Wizardry in Wood at Carpenters Hall

Wednesday 12th October 2016

This excellent exhibition is only organised every four years, so I and the Mistress were fortunate to be in office this year. I don't know what the collective noun for a lot of turners is - a 'shaving' perhaps, or a 'spin', whatever it is, there were a lot of them here, each by a well lit stand sporting the best examples of their labours. As one might expect, the turnout by Masters, Mistresses and Clerks was more than a match and we filled the Great Hall to capacity. Sipping champagne as Master Turner Nicholas Somers welcomed us and introduced the Sheriffs to formally "open" this (selling) exhibition, we were encouraged to spend spend spend.. As ever, one gets hooked up with some chum or other and it was quite a feat to get around the two rooms of stands, especially as the creators were on hand to chat to and explain it all. There were some breathtaking feats of the art present, and an excellent exhibition of older material that once belonged to the legendary 19th century lathe maker and turner Holtzappel (look him up!). In fact many of the exhibitors own or use these antique lathes, or their components as they can find obscure chucks and patterns that no long exist and are much more interesting to use. It's interesting to ponder what, really, the difference is to a bit of lignum vitae turned on an 1830 lathe is to the same lathe and chucks being used now - apart from physical aging, the pieces are identical, even if separated by two centuries. Greatly tempted as I was, I managed to resit buying anything - having learnt my lesson from last weeks "Art in the City" event - mainly because I have no space left to put anything. At all. We were however, just about the last to be kicked out. Thank you Turners - I'm sure Adam will enjoy this event when his turn as Master comes to fruition in four years time...