LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


 Wood Dreaming by Terry Martin is sub-titled "the spirit of Australia captured in Woodturning" if he's achieved this, and I believe he has, then I for one must at some time visit down under and see for myself.

The quality of this book is outstanding, printed and bound using quality materials it was first Published in 1996, although I did not obtain my copy until 1999 having come across it when searching the Web with "Woodturning" as an input, in one of the many Book Seller Sites available on the Web.

The book is a Pictorial account of a journey around Australia calling in on the many Woodturners that are actively involved in the Art of Woodturning, on the way Terry stops off at various locations of interest.

The History of Wood in Australia is covered and the pictures of various Trees combined with some awe-inspiring facts are outstanding, to this you can add the insight into the grass roots dependence on Wood from the Aboriginal aspect.

As a guide to what is in store, you have to go to Chapter 5 (Page 64) before you get your first view of a Lathe and not just any Lathe but Vic Wood and one of his best. In fact Chapter 5 introduces the reader to the main influences on Woodturning in Australia over the years, Vic Wood, Richard and Simon Raffan (until now I had not realised that there are in fact  two Raffan's), John Linek and Kevin Rosetta to name a few.

From Chapter 6 on you take a journey around Australia stopping of to be invited into the World of the local Woodturners, have an insight to what makes them tick, where the inspiration comes from and then a gallery of work from each that must be seen. Many of these pieces are from timber we never see here in the UK and this only adds to the beauty of the item.

In all you are introduced to some 26 Woodturners and there partners, who are more often or not an integral part of the team, many living idealistic lives surrounded by open space and woodland.

You are introduced to materials other than Wood which are incorporated into many Turned Forms, my favorites were Marine Leather incorporated into Bowls and Boxes by Tony & Margaret Milsom who, would you believe, live just outside  the town of Jarrahwood [Honestly] South of Perth.

Then there was a Platter by Vaughn Richmond of Perth which had an inlay of hand-made, recycled paper, this Platter also had brass handles. The form and shape of this item is the best I have seen and some of his Carved Platters take some beating.

Andrew Potocnik's use of Stainless Steel and what he calls "Found Objects" is again enlightening and very inspirational.

Finally who would ever think of incorporating Rusty Barbed Wire into a design? well Norman Peterson uses it to remind the owner / reader where the basic materials came from, he is recycling old fence posts, he even "Weathers" Vessels to give them "that back in the wild look".

For those of you who have ever wondered what the Grass Tree Root looks like in the real world then look no further than page 194, and how about the Bloodwood Tree page 28/29 will satisfy your curiosity.

A great book that takes pride of place in my collection, 10 out of 10 for everything, currently the best book you could ever wish to own on the subject of Woodturning. a Great Coffee Table Book, Buy it.

Wood Dreaming: The Spirit of Australia captured in Woodturning. By Terry Martin.
Harper Collins Publishers  ISBN 0 207 18723 1.

Wood Dreaming is on the Web via a Site that is well worth a visit, Click on the thumbnail to visit the Site     >>>>

A Wood of Our Own is written by Julian Evans who owns and manages a 22 acre Wood in North East Hampshire along with members of his family.

I was introduced, no conned into buying this book when Julian advertised for sale some small pieces of Brown Oak from an old stump in the Wood, I turned up to make an offer for a couple of pieces which he accepted, then proceeded to sell me his book.

At first the thought of reading such a book did not appeal to me, but at 158 pages with many illustrations and few Trips away on Business it would perhaps make for some light reading.

The fact that I had some Wood from the Wood and that the actual Tree (well Stump) is mentioned and shown in one of the illustrations was perhaps a much better reason to read what turned out to be a little gem of a book and any thought of being conned soon evaporated.

The book kicks of with the purchase of the Wood and the only clue we get to that burning question, that we all want to know,  how much does a 22 acre (just how big is that, one day I will have to visit the Wood and see for myself) Wood actually cost? well this one cost the equivalent of a quality family car and that's at 1985 prices, as that was the year Julian and his partners purchased the Wood.

By chapter two you are wrapped up in the enthusiasm of the new owners, aware of the shear hard work involved in owning a Wood and the fact that although you own something like 9000 Trees you just cannot cut them down at will, you need permission and a license.

It is also apparent that although you own this 22 acres of Woodland, others have rights of access and that the Wildlife has a way of also enjoying what you own and a capability of undoing a lot of the hard work you put in.

This Book is really good reading, part History, part Poetry, an insight into Woodland Management, a what's what of Wildlife, both the good guys and the bad guys, and a lot about the joys and happiness that a Wood can provide including sharing it with others.

As to whether I would own a Wood of my own, I think not, something would have to give, probably the Woodturning, and it's not the easy source of our Wood requirements we Woodturners imagine.

A Wood of Our Own. By Julian Evans.
Oxford University Press.  ISBN 0 19 854951 2

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Last update 16 July 2007
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