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The Cheshire Guild of Woodturners was created in 2000 to provide an opportunity for people interested in wood turning and related woodworking pursuits to come together on a regular basis to discuss their interests, to learn from each other and from professional demonstrators and to improve their skills.
It was founded by David Bryant, now our Life President, who is a local professional wood- turner widely known in woodworking circles for his work on spinning-wheels, clocks and chairs. We currently have about 60 members. Within the CGW we have a wide range of skills from those who are just starting to turn to those for whom woodturning is a profession. The CGW is an associate member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain (AWGB).
WHAT ARE OUR AIMS ?
We aim to
- Promote the art and craft of woodturning and allied crafts
- Provide a forum to encourage communication and the exchange of ideas between members and others engaged in turning.
- Arrange meetings, talks, competitions, demonstrations and exhibitions.
- Encourage members to improve their skills and to aim for and produce high quality turnery and other woodwork.
The CGW meets on the third Thursday of each month at Plumley Village Hall between Knutsford and Northwich ( see location map ) . Meetings start at 7 30 p.m. and normally we have a demonstration from a nationally known professional wood turner. Occasionally we may have a demonstration or talk about a related woodcraft ( e.g. carving, routing, French polishing etc.). The club has excellent audio visual equipment provided by a lottery grant which ensures that everyone has an excellent view of turning demonstrations with close-ups of the tools on the wood being projected onto a large screen.
At each meeting we have two competitions, one for “ Turners ” and one for “ Advanced Turners ”. Each group has a specified item of turning to make ( see programme for this year’s items ) and judging is done by members. The competitions are an ideal opportunity to see a range of ideas and, for those competing, to try out new areas of turning.
From time to time we arrange additional meetings ( also on Thursdays ) for a “ Hands On ” evening. The CGW has two lathes ( and other members may bring additional portable lathes ) and on these occasions, which we call “ Talk and Turn ” evenings, the more experienced members, or those with a particular skill or expertise, offer advice, guidance and practical help to the less experienced. They are ideal for those who wish to try out a new technique or to improve their use of particular turning tools. “Talk and Turn” evenings often have a specific theme (or two) e.g. making hollow-forms, thread chasing, texturing and chatter work, tool sharpening, colouring etc.
Each year we also try to arrange a full day demonstration / seminar by a well known professional. These meetings are always open to members from other local clubs and our members are often invited to attend similar events organised by other clubs nearby.
The annual membership fee is £35 and this covers entry to all regular meetings. Visitors are asked to pay £3 for a demonstration meeting but this is deducted from the annual fee if they decide to join as a member. On “Talk and Turn” evenings everyone pays £2 to cover the hire of the Village Hall. In addition to free entry to regular meetings members also receive a free quarterly magazine which contains articles, book reviews, hints and tips and club news.
For new members we provide a free introductory pack which includes a guide for those who are just starting to turn, basic information about the CGW and the most recent magazine.
During the year (mainly in the warmer months) the CGW attends a number of craft fairs, village shows and similar events. These provide opportunities to promote the club and to recruit new members. In many cases there is also potential for members to sell items that they have made. In recent years we have regularly attended the Peover Game Fair, the Tatton Park Farm Autumn Festival and a number of other smaller shows. We have also exhibited at “Woodfest” in N. Wales.
The club has a small marquee and a generator, both provided by a Lottery grant, so that we are now able to demonstrate our craft by taking a portable lathe (or lathes) and setting up in the middle of a field! Our demonstrations are especially popular with families who have children many of whom are delighted to receive a free spinning top or mushroom straight from the lathe.
In addition to these fairs etc. one or two of our more experienced members have been invited to give demonstrations to the public at the local showrooms of a major supplier of woodturning machinery, tools and woodworking supplies.
In the last three years we have organised two large exhibitions of members work at the Knutsford Heritage Centre. These have provided the CGW with very good publicity and the opportunity to display the very wide range of turnery produced by members of the club. Members have also benefited from the sale of many of the items on show.
The CGW has an extensive library of DVD’s and books on woodturning and related crafts and topics. Members can borrow these for a small fee and the money is used to increase the stock of the library. A list of the items currently available is given on the “Library” page.
CONTACTING THE CGW.
Full details of how to contact the club are given on the page “Contacting Us”
EQUIPMENT, TOOLS AND MATERIAL SUPPLIES
The CGW has close links with a number of organisations that provide woodturning equipment, tools and other essentials supplies. Some of these can be found under “Useful Links”. In addition the club holds a small stock of abrasives etc. and from time to time sells wood blanks provided by members and an assortment of second hand tools and materials acquired from people who have given up the craft,
A number of the professional demonstrators also offer tools and materials for sale at discounted prices.