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John Ainsworth ARPS

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Photography - Video - Clarinet - Computer - Woodturning


I have always had an interest in woodworking and when I retired in 1991 I decided to apply that interest to woodturning. I bought a Record DM2 beginner's lathe, read books on the subject and watched demonstrations at craft exhibitions. My first attempts were fairly crude and the inevitable dig-ins were at times quite frightening!

I gradually improved and came to the conclusion that I enjoyed bowl turning more than spindle work. Probably because spindle turning was more difficult, at least it was for me. However, these days I do do some spindle work.

Ash Cheese Dish

Ash Cheese Dish

It's difficult to explain the pleasure that can be obtained from this craft, converting a raw piece of timber into an attractive bowl is so satisfying and, in my view, compares closely to pottery where similar shapes are drawn from clay. And for an impatient person like myself it's doubly satisfying that a finished article can be produced in half-a-day. Even more complex items usually take only a few days.

Goncalo Alves

Goncalo Alves

Yew Necklace etc  

Yew Necklace Tree and

various small items

Cakestand in Lacewood

Cake stand in Lacewood

Yew Plate

Yew plate

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Spalted Beech

I had a period of poor health in 2005-06 which prevented me from doing this fairly heavy work but I am now getting back into it and have started again by making small items, particularly pens. These have turned out to be very popular with my family and made very acceptable Christmas presents.



My gouges are primarily made by Robert Sorby of Sheffield. I try to limit the number I have but am too often tempted by the excellence of these tools. As with all my interests I appreciate quality items and gain pleasure just from owning them.

I have changed lathes a couple of times over the years and now have a DVR variable speed lathe, made in New Zealand. This is a very well made machine and should be my last buy in this area.

Goblet and Pens

Goblet in Spalted Birch and Pens

Australian Burr

Australian Burr



Elm Burr

Elm burr

Necklace Tree

Chestnut Necklace Tree