985

 Laburnum vase – Cecil Barron.   








tn_Oak cheese board James Halligan P1030980

Oak cheese board - James Halligan