In August 2011, an early Bronze Age 4000 years old cist (A small chamber made of thin stone slabs) burial was discovered on Dartmoor. Inside were the cremated remains of a female, and, almost uniquely for this period were well preserved grave goods including 4 lathe turned ear studs (labrets).
I recently visited the new Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth. What a fantastic job they have done. I was so taken by the sailor’s boxwood hair combs that it was straight to the workshop to make a couple of examples.
Is TV showing more interest in traditional crafts?, Stuart King is doing his bit
Wassailing is 1000 year old English tradition. Stuart King outlines the simple chronology and and some details of the wassail bowl.
Wizardry in Wood is the worlds premiere show case for the craft, historical and contempory, held every four years in the City of London.
Attended by 170 guests, delegates and turners, Axminster Tool Centre hosted the Strictly Woodturning event. Similar to the BBC’s popular Strictly Come Dancing, this was a competition in which the 12 turners competed against each other at the lathe and were tasked with producing items such as a vase, goblet and lidded box in an incredibly short eight minutes.
All lathes by their very nature rely on a revolving work piece. To capture and impart this motion, to devise and create the required force has challenged mans ingenuity back into pre-history. Man has been using the momentum provided by a spinning weight for tens of thousands of years in the form of drop spindles […]
The wheel is probably man’s most important technological discovery. A Sumarian pictogram dated 3500BC is the earliest reference for the wheel. By 2000BC man was making spoked wheels yet the earliest pictorial reference we have of a wheel driven lathe seems to be from the 15th century.
From classical times man has harnessed wind and water to work heavy machinery, to relieve him of hard physical labour and to speed up production. A Roman settlement C.200AD in southern France boasted sixteen water mills for grinding corn. It may be that this form of motive power was used to drive lathes also but […]