Over 300 items by members of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain. Artistry and craftsmanship come together in wonderful items exploiting the varied qualities of wood. From the traditional to contemporary, a diverse show also incorporating colour,carving, texture and a mix of other mediums. Exhibition includes 118 items from the Ray Key collaboration project.
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We are delighted that the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain are staging this exhibition of turned wood with nature very much in mind. It offers a wonderful opportunity to see a host of techniques exploited to bring out the beauty in wood – art from the tree. The exhibition includes a large number of pieces, of varying scales, and is made up of three different sections.
The first is ‘The Ray Key collaboration’. This came about after many part turned pieces were found in the workshop of Ray Key BEM after he died in September 2018. Ray was the founder and president of the AWGB. The part turned pieces were sent out to turners from five continents for them to finish in their own style. 118 pieces were returned revealing a vast array of different techniques and styles representing a unique collection of work. These will all be exhibited at Nature in Art and at a later date auctioned, partly in aid of the AWGB.
Ray was a very influential turner who revelled in the beauty of wood. He said, ‘My work embraces minimalism; my quest is to produce objects of beauty and elegant simplicity. I am a great believer of the object as a whole; not a disjointed assemblage of different ones. ‘Keep it simple stupid’, ‘let the wood speak for itself’ and ‘if in doubt leave it out’ are my design bywords’. One of his great delights too was his sense that in his time this ancient craft is now accepted as an ‘art form’.’
A preview of the Ray Key Collaboration pieces can be seen on the AWGB website: www.awgb.co.uk/ray-key-collaboration
The second grouping is ‘The Masters’ which showcases the work of Ray Key (the first person ever to be awarded the title), Reg Hawthorne and Stuart Mortimer. All three were awarded the title of ‘Master Turner’ by the Worshipful Company of Turners. (The Turners’ Company is one of the oldest Livery Companies in the City of London. Its origins go back to early medieval times: the first reference to a London turner dates back to 1189.) Many of these Master pieces will be available for purchase at the exhibition.
The third section are by AWGB members and are a selection of the best pieces chosen from their international seminar which took place last October along with some additional pieces from local turners. Many of these pieces will also be available for purchase at the exhibition.
For the first week of the exhibition (2nd – 7th July) we will also have a lathe and demonstrations taking place in the studio.
The AWGB is a national charity which aims to promote woodturning to ensure the craft continues and to advance education in woodturning. It currently has over 3000 members, including makers abroad, and has 50 local UK branches, including in Gloucestershire. Phil Irons, who has a spectacular large vessel in the Nature in Art collection, was elected President of AWGB earlier this year.