IWG National Seminar 2020 - Demonstrators

Janet A. Collins

Woodturning has long been a passion for Janet Collins. She first learned woodturning as a student in the furniture making program at North Bennet Street School in Boston in the mid 1990's. Her woodworking career since has focused on custom furniture making and teaching furniture making and woodturning. Currently, she teaches woodworking full-time at the Student Woodshop at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

These days, Janet tends to do more woodturning than custom furniture making, something that she feel is a natural progression in her work as an artisan. Her studio/shop is located in the barn at her home in Ryegate, Vermont.

In her woodturning, Janet strives to achieve a form that is beautiful to the eye and the hand. Her pieces are created with the goal of using the form to accentuate the grain of the wood and are intended to be used and handled. Janet is a member of American Association of Woodturners, Twin State Woodturners, Northern Vermont Woodturners and Granite State Woodturners.

Andy Coates

Andy Coates has been turning wood since around 2004 after taking it up as a hobby. Shortly after starting a move from London to rural Suffolk provided twelve months of seven-day a week time to practice and develop and Andy quickly progressed. Joining a local club was the real starting point when experienced turners shared techniques and skills and Andy began selling his work. The first year was so successful Andy registered as a business and set up a workshop in a small Craft Centre that had opened near his home.

In 2006 Andy was accepted on to the Register of Professional Turners (since resigned) and on to the committee of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, where he served for eleven years, latterly as Chairman. Andy works as a wood turner full time from his dedicated workshop in rural Suffolk. His work is spread between small-batch production work, working for antique restorers, builders and architects, and making speculative work to sell. Andy has worked for museums and TV companies and even built a working ducking stool for Professor Alice Roberts' TV series. Andy sells to customers and collectors all around the world.

Andy's real passions are for decorated work and utility work, possibly the two extremes of the woodturning practice. He also writes a monthly article for Woodturning magazine, demonstrates, and teaches wood turning.

Dave Regester

Dave Regester began his career as a full time woodturner after leaving Keele University in 1974. At this time, he had no experience or training and says, "I was just a part time hobbyist at University with a romantic idea that I would be able to learn to turn wood simply by trying hard." Having honed his skills, Dave was accepted by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, an important reflection of his progress.

Helping to form the Woodturners of Great Britain afforded opportunities to demonstrate and write articles for a wood working publication. Having seen these articles, Ray Key recommended Dave to a publisher. This recommendation has led to Dave writing four books on his craft as well as numerous other magazine articles. Dave’s reputation has led to a range of teaching posts as well as opportunities to demonstrate at many woodturning clubs in England and Scotland in addition to America, France, Germany and Israel.

Dave uses only English hardwoods (predominantly Ash, Burr Oak and Yew) as he can be sure that they are harvested sustainably. He produces salad bowls, platters, chopping boards and breadboards which are sold through David Mellor of Sheffield and London and Borough Kitchen in London. He also makes "one-off" pieces for exhibitions, including eccentric trunnion boxes and emerging bowls.

Stewart Furini

Stewart Furini took up turning as a hobby to relieve some of the stress of working as an English teacher in a large comprehensive school in the south of England. It didn't take long for the woodturning bug to bite, and for the last three years he has been producing YouTube videos on a regular basis showing some of his approaches to using colour and texture alongside his turning. This has led to club demonstrations from Sussex to Yorkshire. He was also one of the main demonstrators at UKIWS 2018 and at Chestnut Products' first Woodturning Weekender in 2019.

Stewart uses stains and paints to colour wood in a wide variety of ways, using some very low-tech approaches to airbrushing with stencils, templates and masks. Texture is added to some pieces with a grinder or a rotary tool. Sometimes he doesn't know when to stop - which is seen in some of his more outlandish YouTube offerings! It's this creative aspect that enthuses him most and he enjoys sharing this on social media and even more with real-life woodturners. Expect colour to feature in all of his demonstrations - he's been known to tempt others into colouring woodturning who had never had any inclination to do so before. Watch out, you might never do 'round and brown' again!

Kieran Higgins

Kieran Higgins has always had an interest in making things from wood. Having left school at a time when employment was hard to find he was pleased to secure himself a job with Eircom. Earning a salary was, however, a means to an end, allowing him to collect tools and equipment, attend woodwork shows and develop his skills. A demonstration of lathe work at the Dublin “Brighter Homes” show in the early 80's led Kieran to think about woodturning. Having purchased a lathe and joined the local chapter of the IWG, he began to immerse himself in the new hobby and dedicated himself to improving his skills. He loved the functionality of the pieces he was making and how turning revealed the grain pattern and underlying beauty of the wood.

Turning large bog oak pieces has become something of a signature for Kieran and has challenged him to develop new tools and techniques for shaping and finishing his work. The size and nature of the material is fraught with problems but the solutions he finds are wonderfully creative. Not bound by tradition, he is free to explore the possibilities of working with bog oak and like all craftsmen, stands to find himself through his materials.Kieran feels it is important to put his work up for sale and to hear comments and feedback from fellow wood turners and potential customers alike. He says “you can tell that they want to touch, most people start by cupping the piece in their hands and lifting it to feel the weight... then some go on to hug it – people love wood.”

Pat Walsh

Tony Farrell, a Mechanical Engineer by profession, started woodturning as a hobby 25 years ago. Since retiring from his day job, Tony has spent the last 10 years as a full-time woodturner. He is based in Ballinora, Waterfall, Co. Cork

Tony makes bowls and other traditional wood-turned objects, including hollow forms, and natural edge bowls. He uses oak, ash, elm, sycamore, beech, apple, cherry, sweet chestnut, yew and other woods, harvested from either dead or storm felled trees. He seasons the timber himself and also recycles old timbers and off-cuts which would otherwise be burnt or left to rot. Self taught originally, Tony has developed his skills and attended courses with turners including Richard Raffan, Nick Agar and Glenn Lucas.

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