Monday 13 February 2023



It is interesting to occasionally self reflect on the past. Cancel culture on social media platforms seems to be having consistent criticism amongst free speech advocates who comment on the long term and lasting effects on career paths. I can attest to the effects it has in the woodturning world in the UK.

Starting some twenty years back I posted a number of challenging Blog posts and Forum posts for which I seem to have been rewarded by being ignored or ‘cancelled’.  I have no complaints about the probable merits of the attacks at that time amongst those who responded and I feel that for some it enhanced their career prospects to put me down and put me in my place. However it is interesting to note that most of the most vocal proponents have stood still in their development whereas I constantly moved on, quietly. I have come to the conclusion that it has been helpful to have been largely ignored given that my venture into turning was prompted by my PTSD symptoms and the need to be in my own world to protect myself while going through lengthy (10 years nearly) of court proceedings and metal health referrals. I am happy to say I am a survivor of the mental health system, proud of what I have achieved and most happy to still be in my own cocooned world that has satisfied most of my mental wellbeing and creative needs. What I am less happy about is not being able to fully pass on what I have learned along the way in transitioning from art to craft and then back to art. Cancer and Parkinson’s diagnoses and treatments have and are taking a toll on my body and mind, as has the aging process but I modify my work methods and time spent into account as I continue on with my learning scheme. I spend more time image making and with computer software solutions as my manual dexterity diminishes.

I have always given away my knowledge and experience free, self-published stuff fairly regularly in the past and offered free downloads from my website and blog. I also offered free demonstrations and talks but I have only had two invites ever. (just as well none recently as travel is not now possible)

Although my work is in the Wood Symphony online Gallery in Los Angeles and has featured in all five volumes of their Masters of Contemporary Wood Art series of publications, I am pleased to acknowledge that the only work I have sold is via my image making. I have a small personal collection of swapped work, mostly from US turners.

Anyway, enough words on reflecting on the past. Part of my recent image making journey has, as mentioned in an earlier post, included using AI software. As well as art projects, I have used AI to design or rather suggest in text to image software, some potential turning alternatives. I shared some of the outcomes in the form of illustrated .pdf files on the WoW site/forum, 11 in all, separated into categories of variations. I share a few results here, so if anyone out there is interested in seeing more either join WoW or contact me and I will share more of my images with you. They may appear to be real but they are not and are meant as design possibilities or starting points for perhaps, new thinking and/or making.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Wood Symphony Publication Vol 5 2023

 Happy to be included in this new publication from Wood Symphony Gallery.

Broken Mask 2022

WOW Swap

 Each year around Christmas time the World of Woodturners has a random swap of work. This year I was paired with Jim Seyfried in the US.  Below you will see both my and Jim's pieces.  I am not a technically skilled turner so I was very pleased to receive Jim's swap piece. 

I sent 3 small pieces as my swap, a print and bowl form made from it plus a patinated panel. (Credit to Jim for the picture).

My pieces:

Jim's piece


Thursday 2 February 2023

AI Plus Plus Part Two

 By photographing the panel shown in the previous post it is possible to alter the image various ways in other Art Software. A couple of variations are shown below and two Bellmeresque images are also shown.

AI Plus Plus

I have been playing for some time now with text to image AI software programmes. An example of an outcome is shown below with the various steps to completion.

Start was a relatively uninteresting  image created using the artist Hans Bellmer as part of the text reference. 

1. The basic outcome was this image:

2,This image was cropped and modified in Photoshop to convert to grayscale, then increase contrast and brightness:

3. Converted to a displacement file:

4. Taken into an image convertor to create an .stl 3D file:

5. Next step was readying the resulting file for CNC cutting in Cut 3D:

6. Preview of finished CNC work for completion in MDF (not wood):

7. Cutting in progress:

8. Finished mdf panel sanded, sprayed with white sealer/base coat. Burned while drying to create a secondary texture and key for subsequent surface colours, base red ink applied with some water colour crayon detailing:

9. First oil glaze in green applied and wiped back:

10, Two x yellow/orange glazes applied partial wipe on 2nd:

11. Two x red glazes with wipe. Final selective yellow/orange glazes to complete, ready for farming when dry.

Size: 180mmm x 115mm