Stuart Mortimer

StuartMortimerArtistic woodturnings. – Hand cut Spiral decoration and open weave effect, otherwise known as (piercing).

When I first started turning in the late 1960’s early 70’s I was interested in all aspects of turning. From small items of furniture consisting of multi turnings, single component work such as platters, bowls boxes and hollow forms etc. As I progressed to more unstable materials such as burrs, spalting and wet turnings I started to use more stable materials to stabilise the single component work. This33 meant mixing different materials, not only to stabilise the piece but also to give a strong visual contrasting look to my work. This automatically meant that my work developed into constructed multi turnings.

About the same time around the late 1980’s I developed my twist work and later wrote a book on the subject, the book deals with the traditional method of cutting spirals as well as my own interpretation on the subject. To date no other book has been published on twisted hollow forms, thin open twisting, laminating and other methods and designs involving twist work.SP Group

Since the late 1970’s spiral decoration has developed in my work to become a very strong feature, later came the open weave effect followed by a combination of the two. This also tied in with work constructed from multi turnings topped off with a twisted finial which is now recognized in some of my work as a ‘trade mark’ or identifying feature.

All my turning is designed to gain the maximum affect from a particular piece of material and to bring out some feature or to enhance the grain of the wood, shape is determined with a view to retaining these important characteristics.

Twisting is purely decorative, although sometimes it is the main feature, laminated twisted stems in contrasting woods is a favorite on candlesticks and goblets etc.

Twisting, laminating, piercing and my other decorative processes are all designed to enhance the work and can be very effective using plain materials as well as the most expensive.DSC_0468

As shown in a sketch from my book, my twists are marked out in pencil then cut by hand using traditional methods, saws, drills, palm plane and rasps etc. for the heavier work I now use a cutter on a hand held drill.

The open weave effect is also applied free hand random cutting, and finishDSC_0457ed as below.

All my work is made using hand held tools, no automatic machines or profile cutters are used.

All my work is finished in cellulose (with a built in ultra violet protection agent which gives a degree of protection from sunlight), sanded to 1200 grit sanding material and fine 0000 wire wool, then cut back with a very fine compound and polished with a High Glaze.

CLEANING AND POLISHING — All my work can be wiped with a damp cloth and very mild detergent and dried immediately, if necessary a good quality wax furniture polish may be used to heighten the finish.