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.

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