JbT Squirrel Logo

The Humble Grumble

Jean Turner, RPT

   ...the sporadic annoyances & humble mumblings of a Jeannius.

Holtzapffel 1274

Monday 24 March 2014

Holtzapffel Excitement

I am afraid I have just become one of 'them' - one of the few priviledged people who get to be a custodian of a Holtzapffel original. We found it recently, listed on an auction site, and although it is absolutely basic, almost totally naked (read more...)

Lunatic Fringe

Wednesday 27 November 2013

On the Fringe of Lunacy

Competition time was looming. I hadn't done anything even remotely spectacular enough to be able to enter. The pressure was on. I was at risk of failing. After all - the intention of a completion is to stun the competition and judges with your brilliance, technical prowess and artistic flare.
      ... Isn't it? (read more...)


Monday 7 January 2013

Synchronicity and all that

For the last 12 weeks, I have been gently progressing through an interesting book written by Julia Cameron - on the topic of art, the artist within, and the process of freeing and restoring an internal blocked artist. Now - being the sort of person who is inclined to NOT divulge my most personal thoughts and feelings (generally ones that involve potential harm to my ego) to many people, you may wonder why I am talking about such a sensitive subject On Air, so to speak. It's simple, really - this lady has something (read more...)


Tuesday 22 May 2012

The Flower

The 'bowl' is field maple. One day Andrea asked me if I was interested in some field maple. I jumped at the chance, and brought home some beautiful 6 inch diameter logs that she had kindly bagged on each end for me. Andrea came with me as she had never turned wet wood before, and (read more...)


Monday 21 May 2012

Clowning About

When I took over the raffle at our local woodturning club, I felt the need to put my mark on it. So I bought two raffle books instead of one, and I started something called the Test Valley Challenge. The idea was that the winner of the last raffle ticket of the evening would be presented with some sort of object - it could be wood, it could be something sold to be used in wood turning, such as a pen kit, or it could be something completely wacky. (read more...)


Friday 2 March 2012

Ticking Off...

Awareness of Age brings with it an awareness of lack of time, and for some it means they are in an awful hurry to get a lot of things done before their time on earth is up. Last time I did some figuring I realised it would take me about 120 years to get through all the items on my list. Despite (read more...)

3.5inch Shay Parts

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Shilly Shay-Ing About - Full Steam Ahead

It takes years to build a scaled steam loco. The real test of a model engineer is to get through the first ten years of amassing equipment and the tools needed to start working with metal. After that, it requires the patience to make thousands of parts one by one until the job is completed and (read more...)

Turbanned Warrior 1

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Definition of Art

If the generally accepted definition of the term is 'something which is made which invokes an emotional response in the person viewing it', this means that anything you look at that someone else has made that you either like or hate, or something somewhere in-between - that object or item can be called 'Art'.
Okaaay... So then what happens when you look at nature and feel something - is that Art too? According to some people I have discussed this with (over coffee and sarnies mostly, so one would think that it is their brains talking and not the alcohol so prevalent in these philosophical discussions) (read more...)

Forgotten Garden

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

AWGB Symposium, Loughborough, 2011

I don't know about anybody else - but my mind simply stopped dead the second I walked into the Instant Gallery display area to arrange the display of my offerings to the event for the weekend. In a fraction of a second, all the senses bestowed on me came alive, and it was as though slow-motion began to control the events that took place all around me. The beauty of the items in the gallery already was anticipated, even hoped for, but (read more...)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Pontificating About Education

When my siblings and I were raised, we were not presented with an alternative option to higher education. It was simply never discussed and the attitude (certainly of my father) was that we a) had the ability b) would get the marks and c) would enter university and get the degree that best suited what we were - two girls and one boy. My brother is artistic, musical and sensitive to others' needs. He went to (read more...)

tic tac store 1

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Threads of Life

I attended a Thread Chasing workshop last Saturday - expertly led by Jay Heryet - and generously hosted by Gerald (Mr Input Joinery, Weyhill, Andover) with ten other members of the Test Valley Turners group that I attend once a month. Seeing that I hadn't done any hand thread chasing for nearly eight years, I jumped at the chance to attend the workshop when it was first advertised at a club meeting, and really looked forward (read more...)

My table at KnivesUK2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

KnivesUK 2011

If the thought of knives conjures up images of young, unruly teenagers stabbing each other, then perhaps you ought to keep on reading... Not all people who love blades or carry knives around in their pockets are hell-bent on revenge, personal defence, or even keen to show how macho (read more...)

Ken Wraight Emperors Carriage

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Turners who Inspire

Every so often I come across a turned item which simply takes my breath away. This one was made over a period of four months by Ken Wraight. I don't need to say any more. (read more...)

Turned Gift Pens

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

What Is Writing All About Anyway?

For nearly two years I was a professional writer - earning peanuts by writing quality web-site content for monkeys who had little or less hope of getting their web sites up in the rankings than anyone else in this crazy, money-driven world. The idea is that a well-written article gets published by a (read more...)


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Little Clocks or Standardisation...

Something different to come out of my Wonderous Cave.
Inspired by an article in one of the ancient wood turning magazines, I came up with my own design for a little clock. Having made so many since then, these can now be regarded as a JbT signature design. While I appreciate that there really is nothing new under the sun (I mean - the Phoenicians summarised it all by the time they looked after the planet) I did build a special (read more...)

miniature bowls

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Little Things

Small things are fun to make, but they require infinite patience, a steady hand, close attention and above all, a good magnifying glass! These are made to 1/12th scale of yew, yellow box burr and masur birch. The larger yew bowl is a shade under 25mm (1 inch) in size. (read more...)

Little Green Apples

Thursday, 9 June 2011

HWA Challenge June2011 Entries

Those who know me very well know that with rare exceptions I don't take competitions very seriously at all. But then I have an excuse for my attitude. Throughout my life, Hypermobility has been a real problem, affecting my joints and how my body is able to perform, making it painful to (read more...)

Belt Pouch for Gerber Splice and Vice

Monday, 6 June 2011

A Thing For Leather

There are so many people out there who have a 'thing' for leather...
I sometimes wonder whether it is a perversion, a base desire - a compulsion perhaps, or is it a nod of recognition in the direction of our edible co-inhabitants on this earth? No matter what - leather is (read more...)

finger spinners

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Joy of Grooving

When I was training to be a table tennis coach we were taught about the term 'grooving'. This is where you play the same shot to the same place over and over and over again until it becomes 'muscle memory' and no matter where you are in future, your body will remember the shot and repeat (read more...)


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Listening to the wood...

There are times when it pays to listen to the wood as you turn it. This piece of ash was going to be a platter - the intention was to make a large rim and carve and decorate it with spirit dyes and bonising spray - as the grain showing on the outside was fairly plain and not terribly inspiring. (read more...)


Monday, 30 May 2011

Arbortech Art

Arbortechs come in a couple of different models. The one I most covet costs around £120 for the blade, so I make do with the baby attachment which I needed first and bought some years ago. This one fits onto a standard angle grinder by means of a plastic housing and a wheel which (read more...)

Huichol Bowl

Monday, 9 May 2011

Huichol Beadwork

The Huichol tribe of Mexico survive by making and selling the most intriguing art work - using yarn and beeswax to create colourful paintings. I have known about this for along time. What I discovered more recently was an extension of that style of art where carved wooden shapes are covered (read more...)

Beech or Field Maple

Monday, 9 May 2011

Beech or Field Maple

A couple of weeks ago, my son called me at home...
"Can you come and fetch me please - I've got a piece of tree for you, only it's really heavy."
He'd gone for a bit of a walk - about 10 miles in his language (read more...)